Democrats push election security legislation after Mueller warning

Senate Democrats are doubling down on their push for Congress to pass additional election security legislation, after special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan 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 warned about the threat of election meddling on Wednesday.
 
Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerCongress to get election security briefing next month amid Intel drama Intel officials warned House lawmakers Russia is interfering to get Trump reelected: NYT Trump officially makes Richard Grenell acting intelligence chief MORE (D-Va.) said Mueller made it clear during his remarks at the Justice Department that Congress should take steps to prevent future election interference.
 
"We must take steps to protect our democracy by passing legislation that enhances election security, increases social media transparency, and requires campaign officials to report any contact with foreign nationals attempting to coordinate with a campaign," Warner said in a statement.
 
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Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called Mueller's comments an "urgent plea for action." Meanwhile, Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe Graham warned Pentagon chief about consequences of Africa policy: report Democrats fear rule of law crumbling under Trump MORE (D-Del.) added that Mueller "reiterated clearly and unequivocally that Russia attacked our democracy by interfering with our 2016 election."
 
"As we approach the 2020 elections, we must invest more in election security and protect our democracy. This must not be a partisan issue; protecting our democratic process is far more important than politics," Coons said.
 
Mueller spoke publicly on Wednesday for the first time since handing over his report on the nearly two-year investigation into Russia's election interference and President TrumpDonald John TrumpComey responds to Trump with Mariah Carey gif: 'Why are you so obsessed with me?' Congress to get election security briefing next month amid Intel drama New York man accused of making death threats against Schumer, Schiff MORE's 2016 campaign.
 
Mueller indicated during the press conference, where he did not take questions, that he did not want to testify before Congress about the more than 400-page report, saying his potential testimony would not go beyond what was in his sprawling report.
 
But he used his closing remarks to warn about election interference from foreign governments, calling it the "central allegation of our indictments." 
 
"I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments — that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. That allegation deserves the attention of every American," Mueller told reporters. 
 
But election interference legislation has hit a roadblock on Capitol Hill, where Mueller's findings have failed to break the months-long stalemate over election security legislation.
 
House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCongress to get election security briefing next month amid Intel drama New York man accused of making death threats against Schumer, Schiff Twitter, Facebook split on manipulated Bloomberg video MORE (D-Calif.) on Wednesday argued that the Senate should take up H.R. 1, a wide-ranging election and ethics reform bill, and pledged that Congress will "legislate to protect our elections and secure our democracy."
 
 
Republican senators have also argued that the House legislation poisoned the well for larger negotiations on an election security package ahead of the 2020 election, and indicated the chamber is unlikely to pass its own bill.
 
Senate Rules Committee Chairman Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntSenate braces for fight over impeachment whistleblower testimony Booker, Merkley propose federal facial recognition moratorium GOP senators defend Sondland, Vindman ousters: They weren't 'loyal' MORE (R-Mo.) said during a committee hearing earlier this month that “at this point I don’t see any likelihood that those bills would get to the floor if we mark them up."
 
Still, Democrats are seeking to put pressure on McConnell for the Senate to take up legislation, reiterating their calls following Mueller's remarks on Wednesday.
 
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNew York man accused of making death threats against Schumer, Schiff Top GOP super PAC spent money on NC Democrat Hillicon Valley: Intel officials warned lawmakers Russia interfering in 2020 | Pompeo condemns Russian cyberattack on country of Georgia | Tech activists see Kickstarter union as breakthrough | Pentagon agency suffers data breach MORE (D-N.Y.) said Mueller "made clear" that Russia tried to interfere in "the wellspring of our democracy," adding that if lawmakers did nothing the interference could be worse in 2020. 
 
“If President Trump and Congress don’t do anything, it will be worse in 2020 and yet, inexplicably, Senator McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate are blocking bipartisan election security legislation, despite Democrats’ repeated calls to protect our democracy from interference—by Russia or any other foreign adversary," Schumer said in a statement. 
 
Sen. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithDemocratic senators ask FDA to ban device used to shock disabled students Trump pick for Fed seat takes bipartisan fire Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements MORE (D-Minn.) added in a tweet: "Congress has a job to do here. Hello Mitch McConnell? Are you there?"