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

The biggest takeaway from the release of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE’s report is the need to better protect America’s electoral process, according to Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinHouse Oversight committee asks DHS for information on family separation Maryland Rep. Raskin endorses Warren ahead of Iowa caucus Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Jayapal endorses Sanders 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 ClintonKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Clinton says Zuckerberg has 'authoritarian' views on misinformation Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee 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 ManafortDOJ releases new tranche of Mueller witness documents Treasury adviser pleads guilty to making unauthorized disclosures in case involving Manafort DOJ argues Democrats no longer need Mueller documents after impeachment vote MORE and Trump’s son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Wyden asks NSA to investigate White House cybersecurity | Commerce withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon objects | Warren calls on Brazil to drop Greenwald charges Wyden calls on NSA to examine White House cybersecurity following Bezos hack The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power 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.Donald (Don) John TrumpComedians post fake Army recruitment posters featuring Trump Jr. Trump Jr., Ivanka garner support in hypothetical 2024 poll FWS: There's 'no basis' to investigate Trump Jr.'s Mongolian hunting trip MORE and Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpSecurity for Trump's Mar-a-Lago visits cost local taxpayers million Trump Organization to cut off bids on Washington hotel this month FBI searched home and office of lobbyist Trump denied knowing: report 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 GowdySunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Green says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely Trump golfs with Graham ahead of impeachment trial MORE (R-S.C.), Jim HimesJames (Jim) Andres HimesTwitter users invoke Merrick Garland after McConnell, Graham comments on impeachment trial Pelosi faces tough choices on impeachment managers This week: Impeachment inquiry moves to Judiciary Committee MORE (D-Conn.) and Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea SewellSanders, Warren battle for progressive endorsements Biden gains endorsement from Alabama's lone Democratic House rep House panel advances Trump's new NAFTA 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