Moscow Mitch and Protecting American Democracy
We know that in 2016 the Russians were actively involved in a cyber campaign to disrupt our elections and to elect Donald Trump. From what happened in 2016 one would conclude that anyone who cares about American Democracy would support measures to protect the next Presidential Election from Russian interference. The need for secure elections is supported by the FBI, CIA, and the DNI (Department of National Intelligence). Robert Mueller in his testimony to congress stated unequivocally that all fifty states were being targeted.
All patriotic Americans should agree on one thing, that whatever we need to do to protect our democracy from foreign interference should be done. Further proof for the need to protect our democracy can be found in the Senate Intelligence Report.
Chairman Richard Burr, Republican from North Carolina, heads up the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the Vice Chair is Democrat Mark Warner from Virginia. They recently issued a comprehensive bipartisan report on Russian Efforts Against Election Infrastructure.
The committee spent two and a half years investigating Russian interference. They held 15 open hearings, had more then 200 witnesses and reviewed nearly 300 documents.
From these findings Republican Chairman Richard Burr said in a statement, “There’s still much more we can and must do to protect our elections. I hope the bipartisan findings and recommendations outlined in this report will underscore to the White House and all of our colleagues, regardless of political party, that this threat remains urgent, and we have a responsibility to defend our democracy against it.”
With all this overwhelming evidence one would conclude that the President of the United States and his supporters would do everything possible to ensure that the upcoming presidential election is not interfered with from a foreign adversary.
The head of the Senate is Mitch McConnell who has refused to allow any legislation to move forward in the Senate dealing with protecting our democracy from election interference. Recently, he refused to allow two House bills to be voted on. He knew that if allowed some Republicans would join with Democrats and vote in favor of the Bill sending it to the President for his signature.
So why would a leading Republican use his unbridled power in this way to suppress a vote being taken on the Senate floor?
The answer to this question is that the President has made it clear that he does not support any additional legislation to protect American Democracy from election interference from a hostile power.
During a recent interview with ABC news’s George Stephanopoulos, Donald Trump was asked if he would accept information from foreign governments in the upcoming election or turn it over to the FBI.
He stated, “I think maybe you do both,” adding that if Norway had information on an opponent, he thinks he would want to hear it. “I think you might want to listen, there’s nothing wrong with listening.”
When asked whether he would want that type of interference in the 2020 election, Trump said: “It’s not an interference.”
No president in the history of our country has been open to accepting information from other countries that could be used to influence our elections. These statements have sent a message to Mitch McConnell: to deny the senate from voting on any legislation to help protect our democracy from election interference.
Mitch McConnell recently went on the Senate floor to defend the indefensible. His defense was that he has a long record of being against Vladimir Putin and McConnell has thus failed to offer any sound defense of his position. Most likely he can’t because he is carrying out the President’s bidding. If he doesn’t like what the Democratic house has passed then he should offer something instead, but it is obvious this won’t happen.
Chuck Schumer, Minority Leader in the Senate, has called out Moscow Mitch. Senator Schumer stated on the Senate floor, “I would suggest to my friend the majority leader, if he doesn’t like this bill, let’s put another bill on the floor and debate it.”
One can only conclude that Moscow Mitch is doing the President’s bidding and has failed in the most sacred trust to protect our Democracy from foreign interference.
Kenneth Pottel, Fairhaven
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