Pelosi, Democrats launch Mueller messaging blitz

House Democrats on Tuesday will launch an aggressive communications campaign to highlight 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 sweeping investigation into Russian election interference just ahead of the former special counsel's appearance before Congress for a pair of hotly anticipated hearings.

The office of Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Justices won't fast-track ObamaCare case before election | New virus spreads from China to US | Collins challenger picks up Planned Parenthood endorsement Why Senate Republicans should eagerly call witnesses to testify Trump health chief: 'Not a need' for ObamaCare replacement plan right now MORE (D-Calif.) has crunched Mueller's 448-page report into a six-page document featuring the former FBI director's most damning findings, which will be distributed Tuesday to Democratic lawmakers to guide their outreach to voters as all eyes in Washington turn to Mueller's testimony.

ADVERTISEMENT

Dubbed "Exposing the Truth," the six-page memo was coordinated between Pelosi's office and the two House committees where Mueller will appear on Wednesday: Judiciary, chaired by Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerMcConnell locks in schedule for start of impeachment trial Pelosi: Trump's impeachment 'cannot be erased' House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate MORE (D-N.Y.), and Intelligence, led by Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial The Memo: Day One shows conflicting narratives on impeachment MORE (D-Calif.).

From a messaging standpoint, the operation, along with an accompanying social media campaign, is designed to put a public spotlight on both the vulnerabilities in America's election system and President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE's conduct before and after winning the White House, as noted by Mueller's findings. As a political tool, it's meant to pressure Republicans to consider the election, ethics and national security reforms Democrats have pushed heading into the polls next year.

"We're at this incredible moment in time where we could either move forward as a unified nation in a very patriotic way to address these issues and these vulnerabilities, or our Republican colleagues will force us to turn the page ... on one of the greatest threats facing our nation right now," said a Democratic leadership aide.

"We're hoping this will heighten the sense of urgency for a whole-of-government response to protect our democracy going forward."

The document, obtained Monday by The Hill, features biting excerpts from Mueller's report as well as subsequent remarks from the former special counsel, including his explicit refusal to exonerate Trump from crimes of obstruction.

It points out that Mueller found clear evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election for the purpose of tipping the outcome toward Trump, that members of Trump's campaign were eager to accept the foreign help and that Mueller's team found at least 10 episodes when Trump or his allies potentially obstructed the investigation.

For rank-and-file lawmakers, it's meant to serve as a sort of CliffsNotes version of Mueller's mammoth report as they discuss with voters the implications of his testimony.

"Members will go home and have to engage their constituencies on what's next — how do we hold this president accountable?" the leadership aide said. "So we put it all at their fingertips."

Separately, Pelosi's office is launching a social media blitz — #RetweetTheReport — featuring more than 20 of the more striking quotes from Mueller's findings.

Democrats are hoping the campaign, combined with Mueller's testimony, will shift public sentiment in favor of efforts to hold Trump accountable and bolster election security — and force GOP leaders to act on them.

"We hope that these hearings can perhaps turn up the temperature on our Republican colleagues who have been missing in action," said a second Democratic aide.

The Democrats have their work cut out.

Although they've passed a series of election reform bills through the House this year — including legislation for stricter oversight of election vendors, mandated paper ballot systems and post-election vote audit requirements — Republican leaders in the GOP-controlled Senate have refused to take them up. And House Republicans, siding with Trump, are showing no signs they intend to be swayed by Mueller's testimony on Wednesday.

"We're wanting to show this for what it is, and that is the final episode of the Mueller report and a final episode to hopefully put this behind [us]," Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules This week: Raucous rules fight, opening arguments in impeachment trial White House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team MORE (Ga.), the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, told Fox News on Sunday.

Trump, for years, has characterized the investigation as a "witch hunt." And he jumped into the debate again on Monday with a blistering new attack on Mueller, his investigation and the Democrats who pressed the reluctant special counsel to testify.

"The attorney general, based on the report, was easily able to find there was no obstruction, there’s no nothing," Trump said from the Oval Office, referring to William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Barr wrote 2018 memo contradicting Trump's claim that abuse of power is not impeachable Brent Budowsky: McConnell, Roberts and Trump on trial MORE. "They’re wasting their time."

The aggressiveness of the Democrats' messaging campaign heading into Wednesday's hearings suggests a certain level of frustration among party leaders that Mueller's report, released in April, had virtually no tangible effect on Trump's Republican allies in terms of their approach to election security or executive accountability.

Indeed, the one Republican to condemn the president based on Mueller's findings, Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashSanders co-chair: Greenwald charges could cause 'chilling effect on journalism across the world' Trump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Overnight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall MORE (Mich.), quickly became a pariah within the GOP and now faces a tough primary challenge. Amash quit the party earlier this month and is now the only Independent in the House.

For Democratic leaders, Mueller's public appearance this week may be their best remaining chance to sway public opinion behind their favored election reforms. They're fighting to maximize the opportunity.

"We feel there is a great sense of obligation to educate the American people on this thing, wherever they are," said the leadership aide. "And I think you might see, after Mueller, potentially some more Amashes come out. Maybe not for impeachment, but definitely not being able to walk away from the facts." 

Mueller Strategy on Scribd