Did Russia try to influence last month’s presidential election? In years past, that question would be met with alarm. This year, when there is credible evidence that Russians spread fake news stories and hacked Democratic emails, likely in an attempt to influence the outcome of November’s election, the question has elicited little outcry in Washington.

This lack of concern is troubling. American officials should be concerned anytime a foreign power attempts to hack into our systems or mislead our citizens.

Consider this statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security: “The U.S. Intelligence Community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations,” the Oct. 7 statement said.

“These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process,” the statement continued. “Such activity is not new to Moscow — the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

Despite this unprecedented and strong warning, for weeks, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has been essentially the only member of Congress expressing alarm.

“Here’s what I would tell Republicans: We cannot sit on the sidelines as a party and let allegations against a foreign government interfering in our election process go unanswered because it may have been beneficial to our cause,” Graham told the Los Angeles Times in mid-November.

He called on his fellow members of Congress to investigate.

Thankfully, that call is growing louder.

On Wednesday, independent Sen. Angus King signed on to a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to declassify information from U.S. intelligence agencies related to Russia’s involvement in the election. King and the six Democrats who signed the letter are members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Republican Sen. Susan Collins also is a member of the committee, but she did not sign the letter because she believed the Obama administration had properly classified the information.

The committee has held classified meetings on the matter and gained additional information from U.S. intelligence officials. Based on these meetings, King said that “people need to know what happened and how serious it is in order to prevent it from happening again.”

“I do not want to revisit the election,” King said in an interview Friday with the Bangor Daily News. “This is in no way a partisan issue. Donald Trump won, he is going to be our president. But we need to ensure our elections are free of influence from other countries, no matter who they are.”

“We need to learn what happened and prevent it from happening again,” he added.

King also is pushing Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, to open an investigation into Russia’s activities, which he should.

There is a similar push on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire has asked that committee to launch an investigation as well.

Given the evidence the public knows about — and the classified evidence lawmakers such as King have seen — as well as Russia’s history of interfering with budding democracies in Eastern Europe, Congress must examine the extent, and impact, of any Russian efforts to influence the outcome of our elections. It won’t change the outcome, but it should inform how the American government and people act in the future.

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The BDN Editorial Board

The Bangor Daily News editorial board members are Publisher Richard J. Warren, Editorial Page Editor Susan Young, Assistant Editorial Page Editor Matt Junker and BDN President Todd Benoit. Young has worked...