We don’t send a lot of mid-week emails like this, but we’re writing today because this isn’t a normal moment. Our democracy is under threat.
We are not being alarmist—the facts are just that serious. Yesterday, it was revealed that Donald Trump personally asked FBI Director James Comey to drop the investigation into ties between Michael Flynn and Russia. This is obstruction of justice, clear and simple. We have a system of government, with important checks and balances, that is designed to fend off tyranny and abuses of power. But this will only happen if Congress acts.
They’re not acting. And to be clear, neither party is doing what they should. Republicans in the House and Senate need to find some courage, and buck partisan politics in the interest of the country. Democratic Senators need to treat this like the urgent matter it is and use their power to withhold consent (see our explainer here), grinding Senate business to halt until Republicans come to their senses. It’s the only leverage Senate Democrats actually have.
So responsibility falls to us, constituents, to pressure our elected officials to act quickly in defense of our democracy. This email describes the asks you can make of your elected officials. For more information on the issue, see our resource page on Russia and Trump here.
How you can convince your Members of Congress (MoCs) to do the right thing
Your MoCs need to hear from you. The single best thing you can do is show up in person with a group to their district offices. The next best thing is to call. But regardless of how you reach out, you should demand the following:
For Republicans House of Representatives:
As we’ve covered in the resource page on Russia and Trump, House Republicans have repeatedly chosen to protect Donald Trump over our democracy. Republican leadership is refusing to even allow legislation establishing an independent investigation into Russian interference to come to a vote. The Swalwell-Cummings bill, called the Protecting our Democracy Act, would establish an independent, 9/11-style commission to investigate Russian interference.
There is only one reason for the refusal to allow such legislation: the fear that a commission would reveal politically damaging information that would harm Trump and their party.
Earlier today, a bipartisan group of representatives filed a motion called a “discharge petition” that would force a vote on the Protecting our Democracy Act—but only if enough Representatives sign on in support. Every single House Democrat has already signed on, as well as two House Republicans. If you have a Republican House member, call TODAY and ask him/her to support the Swalwell-Cummings discharge petition.
For the Senate:
The country is facing a constitutional crisis, but business continues as usual in the Senate. Just today, the Senate began the process of confirming the third-highest ranking Department of Justice nominee—even though the Department of Justice is the very agency refusing to appoint a special prosecutor. This is unacceptable.
Congress should not be conducting business as usual when our democracy is under direct threat, especially not in the Senate where any individual Senator can slow and even shut down legislative business. That gives them a lot of power, and they should be using it.
If you have a Republican Senator, demand that they publicly support an independent investigation into Russian interference, and vote no on every Department of Justice nominee until the Department appoints a special prosecutor. This should not be a partisan issue—it is about the very future of our democracy. Let them know how important it is to you that we get to the truth, and that you expect them to protect our country. A number of Republicans in the House have come out in support of an independent investigation, so where are the Senate Republicans on this?
If you have a Democratic Senator, demand that they use every tool available to slow down legislative business unless and until the Department of Justice appoints a special prosecutor. Tell them to “withhold consent” by objecting to every motion offered in the Senate. This will effectively slow the Senate to a crawl, making it difficult to carry on business as usual. For a refresher on withholding consent and filibustering, see our explainer.
Don’t forget, as a constituent your MoCs care what you think
You have power here. You can tell them that you will not accept any further delay in appointing a special prosecutor. They may not like it, but they will listen.
The time to take a stand is now. This isn’t about party or upcoming elections or anything other than the security of our country. As a constituent, your voice matters.
The Indivisible Team