House Dem calls on lawmakers to 'insulate' election process following Mueller report

The biggest takeaway from the release of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s report is the need to better protect America’s electoral process, according to Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinFive takeaways from Fauci's testimony GOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi's mask mandate for House floor Five takeaways as panel grills tech CEOs MORE (D-Md.).

“That’s really perhaps the biggest takeaway of all — that we’ve got to insulate our elections, both our state computer processes and our cyber security against these kinds of attacks and we’ve got to be ready for it,” Raskin, a Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Hill.TV’s Jamal Simmons during an interview that aired on Friday.

“We can’t allow foreign governments or domestic actors to divide the American people along the lines of race, ethnicity and party in such a severe way as they did in the 2016 campaign,” Raskin continued.

The Maryland Democrat added that he’s willing to accept Mueller’s findings that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia, even though members were “clearly the beneficiaries of it.”

“I’m perfectly willing to accept the special counsel’s conclusion that the Trump campaign was not involved at the beginning of this in a criminal conspiracy — they were clearly the beneficiaries of it … and they clearly went along with it,” he said, citing the 2016 Trump Tower meeting as one example.

According to the report, Mueller had considered charging Trump campaign officials with a campaign finance violation after they met with a Russian lawyer who offered damaging information on then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic convention lineup to include Ocasio-Cortez, Clinton, Warren: reports Trump brushes off view that Russia denigrating Biden: 'Nobody's been tougher on Russia than I have' Kanye West 'not denying' his campaign seeks to damage Biden MORE. The special counsel later ruled against making the charge because he didn’t think he had enough evidence.

Mueller nevertheless said in the report that the presence of officials like former campaign Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortTrump says he would consider pardons for those implicated in Mueller investigation Graham releases newly declassified documents on Russia probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - Mask mandates, restrictions issued as COVID-19 spreads MORE and Trump’s son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Deutsche Bank launches investigation into longtime banker of Trump, Kushner Watchdog group accuses Stephen Miller of violating Hatch Act with Biden comments MORE signaled that the campaign was hoping to benefit from the information.

Raskin said that the Russians didn’t ultimately need members of the the Trump campaign to undermine the 2016 election.

“From the standpoint of Vladimir Putin, they didn’t really need Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpTrump pledges to look at 'both sides' on Pebble Mine Twitter limits Donald Trump Jr.'s account after sharing coronavirus disinformation South Dakota governor flew with Trump on Air Force One after being exposed to coronavirus: report MORE and Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpSunday shows preview: White House, Democratic leaders struggle for deal on coronavirus bill Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down GOP lawmakers join social media app billed as alternative to Big Tech MORE in order to pursue their conspiracy against the American election, they were perfectly capable of undermining us on their own and they did,” he told Hill.TV.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said they want to concentrate on securing the 2020 election from Russian interference and have already set some measures in motion. 

Last year, Reps. Tom RooneyThomas (Tom) Joseph RooneyHouse Dem calls on lawmakers to 'insulate' election process following Mueller report Hill-HarrisX poll: 76 percent oppose Trump pardoning former campaign aides Dems fear Trump is looking at presidential pardons MORE (R-Fla.), Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdySenate GOP set to ramp up Obama-era probes More than two dozen former prosecutors, judges, active trial lawyers support DOJ decision to dismiss Michael Flynn case Sunday shows preview: As states loosen social distancing restrictions, lawmakers address dwindling state budgets MORE (R-S.C.), Jim HimesJames (Jim) Andres HimesMany Democrats want John Bolton's testimony, but Pelosi stays mum SEC's Clayton demurs on firing of Manhattan US attorney he would replace Democrats face tough questions with Bolton MORE (D-Conn.) and Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellRevered civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis lies in state in the Capitol House approves Clyburn proposal to rename voting rights bill after John Lewis John Lewis carried across Edmund Pettus Bridge for last time MORE (D-Ala.) introduced the Secure Elections Act. The legislation is aimed at helping states secure the nation’s digital election infrastructure against cyberattacks. A companion to the measure is making its way through the Senate.

Both measures were introduced to Congress in direct response to the effort by Russian hackers to target state voting systems during the 2016 election.

—Tess Bonn