The Trump administration has made it clear that it has no intention of protecting the 2020 election from Russian hacking. From Trump's refusal to allow the issue to be discussed at the top levels of his administration to Vice President Mike Pence's absolute refusal to discuss the issue or even to pledge not to use hacked information in 2020, they've demonstrated that.
That, says Hillary Clinton, is dangerous. In an op-ed for the Washington Post, the one person perhaps most qualified to talk about the exact crossroads at which the nation finds itself is demanding "action and accountability" from elected officials. As Clinton explains, she was the primary target and victim of Russian interference. But more, "by a strange twist of fate, was a young staff attorney on the House Judiciary Committee's Watergate impeachment inquiry in 1974, as well as first lady during the impeachment process that began in 1998. And I was a senator for New York after 9/11, when Congress had to respond to an attack on our country."
It's the Watergate experience she draws on particularly here as "better precedent. Then, as now, there was an investigation that found evidence of corruption and a coverup." That investigation, she reminds us, included public hearings and those "televised hearings added to the factual record and, crucially, helped the public understand the facts in a way that no dense legal report could." This is so important, she argues, because of the national security threat of foreign interference in our elections.
And because "the president of the United States has proved himself unwilling to defend our nation from a clear and present danger." This, she writes, is "an administration that refuses to take even the most minimal, common-sense steps to prevent future attacks and counter ongoing threats to our nation." The threat, we know, is very real. Cybersecurity experts are warning that the threats for 2020 are even great than what we saw in 2016.
Philip Bobbitt, a constitutional scholar at Columbia University, echoes that concern, and has argued that Trump's attempts to obstruct the Mueller investigation into his own activities has also blocked the Congress and the people from an accounting of the Russia attacks, "impeding an investigation to stop a determination of what Russia did, why, and how they did it. Because this is not over." He continues, "The exposure of the country to very damaging political intelligence techniques, for the venal reason of not diminishing the status of your victory—would that be a high crime and misdemeanor? It certainly would."
Clinton doesn't come right out and demand impeachment, but it's there in every line. "A crime was committed against all Americans, and all Americans should demand action and accountability," she says. "Our founders envisioned the danger we face today and designed a system to meet it. Now it's up to us to prove the wisdom of our Constitution, the resilience of our democracy and the strength of our nation." In not so many words, use it or lose it.