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

The biggest takeaway from the release of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE’s report is the need to better protect America’s electoral process, according to Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinInauguration parties lose the glitz and glamour in 2021 This week: Tensions running high in Trump's final days Democratic lawmaker says 'assassination party' hunted for Pelosi during riot 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 ClintonSenate to vote Tuesday on Biden's secretary of State pick Portman planned exit sets off Ohio free-for-all Biden must wait weekend for State Department pick 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 ManafortWould Trump have gotten away with a self-pardon? History will never know Trump's pardons harshly criticized by legal experts Presidential pardons need to go MORE and Trump’s son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerJilani: China 'sending clear message' to Biden officials with sanctions that opposition could lead to 'future pay cut' Would Trump have gotten away with a self-pardon? History will never know Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon 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 TrumpCompany appeals rejection of controversial Pebble Mine  Singer Taylor Dayne responds to criticism after Mar-a-Lago performance: 'I try to stay non-political' More voters say pardons for Trump's family would be inappropriate: poll MORE and Eric TrumpEric TrumpTrump extended Secret Service protection for family members in final days in office: report MyPillow CEO says activists pressuring stores to drop product are trying to 'cancel me' Pardon talk intensifies as Trump approaches final 24 hours in office 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 GowdyTrey GowdyThe Hunter Biden problem won't go away Sunday shows preview: Joe Biden wins the 2020 election Sunday shows preview: Election integrity dominates as Nov. 3 nears MORE (R-S.C.), Jim HimesJames (Jim) Andres HimesCOVID-19 could complicate Pelosi's path to Speaker next year Democrats debate fate of Trump probes if Biden wins House Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education MORE (D-Conn.) and Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellDemocrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? Lobbying world Democrats to determine leaders after disappointing election 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