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STATEMENT: Mueller’s testimony, like his report, should shock our conscience

Through hours of testimony, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller stayed true to his word, and let his report do the talking. He refused to speculate beyond its bounds, rejected questions outside of the scope of his investigation, and confirmed all of the key details he found.    All the while, he was subjected to repeated attacks on his credibility by Republicans on the committees. Shamefully, some of them were so determined to defend President Trump, that they denied even the most basic truth: that we were attacked by the Russian government. For them, Conspiracies and denial took the place of earnest fact-finding.   But despite their efforts to change the subject and cover for the president, the damning truth of the Mueller Report stood intact at the end. It lacked the fireworks which we have come to expect in the Trump presidency. But the facts of the Mueller report, restated today by the chief investigator himself, should not fail to shock our national conscience and offend our sense of justice.   Both parties will try to claim victory today. But there is no victory for any American when the heart of our democracy is under assault and many of our elected leaders refuse to stand up in its defense. Mr. Mueller summarized the threat best: “Throughout the course of my career I have seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious.”   What Mr. Mueller’s investigation has proved – and what he testified to today – is that this “most serious” threat was sought out, entertained, and then covered up by one campaign: President Trump’s. That is a callous betrayal of America’s sovereignty and a willful endangerment of our national security.    It should be enough that we have documentable proof that the president lied to our faces repeatedly, and instructed others on his campaign to do likewise. It should be enough that we have the very emails in which Trump campaign officials discussed efforts to solicit Kremlin assistance. It should be enough that Trump did not report this attack to the authorities, or that he tried to use his power as president to block investigations into his campaign. Finally, it should be enough that Donald Trump has routinely taken the side of our foreign adversaries, refused to take the threat of their information warfare seriously, and openly stated his openness to accept their help in the future.   But somehow, despite all of the evidence already laid out before the American people, it still is not enough for some. Robert Mueller’s testimony today wasn’t just a recitation of the facts as he found them, it was an alarm bell for Congress: foreign adversaries are undermining our democracy, and our president is gleefully benefitting from it. It’s beyond time for Congress to act to protect our freedom.