By Michael Goot Published on May 29, 2019
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik said she believes Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s remarks at a brief news conference on Wednesday demonstrate the need to pass bills to strengthen election security, and she does not support calls for impeaching President Donald Trump.
Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, said Mueller summarized the findings of the report, which she has read, and she said she believes it is important to discuss its conclusions.
“This was a systemic action from Russia to undermine our election and need to be taken seriously moving forward,” she said following a roundtable at the Save the River nonprofit in Clayton, in Jefferson County, to discuss high-water levels.
Stefanik has previously called for creating an election czar to oversee elections. She also has sponsored legislation requiring online political advertisements to contain the same disclosure of who paid for them as television and radio advertisement and to prohibit foreign money from being contributed to U.S. political campaigns.
Also, she said technology companies have a role to play.
“We need to make sure tech companies are stepping up to the plate and rooting out misinformation online, not allowing foreign dollars to be spent. That’s what I’m focused on going into 2020,” she said.
Stefanik also released a statement highlighting her previous remarks on the subject of the Mueller report indicating her support of the investigation and calls for the report to be released to the public. She said that Attorney General William Barr, and Mueller, have been clear that the report speaks for itself and “was completed with a high degree of transparency, no executive privilege, limited redactions and resulted in a report of no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.”
New York’s two senators also weighed in on Mueller’s report.
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, called for Trump’s impeachment.
“The American people deserve an open process to look at documents and hear from witnesses related to the Mueller investigation. So far, President Trump has stonewalled Congress. In doing so, he has left us with only one option: for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings,” she said in a tweet.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., did not mention impeachment specifically, but called on Congress to do more to stop any future election meddling and to continue its investigation.
“Mr. Mueller made clear today that the Russians interfered in our elections, the wellspring of our democracy,” he said in a news release. “If President Trump and Congress don’t do anything, it will be worse in 2020 and yet, inexplicably, (Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate are blocking bipartisan election security legislation, despite Democrats’ repeated calls to protect our democracy from interference — by Russia or any other foreign adversary,” he said.
“Mr. Mueller’s statement also makes clear that Congress has a right — we believe an obligation — to continue our constitutionally mandated oversight without interference or stonewalling and follow the facts wherever they may lead,” Schumer added.
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