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Senators Ask Cruz to Conduct Oversight Hearing on Trump's Call for Russian Hackers to Find Clinton's Missing Emails

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"Dangerous and irresponsible."

DORAL, FL - JULY 27: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a press conference at Trump National Doral on July 27, 2016 in Doral, Florida. Trump spoke about the Democratic Convention and called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton's deleted e-mails. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

Two Democratic senators implored Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) Wednesday to conduct an oversight hearing on comments made by Republican presidential contender Donald Trump regarding Russian hackers and rival Hillary Clinton's missing emails.

Trump addressed Clinton's missing emails from her tenure as secretary of state last month during a Florida rally and encouraged Russian hackers to find those emails that were deleted from her private server.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press," Trump said.

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a press conference at Trump National Doral in Doral, Florida. Trump addressed the Democratic National Convention and called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton's deleted emails. (Getty Images/Gustavo Caballero)

That message to Russia, Democratic Sens. Chris Coons (Del.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) said, is "dangerous and irresponsible" because it is an "apparent encouragement of a foreign cyberattack on presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, a U.S. citizen and former secretary of state."

"We ask that you conduct an oversight hearing to determine whether existing federal criminal statutes and federal court jurisdiction sufficiently address conduct related to foreign entities that could undermine our elections," the senators wrote in a letter to Cruz, himself a former 2016 Republican presidential contender.

The senators continued in the letter:

To ensure the integrity of the presidential election and its insulation from Russian cyber threats, we ask that you conduct an oversight hearing to consider whether existing federal criminal statutes and federal court jurisdiction sufficiently address conduct related to foreign entities that could undermine our elections. Specifically, we ask that you consider whether requests for foreign entities to conduct cyber attacks on political opponents violate existing federal criminate statutes, and whether there are obstacles to the federal courts asserting jurisdiction to protect the integrity of our nation's elections.

Cruz is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, where Coons is the ranking member, and Whitehouse is the ranking member of the Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee.

Cruz's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning.

The letter from Coons and Whitehouse comes after two dozen Republican national security experts signed an open letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that called for a congressional investigation into the reported hack into the Democratic National Committee believed to have been conducted by Russians.

"This is not a partisan issue. The foreign attack was an assault on the integrity of the entire American political process," the experts wrote last month. "Instead of focusing on who may have benefited and who was damaged, the investigation should focus on discovering the facts concerning the role of Russian intelligence in the hacking, whether others were involved, and the role of Wikileaks in disseminating the stolen information."

Follow Kaitlyn Schallhorn (@K_Schallhorn) on Twitter

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