Last week Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller reiterated the danger to America that is posed by other countries interfering with our elections. Other countries like Russia, for example, which Donald Trump last week admitted helped him win the presidency.
"I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected," he tweeted. (Later, he walked that back, saying he was responsible for his own election, not Russia.)
Shortly before Mueller's comments, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved two bipartisan bills aimed at fighting such threats to American democracy. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is preventing them from reaching the full Senate for a vote.
In his remarks, Mueller said “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.”
Presumably "every American" would include President Trump as well as McConnell.
As if Mueller's warning wasn't enough, Trump's FBI director, Christopher Wray told Congress last month that “the threat just keeps escalating and we’re going to have to up our game to stay ahead of it. We are very much viewing 2018 as just kind of a dress rehearsal for the big show in 2020.”
A "dress rehearsal for the big show in 2020!"
The legislation in question is even strongly supported by Trump's pal, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Judiciary Committee chairman, who issued this statement after the bills cleared his committee:
"Today is a very good day for the Judiciary Committee. We reported out two bills that will help secure our elections from foreign interference. The DETER Act would allow the deportation of anyone involved in interfering with American elections that are present in the United States and it would render somebody inadmissible to come to the United States based on election interference.”
“In another effort to deter bad actors, the second piece of legislation will make it a federal crime to hack into a state voting system, whether or not it is connected to the internet. I am very pleased with the committee’s performance in trying to secure our elections as we head into the 2020 presidential election.”
But according to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), a member of McConnell's leadership team, the leader has no intention of allowing those bills to reach a vote.
"I think the majority leader is of the view that this debate reaches no conclusion,” Blunt said earlier this month, according to The Hill. “At this point I don’t see any likelihood that those bills would get to the floor."
Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) is clearly frustrated.
"At the CIA and intelligence agencies, millions of dollars are being spent to stop the Russians from making a mess of the 2020 election,” Durbin told The Hill. “But in the United States Senate we can’t bring a bill to the floor to even debate it."
Obviously, the big question is Why? What could possibly be McConnell's motive?