“They’re doing it as we sit here”

I interrupt my highly anticipated summer post of brilliant flowers and ocean sunsets and smiling family to bring forth a matter of the highest importance. Not sure if y’all caught the words quietly yet forcefully uttered by Mueller last week; either way, please read on.

The [Mueller] report, released in April, laid bare that Mr. Trump was elected with the help of a foreign power, and on Wednesday, Mr. Mueller was most impassioned when describing the contours of the Russian sabotage playbook. “They’re doing it as we sit here,” he said of Russia’s continual interference in American elections…

The Mueller investigation began in May 2017, but its origins go back to an F.B.I. inquiry that began during the summer of 2016 as evidence of Russian election interference was gradually emerging. Determining the breadth of the Russian interference campaign was a cornerstone of the Mueller investigation and is very likely to be an enduring legacy of the special counsel’s work…

On that front, the conclusions of Mr. Mueller and his team were perfectly clear: The Russian government orchestrated the effort, and many of Mr. Trump’s aides welcomed it, even if they did not actively coordinate with Moscow.” (NY Times, Mazzetti)

Did you read that? Or are you still arguing about the competence of this decorated man?

Who Is Robert Mueller? Born in New York City in 1944, Robert Mueller attended Princeton University and served with distinction in Vietnam. He became an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California in 1976, and over the next two-plus decades he also took on prominent roles with the District of Massachusetts and the Department of Justice. Named FBI director in 2001, Mueller was immediately confronted by the 9/11 attacks, and he subsequently overhauled the bureau to meet the demands posed by 21st century terrorist activity. He left the post in 2013, but returned to the spotlight four years later as special counsel in charge of investigating Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election and possible ties to associates of President Donald Trump.” (Robert Mueller Biography)

In all seriousness, might we agree that regardless of his or your political party, Mueller might be worth listening to?

What will likely be lost in the political infighting is a warning from special counsel Mueller: This isn’t over. Mueller said he hoped this report and his testimony would be “a signal, a flag … don’t let this problem continue to linger.” “They’re doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it in the next campaign,” Mueller warned about Russia. He added that “many more countries” were likely developing the same capabilities to meddle in U.S. elections, having seen the results of Russia’s campaign.” (Chicago Tribune, Charles J. Johnson)

Before you label Mueller’s words only a Democratic ploy, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) at the hearing voiced concern too:

As a former CIA officer, I want to focus on something I think both sides of the political aisle can agree on: that is, how do we prevent Russian intelligence and other adversaries from doing this again?” Hurd said, after two dozen of his colleagues declined to broach the topic.

This exchange followed:

HURD: After overseeing counterintelligence operations for 12 years as FBI director, and then investigating what the Russians have done in the 2016 election, you’ve seen tactics, techniques and results of Russian intelligence operations. Our committee made a recommendation that the FBI should improve its victim notification process when a person, entity or campaign has fallen victim to active measures attack (ph). Could you agree with this — with this?

MUELLER: It sounds like a worthwhile endeavor. I will tell you, though, that the ability of our intelligence agencies to work together in this arena is perhaps more important than that. And adopting whatever — and I’m not that familiar with legislation, but whatever legislation will encourage us working together — by us, I mean the FBI, CIA, NSA, and the rest — it should be pursued aggressively, early.

HURD: In your investigation, did you think this was a single attempt by the Russians to get involved in our election, or did you find evidence to suggest they’ll try to do this again?

MUELLER: It wasn’t a single attempt. They’re doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign.

(The Washington Post, William Blake)

Might both sides of the aisle agree that this point is worth noting– and perhaps– addressing? Might our squabbles be shelved to uncover the ways and means of this sabotage? I know we are all dashing between summer vacas, but seriously America, “They’re doing it as we sit here”… Let’s agree to at least pay attention to this frightening fact. Perhaps between beach time and cocktail hour you could contact your representatives and ask them what are they doing to prevent a repeat of the 2016 election? You can reach US representatives by calling 202-225-3121, and US senators by calling 202-224-3121. Ask the operator to connect you to the individual office for your state. Let’s be the united states on this issue.

Now, back to brilliant flowers and ocean sunsets and smiling family…

 

 

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