Members Re launch the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism

Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Kay Granger (R-TX), Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Peter Roskam (R-IL) are announcing the re-launch of the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism in the House of Representatives for the 115th Congress.

According to the latest available FBI statistics, the number of anti-Semitic criminal offenses rose from 635 in 2014 to 695 in 2015. Since January 2017, over 60 Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) have been targeted by telephonic bomb threats, including several more Monday morning. Over the last week, an estimated 170 Jewish graves were found toppled at a cemetery in Missouri and an estimated 100 headstones were toppled at a cemetery in Philadelphia.

As co-Chairs of the Taskforce, the Members issued the following statement:

“At home and abroad, we continue to witness anti-Semitism that is both dangerous and complex. The recent desecration of Jewish grave sites and bomb threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and Jewish day schools across the country are deplorable. And overseas, the anti-Semitic threats, vandalism, and violence aimed at Jewish schools, synagogues, kosher supermarkets, homes, and property are unacceptable. In light of recent events, it is more important than ever that Democrats and Republicans work together to root out hatred and racism in all its ugly forms. We look forward to working with our colleagues in Congress to find innovative solutions that match the 21st century face of this ancient bigotry.”

Background on the Taskforce:

Reinstated in the 114th Congress with over 100 Republicans and Democrats, the Taskforce works to ensure that Congress plays an integral role in condemning anti-Semitism and spearheading initiatives that promote tolerance worldwide. The Taskforce will continue to serve as a forum for educating Members on this distinct form of intolerance and to engage with the Administration, foreign leaders and civil society organizations to share best practices and collaborate on solutions to rebuff this systemic problem. It will also promote Holocaust remembrance in concert with exploring innovative ways to teach tolerance and confront hate.

Wasserman Schultz Statement on Trump Budget

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement regarding President Trump’s reported budget blueprint, which would deliver severe cuts to services that hard-working American families need:

“The budget request President Trump is reportedly proposing would kill any chance to make desperately needed investments in jobs, education and training that the economy needs, while severely hampering our ability to protect the environment and rebuild an aging infrastructure. Trump and Congressional Republicans will meet fierce resistance from Democrats if they try to enact any appropriations law that delivers a $54 billion cut to services and protections that middle class families depend on. America needs a forward-looking, investment budget that will focus on job creation and investing in our future, not one that recklessly abandons the millions of workers, students and seniors who still struggle to make ends meet.”

Obamacare: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Congressional Republicans could soon vote to repeal Obamacare.
John Oliver explores why their replacement plans are similar to a thong

Some REAL Fake News

Fox News has been accused, yet again, of using deceptive tactics to fearmonger about refugees in Sweden.
On the February 23 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly brought on a guest named Nils Bildt, who was introduced as “a Swedish defense and national security advisor,” to discuss Sweden’s refugee policies. During the segment, Bildt argued that Swedish authorities “are unable … to socially integrate” refugees, and claimed that, as a result, “There is a problem with socially deviant activity, there is a problem with crime, [and] there is a problem with areas or hotspots of crime” in Sweden. Bildt alleged that these “problems” are“not being openly and honestly discussed … because if you don't agree with the liberal, shall we say, common agenda, then you are viewed as an outsider or not even taken seriously.”

Right-wing media have claimed that the Swedish government is “importing thousands of men from countries … that embrace rape for men as something that is acceptable” and that Swedish authorities “don't want to tell the world what is going on” with their refugee population, and have attempted to revive the fearmongering myth of Muslim “no-go zones” in Sweden.

Swedish Armed Forces Press Secretary: "We Do Not Know Who He Is"



The Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC) invites members of the Broward Sheriff’s Office and the general public to offer comments as part of their on-site accreditation assessment. The highly-prized three-year accreditation is recognition that BSO’s Pretrial Services Division meets the Commission’s standards of professional excellence.

A team of assessors from the FCAC will arrive on March 7th to examine the policies and procedures, management, operations and support services. The division has to comply with approximately 77 standards in order to receive accredited status. Many of the standards are related to organization and management, reporting, release and supervision, and general safety issues. A copy of the standards is available through BSO’s Public Information Office.

The assessment team will review written materials, interview individuals and visit offices and other places where compliance can be witnessed. Once the Commission’s assessors complete their review of BSO’s Pretrial Services Division, they report back to the full Commission, which will then decide if the agency is to receive accredited status.

For more information regarding FCAC or for persons wishing to offer written comments about BSO’s ability to meet the standards of accreditation, please write: CFA, P.O. Box 1489, Tallahassee, Florida 32302, or email to

NAACP honoring the 8 Black Judges

The Broward/Fort Lauderdale NAACP is honoring the 8 seated Black Judges, 2 Black Magistrates and 2 retired Black Judges, The Honorable Zebedee Wright and the Honorable Mary Robinson. It is imperative that Broward County's Bench reflect the diversity of the Community.


Wasserman Schultz Statement on Trump Mass Deportation Plan

“President Trump’s mass deportation plan is cruel, costly and dangerous, and it undermines America’s long-held values of due process and welcoming immigrants to our shores.
The human toll will be immeasurable. It will tear apart families, and incite panic as untold numbers of our friends, co-workers and neighbors will now be frightened just to go to work, school or the hospital. Many more will now avoid police, even if they’re victims of a crime.
The costs to staff up Trump’s mass deportation machine will also siphon away scarce federal funds better spent on our nation’s health and education needs. Worse, these plans actually make our communities less safe: instead of specifically targeting truly dangerous criminals, resources will now be diverted to focusing needless attention on any deportable immigrant, regardless of the threat they may, or may not, pose to a community or our national security.
Trump’s mass deportation plans are also likely to unleash serious due process abuses. Not only will he target those convicted of petty crimes, but the guidelines allow immigration agents to pursue those merely suspected of committing a crime.
These guidelines will cause chaos throughout entire communities around the country, and will undoubtedly drag us even further away from the sensible conversation we must have on comprehensive immigration reform. This is an especially mean-spirited and narrow-minded immigration policy, and I will join with Democrats in opposing it at any turn.”

Wasserman Schultz Statement on David Friedman

"If the United States truly seeks a lasting peace in the Middle East, President Trump’s choice to be our country’s next envoy to Israel is the wrong man. David Friedman will bring only a lengthy record of conflict and provocation to the job.

Friedman has likened liberal Jews to “kapos,” a term used to refer to Jewish prisoners who worked for the Nazis during the Holocaust. He’s called President Obama an anti-Semite, and referred to Jewish Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer as an appeaser. Though he apologized for his “hurtful” remarks before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, Friedman obviously lacks a deft diplomatic voice.

But it’s not just his words that disqualify him. As Republican Sen. Bob Corker pointed out, Friedman has recanted nearly every strongly held belief he’s had on major, sensitive Israeli regional issues. Though he’s strongly endorsed settlements, Friedman now says he agrees with Trump’s recent comment that they “may not be helpful.” As for a two-state solution, which he also opposed previously, Friedman now says it may be the best hope for peace.

Five former ambassadors under Republican and Democratic presidents have deemed him unsuitable for confirmation, citing his “extreme, radical positions” on these and other issues. Worse, unlike his predecessors, Friedman lacks diplomatic experience; his major credential appears to be handling legal work for Trump’s casinos. The President has an abysmal early record on Jewish issues. He’s hired a senior strategist best known for running a media outlet that gives voice to anti-Semitic rhetoric. Trump unconscionably failed to mention Jews in an International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, which his staff has stunningly justified.

And the president was also unacceptably slow to denounce a growing tide of anti-Semitism that’s coincided with his rise to political prominence. Now Trump is potentially upending decades of American Middle East policy by backing away from a two state-solution to secure a lasting peace. I fear that adding the extreme and provocative voice of David Friedman to his policy team is just another flawed move by Trump, and it will only make a lasting peace more elusive."

Rep. Wasserman Schultz To Brief Local Elected Officials on New Immigration Policies

On Tuesday the Department of Homeland Security released documents highlighting President Trump’s changes to U.S. immigration policy.  This plan is cruel, costly and dangerous, and it undermines America’s long-held values of due process and welcoming immigrants to our shore.
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) has been briefed by representatives from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  She will share that information with local elected officials and share some of the dangers residents of their municipalities could be facing.
The entire meeting with the local officials will be open to the media.

Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.

 Sunrise Utilities Administration Building
 2nd Floor Conference Room
777 Sawgrawss Corporate ParkwaySunrise, FL 33325

FDP Statement on Senate GOP’s Unconstitutional Attack on Immigrants

Senator Hutson

Senator Travis Hutson

Today, following the vote by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice on SB-120, FDP spokesman Max Steele released the following statement:
“Senator Hutson’s off-brand Trump impression may play well with his Republican base but the last thing Florida needs is another losing court battle that costs taxpayers millions. Instead of focusing on creating jobs and improving the lives of Floridians, Republicans are pushing a plainly unconstitutional attack on immigrants drummed up to score political points. Senate Bill 120 is an expensive, legally invalid waste of taxpayer resources that does nothing to keep Floridians safe or grow the economy.”

Rep. Wasserman Schultz To Honor African-American Veterans During Black History Month

Congresswoman will participate in Veterans History Project

During the month of February we honor the immeasurable achievements and contributions of African-Americans to our nation's political, cultural, and economic fabric.  The military history of African-Americans spans from the colonial history of the United States to the present day.  Black soldiers have fought in every war since the Revolutionary War.
On Wednesday, February 22, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) will hold a ceremony for local veterans honoring them for their service in the armed forces.
Immediately following the ceremony, several veterans will participate in the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project, an initiative aimed at collecting the stories of those in our community who have served our nation.

Join us   Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. At Cooper City High School
9401 Stirling Road Cooper City, FL 33328

This Week In Tallahassee

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Rep. David Richardson 

Image result for Jared Moskowitz
Rep. Jared Moskowitz
Gov. Rick Scott penned an op-ed calling out members of the Florida House for their decision to support a bill (HB 7005) to eliminate Enterprise Florida, Visit Florida and a slew of other economic incentive programs. It came hours after several members said just because they vote in favor of a bill in committee does not mean they “support the bill wholeheartedly.” But the bill may already be changing. Rep. Paul Renner, the bill’s sponsor, filed an amendment that would keep Visit Florida, but slash its budget and provide for additional legislative oversight. Additionally, Rep. Joe Gruters, the only Republican to vote against the bill, filed legislation (HB 889) that calls for more transparency from the economic development and tourism marketing agencies.

Senate Democrats want Scott to declare a public health emergency over the growing opioid epidemic in the state. Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon sent the governor a letter urging him to issue an emergency declaration, noting the number of heroin deaths in Florida nearly 80 percent from 2014 to 2015.

While Florida lawmakers are in the midst of discussingdeath penalty, the court ruled Monday that prosecutors can continue to seek it in ongoing cases. The court ruled the death penalty can be applied as long as there is a unanimous jury recommendation.

Nursing homes are vowing to kill an effort to repeal a requirement that they demonstrate a demand for new beds before they can expand or build new facilities. It’s a top priority for the Florida Health Care Association, which held a roundtable discussion to highlight its legislative priorities ahead of the 2017 Legislative Session.

And finally: A trio of Florida House members are taking a stand against animal cruelty, filing a bill to prevent animals from being sold or adopted by people who have been convicted of animal abuse. The bill was filed by South Florida Democrats Jared Moskowitz and David Richardson, and Spring Hill Republican Blaise Ingoglia.

Florida HB-17 Would Nullify LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinances

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A bill (HB 17) that would repeal a range of local policies, including LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinances, is being fast-tracked through the Florida House. 

If passed, HB 17 would set an expiration date for existing Human Rights Ordinances that now protect 60% of Floridians in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and would prohibit any future ordinances from becoming law. It would even prevent the Jacksonville City Council from implementing the HRO they just passed after years of advocacy! 

Just last year, the entire country watched as North Carolina paid the price for fast-tracking House Bill 2, a deeply discriminatory bill that repealed local protections for LGBTQ people and other important local policies. 

Wasserman Schultz Condemn Reports of an Executive Order that would Permit Discriminatory Religious Exemptions

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) and 20 Jewish House Members of Congress wrote President Trump today urging him not to exempt any federally funded, faith-based organizations from current nondiscrimination protections. Wasserman Schultz and the Members sent the letter after press reports indicated that Trump would issue an Executive Order that would allow federally funded groups to discriminate based on religious objections. Wasserman Schultz and organizations supportive of the letter issued the following statements:

“The use of religious faith as a tool to discriminate contradicts a core American value, and the principles of social justice and equality so central to our Jewish faith,” Wasserman Schultz said. “The ability to worship and believe in accordance with one’s faith is a cherished freedom, but it does not override the rights of other Americans to live their truth, to receive necessary health care services, or seek employment. There should be no policy, carve-out, or exemption that would enable federally funded religious organizations to discriminate against others.”

The letter is endorsed by several leading religious and civil and human rights groups, including: American Jewish World Service (AJWS), Anti-Defamation Laegue, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, the Human Rights Campaign, Keshet, National Council of Jewish Women, T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.

“President Trump’s draft executive order is a sweeping departure from decades of precedent to create a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people using taxpayer money,” said David Stacy, the Government Affairs Director at the Human Rights Campaign.  “People of faith across the country agree that religious discrimination has no place in our federal government, and we applaud the leadership of Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz and the other Members signing this letter for speaking out against this harmful proposal.”

"Keshet is proud to stand with Jewish members of Congress -- and people of conscience everywhere -- in condemning any restrictions on civil and human rights in the name of religious freedom,” said Idit Klein, Executive Director of Keshet. “We believe that using religion to justify discrimination is antithetical to the core values of every faith tradition, including Judaism. As Jews, we act for the dignity and respect of all people not despite our religious tradition but because of it."

“As an American Jewish organization which provides aid to Christians, Muslims, Hindus and others in 19 of the poorest countries in the world, we are gravely concerned about any executive order or policy that would result in the U.S. government endorsing any one religion’s values, imposing them on others and allowing them to justify, even unintentionally, discrimination,” said Robert Bank, president and CEO of American Jewish World Service.

Among the Representatives who signed the letter to President Trump: David N. Cicilline, Jacky Rosen, Jerrold Nadler, Bradley S. Schneider, Steve Cohen, Theodore E. Deutch, Sander M. Levin, Susan Davis, Jan Schakowsky, Alan Lowenthal, Jamie Raskin, Josh Gottheimer, John Yarmuth, Nita M. Lowey, Suzanne Bonamici, Jared Polis, Lois Frankel, Eliot L. Engel, Brad Sherman and Adam B. Schiff.

Wasserman Schultz on Trump's EPA Pick Scott Pruitt

 Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement on Scott Pruitt, President Trump's pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency:

"It's hard to imagine a more destructive pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency than Scott Pruitt, a climate science doubter who sued the agency he's cynically being asked to lead more than a dozen times. Any Republican Senator who votes for Pruitt is basically handing matches to an arsonist. Sea levels are already encroaching on Florida's coasts, forcing local taxpayers to spend millions of dollars to fend off a problem that will only get worse under Pruitt. The EPA desperately needs a leader who wants to protect our water, land and air -- not a pollution apologist who will try to destroy it."

Trump/Russia timeline

Investigative reporters have begun to flesh out the Trump/Russia timeline. To keep everything in one location, here’s an updated summary (so far):
  • Trump’s efforts to develop business in Russia date to 1987. In 1996, he applied for his trademark in that country. Discussing ambitions for a Trump hotel in 2007, he declared ,”We will be in Moscow at some point.”
  • Oct. 15, 2007, Trump said: “Look at Putin — what he’s doing with Russia — I mean, you know, what’s going on over there. I mean this guy has done — whether you like him or don’t like him — he’s doing a great job.”
  • September 2008Donald Trump Jr. said: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets… we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
  • June 18, 2013, Trump tweeted: “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow — if so, will he become my new best friend?” While at the pageant, Trump said, “I have plans for the establishment of business in Russia. Now, I am in talks with several Russian companies to establish this skyscraper.”
  • Nov. 11, 2013, Trump tweeted: “TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next.”
  • November 2013, Trump said: “[Putin’s] done a very brilliant job in terms of what he represents and who he’s represented.”
  • March 6, 2014, Trump said: “You know, I was in Moscow a couple of months ago. I own the Miss Universe Pageant and they treated me so great. Putin even sent me a present, a beautiful present.”
  • Sept. 15, 2015, Trump told Bill O’Reilly: “I will tell you in terms of leadership he [Putin] is getting an ‘A,’ and our president is not doing so well.”
  • Nov. 10, 2015, Trump said: “I got to know [Putin] very well because we were both on 60 Minutes. We were stablemates, and we did very well that night.”
  • Dec. 10, 2015: Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, who would become Trump’s national security adviser, sat at Putin’s table for the 10th anniversary gala of Russia’s state-owned television propaganda network, RT. Flynn had made a paid appearance on the network.
  • Feb. 17, 2016: As questions about Russia swirled around Trump, he changed his story: “I have no relationship with [Putin], other than he called me a genius.”
  • April 20, 2016: Paul Manafort became Trump’s campaign manager. Reports surfaced about his 2007 to 2012 ties to Ukraine’s pro-Putin former president, whom Manafort had helped to elect.
  • July 18, 2016: The Washington Post reported that the Trump campaign worked behind the scenes on a Republican Convention platform plank. It gutted the GOP’s longstanding support for Ukrainians’ popular resistance to Russia’s 2014 intervention.
  • July 27, 2016, Trump said: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” At the same press conference, he insisted: “I never met Putin. I’ve never spoken to him.”
  • July 31, 2016: Manafort denied knowing anything about the change in the Republican platform. That afternoon, Boris Epshteyn, Trump’s Russian-born adviser, spouted the Kremlin’s party line telling CNN: “Russia did not seize Crimea. We can talk about the conflict that happened between Ukraine and the Crimea… But there was no seizure by Russia. That’s an incorrect statement, characterization, of what happened.”
  • Aug. 6, 2016: NPR confirmed the Trump campaign’s involvement in the Republican platform change on Ukraine.
  • Aug. 19, 2016: As reports of Manafort’s financial connections to Ukraine intensified, he resigned from the Trump campaign.
  • Oct. 1, 2016: Six days before Wikileaks released its first batch of DNC emails that the Russians had hacked, Trump’s informal adviser and surrogate, Roger Stone tweeted: “Wednesday@HillaryClinton is done. #Wikileaks.”
  • Oct. 4, 2016: Trump tweeted: “CLINTON’S CLOSE TIES TO PUTIN DESERVE SCRUTINY.”
  • Oct. 12, 2016: Roger Stone told NBC News, “I have back-channel communications with WikiLeaks.”
  • Nov. 9, 2016: After Putin announced Trump’s election victory, Russia’s Parliament erupted in applause.
  • Nov. 10, 2016: Russia’s deputy foreign minister admitted that during the campaign, the Kremlin had continuing communications with Trump’s “immediate entourage.”
  • Dec. 13, 2016: NBC News’ Richard Engel reports from Moscow on Trump’s secretary of state pick, Rex Tillerson. Former Russian Energy Minister Vladimir Milov told Engel that Tillerson was a “gift for Putin.”
  • Dec. 29, 2016: On the same day that President Obama announced Russian sanctions for its interference with the 2016 election, national security adviser-designate Lt. Gen. Flynn placed five phone calls to the Russian ambassador.
  • Dec. 30, 2016: After Putin made a surprise announcement that Russia would not retaliate for the new sanctions, Trump tweeted, “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) — I always knew he was very smart.”
  • Jan. 11, 2017: the final question of Trump’s first news conference came from Ann Compton of ABC News: 
    “Mr. President-elect, can you stand here today, once and for all, and say that no one connected to you or your campaign had any contact with Russia leading up to or during the presidential campaign?”
    Trump never answered her. Away from cameras and heading toward the elevators, he reportedly said, “No,” his team didn’t have contact with Russia.
The Flynn Affair
  • Jan. 13, 2017: In response to The Washington Post’s article about Flynn’s Dec. 29 conversations with the Russian ambassador, press secretary Sean Spicer said it was only one call. They “exchanged logistical information” for an upcoming call between Trump and Vladimir Putin after the inauguration.
  • Jan. 15, 2017: “We should trust Putin,” Trump told The Times of London. Expressing once again his skepticism about NATO, Trump lambasted Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • Jan. 15, 2017: Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation, Vice President Pence said Flynn’s call to the Russian ambassador on the same day President Obama announced new sanctions was “strictly coincidental:” “They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure on Russia…. What I can confirm, having to spoken with [Flynn] about it, is that those conversations that happened to occur around the time that the United States took action to expel diplomats had nothing whatsoever to do with those sanctions.”
  • Jan. 23, 2017: At Sean Spicer’s first press briefing, he said none of Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador touched on the Dec. 29 sanctions. That got the attention of FBI Director James Comey. According to the Wall Street Journal, Comey convinced acting Attorney General Sally Yates to delay informing the White House immediately about the discrepancy between Spicer’s characterization of Flynn’s calls and US intelligence intercepts showing that the two had, in fact, discussed sanctions. Comey asked Yates wait a bit longer so the FBI could to develop more information, including an interview of Flynn that occurred shortly thereafter.
  • Jan. 26, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed White House counsel Don McGahn that Flynn had made misleading statements about his late December conversations with the Russian ambassador. Sean Spicer later said Trump and a small group of White House advisers were “immediately informed of the situation.”
  • Feb. 8, 2017: Flynn told reporters at The Washington Post that he did not discuss US sanctions in his December conversation with the Russian ambassador.
  • Feb. 9, 2017: Through a spokesman, Flynn changed his position: “While [Flynn] had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”
  • Feb. 10, 2017: Trump told reporters he was unaware of reports surrounding Flynn’s December conversations with the Russian ambassador.
  • Feb. 13, 2017The Washington Post broke another story: Then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates had warned the White House in late January that Flynn had mischaracterized his December conversation with the Russian ambassador, and that it made him vulnerable to Russian blackmail. Later that evening, Flynn resigned.
  • Feb. 14, 2017The New York Times corroborated the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister’s admission on Nov. 10. Based on information from four current and former American officials, The Times reported, “Members of the Trump campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior intelligence officials in the year before the election.”
Keep Sending the Message
In response to the latest controversy surrounding Mike Flynn and Russia, Trump tweeted a Valentine’s Day diversion: “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington?”
No, the real story is the question Trump ducked on Jan. 11: What contact did Trump or anyone on his team have with Russia before the US election?
Stay on message. Tell Republicans in Congress that American democracy requires an answer — under oath — to Ann Compton’s Jan. 11, 2017 question: “Mr. President-elect, can you stand here today, once and for all, and say that no one connected to you or your campaign had any contact with Russia leading up to or during the presidential campaign?”
Putin knows the answer. So does the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, who said in November that the Kremlin had maintained continuing communications with Trump’s “immediate entourage” prior to the election. So do any campaign members and other Trump associates who, according to The New York Times, had “repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.”
But the American people don’t, and that asymmetry of information could give Putin the power to blackmail the country’s leaders. On Jan. 7, Sen. Lindsey Graham urged an investigation “wherever it leads.” A few Republicans want the Senate Intelligence Committee to add the Flynn affair in its ongoing inquiry — but they’re offering too little, too late. At this point, a credible investigation requires the approach that Sen. John McCain initially proposed: a bipartisan commission with subpoena power. American democracy can no longer trust Senate Republicans to run this show. Nor can hearings be conducted secretly.
Congress must authorize a special independent 9/11-type commission. Step 2 of The Trump Resistance Plan has contact information and language for messages to Republicans and Democrats in Congress. Call, write, email, march and win.