While the Democrats and Republicans were interested in playing a political game and ignoring the Russian Government’s interference in our elections, Mueller would like to remind everyone that they cannot afford to play games and ignore the threat Russia presents to democracy in the United States, writes Margaret Valenti.

While Republicans tried to exonerate the President, many Democrats looked for more reasons to impeach him. The Mueller testimony seems to be nothing that Democrats or Republicans can use to support their endeavors either for or against the President. However, for Russia, this testimony did everything that they wanted it to do; to turn attention away from their interference in the United States election and towards the potential impeachable actions taken by Donald J. Trump and his associates during the 2016 election.

Democrats stuck to the report, and that was part of the problem. It was what they should do, it was what they were there to do. However, if I was a MAGA Republican who already believed that this special council was all a hoax, this subpoena of Robert Mueller did almost nothing to convince me otherwise. Nor did the Democrats vindicate themselves and prove that they are the  party with the most “moral high ground.”

Instead, the Russians, it seems, have played our two party democracy perfectly to their advantage; using groups like Black Lives Matter and white supremacist movements to continue expressing an uncomfortable divide in the United States: race. 

Beyond yes, no, that is correct, or that is true or false/a mischaracterization answers, Mueller refused to give in to the bait and left many questions unanswered for reasons of national security, due to ongoing investigations or because they were issues not in the scope of his investigation. Many people wanted Mueller to testify and Democrats got Mueller to say on the record what he had said in the report, that he cannot charge the President with obstruction of justice, but that he could charge him with obstruction of justice if he were not the President, per memos from The Office of Legal Council (OLC). Regardless, since no charges can be brought, there is no confirmation about whether or not crimes were committed by the President because criminal charges cannot be brought against a sitting President, which is confusing. 

It is a slippery slope that Mueller has to tread very carefully when he speaks. Certainly, he did nothing to further antagonize either party, but did correct the record where it was unclear. He seems to be fighting a one man battle against Russian interference in the elections of the United States, with seemingly little acknowledgement of this issue from either party. 

Many times, those who asked questions did not care about Mueller’s responses and only about what existed in the report or outside the report that would further emphasize that their reading of the report was correct. For the Democrats, this was, in part, a way for them to counter what they see as a propaganda machine. For Republicans, this was a way to exonerate the President. Republicans and Democrats also demonstrated a lack of understanding for how investigations work, especially when those investigations are still ongoing and the scope of those investigations in regard to who handles what. This made the whole report and, therefore, the testimony only more confusing for the general public. 

Simply because the special investigation is over does not mean that other revelations of importance to national security that came out because of the special council’s work are not still under investigation, which is why Mueller cannot comment on many of those matters. This discombobulation — mostly on the part of the Republicans — only fed into the division between parties and the goal of Russia’s leadership, to further divide the citizens of the United States in a colonizing manner. There is a question the Russian Government answered very well; how do you divide a nation and interfere with its inner workings to your benefit? 

Russia is the real problem

When Representative Will Hurd of Texas asked Mueller about what he felt the country should do to prevent something like this from ever happening again, Mueller was much more receptive because he knows that Russia is the real problem; Trump, white supremacy, and “the radical left” are all, in part, symptoms of Russia’s interference. Russia attacked the history of racial tensions in the United States and made it bleed a bit more heavily into the present.

Amongst all the confusion and the political games being played in those rooms, the one clear thing is that no one is paying enough attention to the fact that Russia has been and is currently interfering in elections in the United States and, if they remain unchecked, they will continue to be able to do so.  Their systems are simply more sophisticated and larger than the ones the United States can handle as long as there are those in the government who actively lie on behalf of or work directly with Russia in any way that could promote a campaign and effect the makeup of the government. 

This is a serious concern that the Mueller testimony should have focused on. Instead, it was a  political game and now the citizens and politicians of the United States are even more susceptible to Russian interference. The whole country is now at risk and Russia is using both parties to their advantage. When is someone going to wake up and start participating in making our elections and our country safe against this type of manipulation? 

Some of the contenders for the presidential race have already discussed what they will do as President to protect our elections, but there is not enough talk or action. Our current President is oblivious to how serious this is and as a result the citizens of the United States are too. It is time to stop playing political games and stop the one known criminal in this situation, Russia. 

Margaret Valenti

Margaret Valenti is the Editor of Generation Z Voice at The Pavlovic Today.