While the Democrats' exact concerns were unclear, there have been worries since Trump was elected that Russia's efforts to sow American chaos are ongoing in the 2020 election.
The 2016 effort included hacking of Democratic email accounts during the campaign by Russian military intelligence officials and the subsequent disclosure by WikiLeaks.
Intelligence authorities said that hack-and-leak operation was aimed at helping Trump’s presidential campaign and harming that of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Russians also used a covert social media campaign to spread misinformation and posts aimed at dividing American public opinion.
In the end, former special counsel Robert Mueller charged 25 Russian nationals for their roles in foreign interference and influence during the campaign.
Democrats, including members of the Senate intelligence panel, have voiced concerns that an ongoing Republican probe into Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and his work in Ukraine would amplify Russian disinformation.
That probe is being led by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis.
In a statement, Johnson spokesman Austin Altenburg said the committee’s staff had already requested and received a briefing on Russian disinformation and Johnson had requested an additional briefing at the member level.
While Biden criticized Trump for not acting more aggressively against Russia, his pledge that his intelligence community would report “publicly and in a timely manner” on any foreign efforts to interfere in an American election also appeared to be a course correction of sorts to the approach of the Obama administration, which waited months after Russian hacks of Democratic email accounts in 2016 to officially attribute them to Moscow.