Whether President Donald Trump should be impeached for obstructing justice is taking up all the oxygen related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s now-concluded report of his two-year investigation.
But another aspect of the 448-page, two-volume report is much more damaging to our democracy and every American should be alarmed — the Russians interfered with our presidential election. Let that sink in.
Congress has an obligation to pursue obstructions by the president outlined in the Mueller report; Americans have an obligation to take seriously the Russian threat to the core and integrity of our ability to decide who leads our country.
While political views will differ on the extent of Trump’s attempted interference with the investigation, there can be no other interpretation of the Russian conduct.
Mueller, in a nearly 10-minute statement Thursday on his findings as he departed from public service, was lucent.
“Russian intelligence officers who are part of the Russian military, launched a concerted attack on our political system. The indictment alleges that they used sophisticated cybertechniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information and then released that information through fake online identities and through the organization WikiLeaks.
“The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate,” Mueller said. Based on his investigation, 13 Russians and three Russian agencies were indicted by grand juries.
Whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians in 2016 does not obviate the basic premise that a foreign power tried to interfere in our presidential election.
What should be done, other than the courts dealing with those charged?
Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill proposed investing in the state’s cybersecurity infrastructure, a necessary step.
“Connecticut must commit to protecting our elections from foreign governments, and we must do it now,” she said, and we agree. “The threat is real, serious, and current.”
But how much do the American people care?
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, in saying why Mueller should testify before the Judiciary Committee of which the Connecticut senator is a member, had a withering take on American’s interest in substance.
“Most Americans will never read the report and many will not see or hear his nine-minute statement,” Blumenthal said.
Not nine minutes? People spend more time than that watching cute cat videos on YouTube. Certainly a foreign government meddling in our election — no matter who won — is more important. Perhaps refresher civics classes are in order.
Don’t let politics cloud your thinking. Be skeptical of inflammatory social media posts. Be informed. Here’s Mueller’s brief statement. (https://nyti.ms/310zFq8) Read for yourselves.
And let his words chill you: “I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments, that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. And that allegation deserves the attention of every American.”