The Progress Report: Obstruction of Justice?



May 17, 2017

Obstruction of Justice?

The Trump-Russia situation just keeps escalating. Just hours after news broke that Trump spilled highly-secret Israeli intelligence to the Russian government, the New York Times dropped another bombshell:  that before firing FBI Director James Comey, Trump had asked him to kill the FBI’s ongoing investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. After Comey refused, he lost his job. Trump not only cited the Russia investigation as a reason for the firing but publicly threatened Comey on Twitter a day later to keep his mouth shut.

If confirmed, this latest news—reportedly based on detailed records kept by Comey during his tenure—marks an egregious use of presidential power, and drives home the need for a special prosecutor who has the independence to follow the evidence wherever it may lead.  The Senate must refuse to confirm the next FBI Director until a special prosecutor is in place. Former FBI Director Comey should testify in front of Congress and the American people about this potential obstruction of justice.

action of the day

#FulFillYourOath. We must demand a special prosecutor be appointed to lead an independent investigation into Trump’s Russia connections before a new FBI director is in place. Here’s what you can do: Urge these members of Congress to live up to their oaths of office and support a special prosecutor who will investigate Russia’s interference in our election by tweeting these images at their accounts.

Coming to headphones near you. Tomorrow, the Center for American Progress launches “Thinking CAP,” a new weekly podcast about the issues and voices driving the Resistance. Subscribe here and leave a review and a comment to help other people find out about the program.

what’s trending

Birds of a feather. Trump apparently got along swimmingly well with Turkish President Recep Tayipp Erdogan during his visit yesterday to the White House, despite Erdogan’s recent displays of violent authoritarianism, both back home, and upon his arrival to Washington.  Protests involving Erdogan’s security forces turned violent yesterday outside the Turkish Embassy in D.C. Trump’s chummy relationship with Erdogan shouldn’t come as much surprise given Trump’s passion for dictators, which you can read more about here.

Populist. A new study shows Donald Trump’s tax plan is far from it. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Trump’s tax plan would give the 400 highest paid Americans an average tax cut of at least $15 million a year…. each. Read more here.

100 Days of DeVos. In her first 100 days, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has weathered more than a few mishaps, terrible photo ops and poor policy actions. Among these are her poorly received commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University, her withdrawal of Title IX guidance explaining transgender students’ rights, and move to roll back student loan repayment progress made under President Obama. Like her boss, DeVos’ first 100 days seem to have been one big disaster.

under the radar

Pre-existing conditions. In the version of Trumpcare that passed the House, states could apply for waivers that would allow insurance companies to charge people more for pre-existing conditions and if they’ve had a gap in their health care coverage. And according to a new study from the Kaiser Foundation, 27.4 million people had such a gap in coverage in 2015, with 6.3 million of those people having pre-existing conditions – and thus being at risk for substantial premium increases under Trumpcare. See the study here.

good news

Ideas. Despite what the pundits may say, progressives still have a bunch of them. Yesterday, progressives heroes from the national, state, and local level gathered in Washington, D.C., at the Center for American Progress’s Ideas Conference to lay out their vision for how to make progress. Check out the coverage and follow @amprog to see some of the highlights.

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