For the sake of our democracy, Robert Mueller pleads that all Americans read his report. But Sens. Daines, Congressman Gianforte, and congressional Republicans never will. They prefer to vilify Mueller, obstruct investigations and block election security legislation. Vladimir Putin must be proud of them.

Mueller describes Russia’s attacks as “sweeping and systematic” and says the “Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome,” and “the (Trump) Campaign expected it would benefit electorally” from the attacks. Mueller’s report includes 100 pages detailing scores of Trump campaign contacts with Russian agents. Manafort, Kushner and Don Jr., eagerly met with Russians offering campaign help in exchange for sanctions relief.

Throughout the campaign, Trump secretly negotiated with Kremlin officials for Trump Tower Moscow while publicly lying about it. Michael Flynn was a paid agent for Turkey while serving as the Trump campaign’s national security advisor (and leading “Lock her up!” chants at the RNC). Flynn also lied to FBI agents about his secret communications with Russians, promising sanctions relief after Trump’s inauguration. The Trump campaign repeatedly shared internal polling with Russians, presumably to help target their attacks in battleground states.

They welcomed Russian attacks in 2016 and they’re encouraging more. Rudy Giuliani claims “there’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians.” Kushner says he “doesn’t know” if he’ll contact FBI agents the next time Russians come calling. And Trump openly solicits foreign intervention in 2020.

In a testament to how soulless and morally bankrupt GOP leadership has become, rather than confront Russia for their attacks, they instead accuse the FBI and CIA of treason for investigating them. Daines’ and Gianforte’s complicity in Putin and Trump’s assault on democracy and objective truth will be written in their obituaries. History won’t remember them as patriots, but as co-conspirators.

John Mills

Bozeman