Ahead of Mueller Testimony, Democrats Rip into McConnell on Election Security
House and Senate Democrats on Tuesday used the pending testimony from former special counsel Robert Mueller to launch a full-scale assault on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over his ongoing efforts to block congressional efforts to pass election security legislation…. While Republicans and Democrats alike have attempted to pass a variety of legislation to improve election security over the past two years in response to Russian interference, McConnell has repeatedly stood in the way of the bills and argued against the need for a greater federal role to protect voting…. The criticism comes as the country prepares for Mueller’s long-awaited congressional testimony about his investigation into Russia’s interference into the 2016 election…. Tuesday’s press conference also coincided with testimony by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Russians “are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections…. ” Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), who chairs the House Democracy Reform Task Force, said the chamber had tried to accommodate McConnell by breaking out the ballot box security provisions from a larger measure that was a grab-bag of election reform efforts. But now “that’s piling up on the Senate side against the door that Mitch McConnell has barred when it comes to protecting our democracy,” Sarbanes said, noting that last month the House passed a Democrat-backed bill that would require election systems to use voter-verified paper ballots. “The alarm bells are going off, the lights are flashing and Mitch McConnell is blithely sleepwalking through it all,” he said.