Former special counsel for the Department of Justice Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on Wednesday, detailing his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, potential Russian links to the Trump campaign and alleged attempts by the president to obstruct the investigation.
U.S. Senator Doug Jones, D-Alabama, says the threat of election interference has been lost in “partisan bickering.”
During a media call on Thursday, Jones said that people have used the hearing to “dig in their heels” to support their own perspective on the Mueller report rather than focusing on what he believes to be the main issue of the testimony, which is election security.
“This is not just about Russia anymore,” Jones said. “Other adversaries, whether it’s China, Iran and others, are also looking at copying the Russian playbook. They have now seen that what they can do to affect the policies of the United States government and that is through the elections.”
Following Mueller’s testimony, Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts, vice-chair of the House Democratic Caucus, joined over 90 other members of the House of Representatives to support beginning the process to impeach President Donald Trump.
Jones avoided any talk of impeachment, focusing more on the threat of election interference and a need to bring election security legislation to a vote in the Senate as soon as possible.
“At the end of the day, we are all Americans,” Jones said. “We’re all in this together. I think it is our patriotic duty to put our differences aside and do everything we can to preserve our democracy and the democratic processes we rely on.”
A House-backed bill that would authorize $775 million in grants over the next two years to help states secure their voting systems and a separate trio of bills aimed at strengthening U.S. election security were blocked by Senate Republicans within 24 hours after Mueller’s testimony warning of election interference.