Daily Call To Action: April 27th, 2017

The Call – #NoTaxReturnNoTaxReform

Urge members of Congress to demand President Trump’s tax returns be released before there is any serious consideration of his tax reform proposals. While Democrats (and a few Republicans) have repeatedly called for Trump to release his taxes, the Republican-controlled Congress has so far rejected all attempts to obtain Trump’s taxes. A majority of Americans want Trump to release his taxes and his refusal (after saying he would if he ran for president) is strong evidence he is hiding something important. Key democrats are rightfully insisting tax reform legislation should not go forward until Trump’s returns are produced and the public can see how his proposals would affect him and his businesses. In announcing the tax reform proposals on Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said Trump would not release his tax returns. From the sketchy information we have on Trump’s taxes and financial affairs, it appears that the tax reform proposal would provide significant benefit to him and his businesses. A lack of transparency is often linked to corruption. Without Trump’s tax returns, the tax reform proposals have an appearance of possible corruption. We have a right to transparency in knowing how the President’s tax reform proposals would affect him personally.

Your Action

Call your three members of Congress and ask them to insist on disclosure of President Trump’s tax returns before any tax reform is passed.

Script

Hi. This is [NAME] and I’m a constituent in [ZIP].

I’m calling to ask [Rep/Sen____] to require disclosure of President Trump’s tax returns before any tax reform is passed. We have a right to know how the President’s tax reform proposals would affect his businesses and him personally.

[OPTIONAL] Under a more transparent administration, I wouldn’t bother calling about this. But given the President’s conflicts with Mar-A-Lago, his unwillingness to divest from his business & nepotistic hires of Ivanka & Jared, I feel we need to consider his motives in approaching tax reform.

Thanks for taking my call!

Daily Call To Action: April 26th, 2017

The Call – No Military Action without Congressional approval

Article I of the Constitution gives the power to authorize military action to Congress. However, in recent decades, Congress has often failed to fully assert its prerogative and has acquiesced to the executive taking various military actions with flimsy Congressional authority. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Congress authorized President Bush to take military action against any entity that committed or aided the attacks, or harbored perpetrators, in order to prevent future attacks (the 2001 AUMF). All use of US military force since then, including President Trump’s Syrian missile strike, have relied on the 2001 AUMF. By any measure, the 2001 AUMF has been stretched far beyond its original intent and there is disagreement as to whether President Trump’s missile attack on the Syrian air base was legal. The escalation of potential military action on a far more catastrophic, possibly nuclear level, is now being threatened in North Korea. At his news conference in Seoul, South Korea, Vice-President Pence warned North Korea that “all options are on the table.” He cited the bombings in Syria and the MOAB in Afghanistan as proof of American “strength and resolve.” Allies in the region are concerned and Japan recently issued evacuation and missile attack guidance to its population fearing retaliation by North Korea following US military action. Additionally, all senators have been called to an unusual White House meeting today regarding North Korea. At a press conference this week, Sean Spicer said that Trump does not believe he needs Congressional approval for military action against North Korea. With an unpredictable and ill-informed president risking nuclear attack or retaliation, it is imperative that Congress perform its Constitutional duty and reassert its obligation to approve or disapprove of military force before it occurs.
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Daily Call to Action: April 25th, 2017

The Call – #SpecialProsecutor

Urge members of Congress to demand that the Attorney General appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Russia’s interference in the U.S. election, any collusion or contacts with the Trump campaign, and Trump’s political and financial connections to Russia. In a disturbing new development, it has come to light that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation is in a “woeful state,” and hasn’t even begun to look into the President’s ties to Russia or a assign a single staffer with prosecutorial or investigative backgrounds to the case. The Committee has conducted no interviews with key Trump campaign connections and is working with “casual informality.” Tim Mak, who broke the story with the Daily Beast, wrote a fantastic summary thread on Twitter. While Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), the Ranking Member of the Committee, said yesterday that two new (part-time) staffers are being added, previous national security investigations have had much more staffing. In another equally disturbing development, Mary McCord, the woman leading the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia, announced she is leaving the Justice Department. In that role, she oversaw the FBI investigation and was responsible for obtaining FISA warrants, subpoenas and developing cases to prosecute based on the FBI evidence. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation after lying to Congress about his own campaign contacts with the Russian ambassador. Trump was reportedly furious that Sessions recused himself. This turn of events raises serious issues as to whether Sessions is indirectly trying to cripple the investigation even as there is a growing body of evidence of Trump campaign associate contacts with Russian government and intelligence officials. Sessions’ motive to hamper the investigation by replacing the senior career lawyer in charge with a Trump loyalist is especially strong since the FBI is investigating his own contacts with the Russian officials. Moreover, a major New York Times story on Comey’s pre-election decision to publicly re-open the Clinton email investigation and say nothing publicly about the investigation of the Trump campaign ties to Russia raises fundamental question about whether politics is playing a role in the investigation. Given the lack of seriousness in the Senate’s investigation and the legitimate fear that the Trump administration will try to derail the DOJ/FBI investigation, along with fundamental questions about whether the FBI investigation is tainted by politics, it is imperative that a special prosecutor be appointed. Americans deserve a thorough investigation they can trust and we may not get it unless we demand it.
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Daily Call To Action: April 24th, 2017

The Call – #SpecialProsecutor

Urge members of Congress to demand that the Attorney General appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Russia’s interference in the U.S. election, any collusion or contacts with the Trump campaign, and Trump’s political and financial connections to Russia. In a disturbing new development, it has come to light that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation is in a “woeful state,” and hasn’t even begun to look into the President’s ties to Russia or a assign a single staffer with prosecutorial or investigative backgrounds to the case. The Committee has conducted no interviews with key Trump campaign connections and is working with “casual informality.” Tim Mak, who broke the story with the Daily Beast, wrote a fantastic summary thread on Twitter. In another equally disturbing development, Mary McCord, the woman leading the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia, announced she is leaving the Justice Department. In that role, she oversaw the FBI investigation and was responsible for obtaining FISA warrants, subpoenas and developing cases to prosecute based on the FBI evidence. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation after lying to Congress about his own campaign contacts with the Russian ambassador. Trump was reportedly furious that Sessions recused himself. This turn of events raises serious issues as to whether Sessions is indirectly trying to cripple the investigation even as there is a growing body of evidence of Trump campaign associate contacts with Russian government and intelligence officials. Sessions’ motive to hamper the investigation by replacing the senior career lawyer in charge with a Trump loyalist is especially strong since the FBI is investigating his own contacts with the Russian officials. Given the lack of seriousness in the Senate’s investigation and the legitimate fear that the Trump administration will try to derail the DOJ/FBI investigation, it is imperative that a special prosecutor be appointed. Americans deserve a thorough investigation they can trust and we may not get it unless we demand it.
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Daily Call To Action: April 21st, 2017

The Call – #SpecialProsecutor

Urge members of Congress to demand that the Attorney General appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Russia’s interference in the U.S. election, any collusion or contacts with the Trump campaign, and Trump’s political and financial connections to Russia. In a disturbing development, Mary McCord, the woman leading the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia, announced she is leaving the Justice Department. In that role, she oversaw the FBI investigation and was responsible for obtaining FISA warrants, subpoenas and developing cases to prosecute based on the FBI evidence. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation after lying to Congress about his own campaign contacts with the Russian ambassador. Trump was reportedly furious that Sessions recused himself. This turn of events raises serious issues as to whether Sessions is indirectly trying to cripple the investigation even as there is a growing body of evidence of Trump campaign associate contacts with Russian government and intelligence officials. Recent revelations include a secret meeting by Erik Prince with Russian officials in the Seychelles to create a communications “back channel” and a previously undisclosed meeting by Jared Kushner with “Putin’s banker.” Given the legitimate fear that the Trump administration will try to derail the Russia investigation, it is imperative that a special prosecutor be appointed. Americans deserve a thorough investigation they can trust.
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Daily Call To Action: April 20th, 2017

The Call – Russia Sanctions Review Act (H.R.1059/S.341) #TrumpRussia

Urge your senators to co-sponsor The Russia Sanctions Review Act of 2017. As a penalty for Russia illegally annexing Ukrainian territory in Crimea, starting in 2014, President Obama issued a series of executive orders imposing increasingly heavy sanctions. The sanctions have had a crippling impact on the Russian economy and getting them lifted is a high priority for Putin. Prior to the Inauguration, Trump expressed an openness to lifting the sanctions and we now know that during that period, General Michael Flynn, then on the Trump transition team, discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador (and lied about doing so). Concerned by this and Trump’s very friendly attitude towards Putin, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced legislation to hamstring the Administration’s ability to act without the consent of Congress. A week later, the House followed suit with it’s own corresponding bill. We now know the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia are subject to an ongoing FBI investigation that started last July. It was reported yesterday that Exxon Mobil, formerly led by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, is trying to get approval for an exemption from the sanctions to proceed with what could be a $500 Billion project with a Russian state-owned oil company which would greatly benefit Russia. Congress needs to stay on top of Russia sanctions and pass this legislation, especially while there are ongoing investigations into what may be a quid pro quo deal between Trump and Russia trading election help for lifting of the sanctions.
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Daily Call To Action: April 19th, 2017

The Call – #TrumpTaxes

Urge members of Congress to demand President Trump’s tax returns, whether by subpoena, resolution, legislation or otherwise. Democrats and a few Republicans in the House and Senate have supported a variety of different initiatives to obtain Trump’s tax returns which Trump, unlike any president in 50 years, has refused to release. However, legislation has not moved forward and the Republican-controlled Congress has so far rejected all attempts to obtain Trump’s taxes. Tim O’Brien, the author of a book on Trump who Trump later sued, saw Trump’s tax returns in the litigation in 2011 (which Trump lost). The tax returns were sealed by the court and O’Brien is prohibited from revealing any details, but he says the public should very much want to see them. Questions about Trump’s conflicts and foreign ties mount, particularly regarding his ties to Russia and financial disclosure forms alone, without the actual tax returns, don’t shed much light. His refusal to release the returns (after saying he would if he ran for president) is strong evidence he is hiding something important. The Tax March demonstrated the public wants to see Trump’s tax returns. Key democrats are insisting tax reform legislation should not go forward until Trump’s returns are produced and the public can see how his proposals would affect him and his businesses. It is imperative that members of Congress, by any of the various methods available to them, obtain the President’s tax returns. The American people have a right to know what Trump’s taxes show that he has been so careful to conceal.
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Daily Call To Action: April 18th, 2017

The Call – No Military Action without Congressional approval

The Constitution gives the power to authorize military action to Congress. However, in recent decades, Congress has often failed to fully assert its prerogative and has acquiesced to the executive taking various military actions with flimsy Congressional authority. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Congress authorized the President to take military action against any entity that committed or aided the attacks, or harbored perpetrators, in order to prevent future attacks (the 2001 AUMF). All use of US military force since then, including the Syrian missile strike, have relied on the 2001 AUMF. By any measure, the 2001 AUMF has been stretched far beyond its original intent and there is currently disagreement as to whether President Trump’s missile attack on the Syrian air base is legal and authorized by  Congress. Many in Congress in both parties want Congress to play a more explicit role in authorizing military action in Syria and elsewhere. The escalation of potential military action on a far more catastrophic, possibly nuclear level, is now being threatened in North Korea. At his news conference in Seoul, South Korea, Vice-President Pence warned North Korea that “all options are on the table.” He cited the bombings in Syria and the MOAB in Afghanistan as proof of American “strength and resolve.” With an unpredictable and ill-informed president risking nuclear attack or retaliation, it is imperative that Congress perform its Constitutional duty and reassert its obligation to approve or disapprove of military force before it occurs.
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Daily Call To Action: April 17th, 2017

The Call – #ConflictsOfInterest (S.65/H.R.371)

Urge your senators to support The Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017. The legislation is currently under consideration in both the House (H.R.371) and the Senate (S.65) and would require the President to divulge his tax returns and divest financial assets which create a conflict of interest. Unlike all previous presidents, President Trump has declined to divest financial assets which create a conflict of interest. Instead, he created a revocable trust in favor of his sons to run his business, an arrangement deemed inadequate by ethics experts, which has since been further weakened by a provision to permit to Trump to take out funds at will and an agreement to provide regular financial reports to Trump. The Atlantic keeps a running tally of Trump’s numerous and mounting conflicts of interest. A lawsuit working its way through the courts alleges Trump Organization business with foreign governments at hotels and other properties violates the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. One of many recent examples is a decision by the government-controlled Turkish Business Council to hold a major conference at Trump’s DC hotel. The April 15th Tax Marches in 200 cities attest to voters’ continuing concern about Trump’s conflicts and potential corruption. America deserves to know if the President is a crook.
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Daily Call To Action: April 14th, 2017

The Call – No Military Action without Congressional approval

The Constitution gives the power to authorize military action to Congress. However, in recent decades, Congress has often failed to fully assert its prerogative and has acquiesced to the executive taking various military actions with flimsy Congressional authority. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Congress authorized the President to take military action against any entity that committed or aided the attacks, or harbored perpetrators, in order to prevent future attacks (the 2001 AUMF). All use of US military force since then, including the Syrian missile strike, have relied on the 2001 AUMF. By any measure, the 2001 AUMF has been stretched far beyond its original intent and there is currently disagreement as to whether President Trump’s missile attack on the Syrian air base is legal and authorized by  Congress. Many in Congress in both parties want Congress to play a more explicit role in authorizing military action in Syria and elsewhere. By dropping a MOAB in Afghanistan and threatening North Korea, Trump appears to be escalating military action, quite possibly as a distraction from the Russia news. With an unpredictable and ill-informed president risking nuclear attack or retaliation, it is imperative that Congress perform its Constitutional duty and reassert its obligation to approve or disapprove of military force before it occurs.
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Daily Call To Action: April 13th, 2017

The Call – #TrumpTaxes

Urge members of Congress to demand President Trump’s tax returns, whether by subpoena, resolution, legislation or otherwise. Democrats and a few Republicans in the House and Senate have supported a variety of different initiatives to obtain Trump’s tax returns which Trump, unlike any president in 50 years, has refused to release. However, legislation has not moved forward and the Republican-controlled Congress has so far rejected all attempts to obtain Trump’s taxes. Tim O’Brien, the author of a book on Trump who Trump later sued, saw Trump’s tax returns in the litigation in 2011 (which Trump lost). The tax returns were sealed by the court and O’Brien is prohibited from revealing any details, but he says the public should very much want to see them. Questions about Trump’s conflicts and foreign ties mount, particularly regarding his ties to Russia and financial disclosure forms alone, without the actual tax returns, don’t shed much light. His refusal to release the returns (after saying he would if he ran for president) is strong evidence he is hiding something important and damaging. A Tax March is planned for March 15, 2017 to demand Trump release his tax returns and we need to keep up the pressure on Congress this week. It is imperative that members of Congress, by any of the various methods available to them, obtain the President’s tax returns. The American people have a right to know what Trump’s taxes show that he has been so careful to conceal.
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Daily Call To Action: April 12th, 2017

The Call – #SpecialProsecutor

Urge members of Congress to demand that the Attorney General appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate Russia’s interference in the U.S. election, any collusion or contacts with the Trump campaign, and Trump’s political and financial connections to Russia. On Tuesday night, it was revealed that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant to monitor Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, Carter Page. Reportedly, the application for the FISA warrant laid out a case that Page may be a Kremlin agent. Additionally, both parties have now had a chance to review the documents that Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) claimed somehow supported the claim that Trump campaign personnel had been improperly “unmasked.” Both sides agree that there is no evidence contained within these documents of anything illegal or unusual. Nunes’ “escapade” has now been exposed as a political effort coordinated with the White House to provide cover for Trump’s evidence-free claims that President Obama illegally wiretapped him. This also strongly suggests that the President’s recent claims that former National Security Advisor Susan Rice broke the law appear to be baseless. There is growing and cumulative evidence of Trump campaign aides contact with Russian government and intelligence officials. Given the continuing effort of the Trump administration to distract from and obstruct the Russia investigation, it is imperative that a special prosecutor be appointed. Americans deserve a thorough investigation they can trust.
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Daily Call To Action: April 11th, 2017

The Call – #ConflictsOfInterest (S.65/H.R.371)

Urge your senators to support The Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017. The legislation is currently under consideration in both the House (H.R.371) and the Senate (S.65) and would require the President to divest financial assets which create a conflict of interest. Unlike all previous presidents, President Trump has declined to divest financial assets which create a conflict of interest. Instead, he created a revocable trust in favor of his sons to run his business, an arrangement initially deemed inadequate by ethics experts, which has since been further weakened by a provision to permit to Trump to take out funds at will and an agreement to provide regular financial reports to Trump. Trump’s numerous conflicts continue to mount. The Atlantic keeps a weekly running tally of known Trump conflicts of interest. Among the latest are a recent grant of trademarks for Trump’s hotel businesses in Mexico and on-going profits from his use of Mar-A-Lago and other Trump properties for presidential excursions. The proposed legislation would require disclosure and divestiture of assets to eliminate such conflicts of interest.
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Daily Call To Action: April 10th, 2017

The Call – No Military Action without Congressional approval

The Constitution gives the power to authorize military action to Congress. However, in recent decades, Congress has often failed to fully assert it prerogative and duty and has acquiesced to the executive taking various military actions with flimsy Congressional authority. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Congress authorized the President to take military action against any entity that committed or aided the attacks, or harbored perpetrators, in order to prevent future attacks (the 2001 AUMF). All use of US military force since then, including the Syrian missile strike, have relied on the 2001 AUMF. By any measure, the 2001 AUMF has been stretched far beyond its original intent and there is currently disagreement as to whether President Trump’s missile attack on the Syrian air base is legal and authorized by Congress. Many in Congress in both parties want Congress to play a more explicit role in authorizing military action in Syria and elsewhere.  This debate becomes more vital as Trump has threatened unilateral military action not only in Syria, but also in North Korea. Especially with an unpredictable and ill-informed president, it is imperative that Congress perform its Constitutional duty and reassert its obligation to approve or disapprove of military force before it occurs.
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Daily Call To Action: April 7th, 2017

The Call – Independent investigation into #TrumpRussia

Urge your members of Congress to publicly demand an independent investigation into Russian interference in our election and the Trump campaign’s ties to Moscow. New revelations about Trump campaign allies’ ties to the Russian government or Russian Intel continue to emerge. Monday’s revelation included Erik Prince’s secret meeting in the Seychelles on behalf of then president-elect Trump with Putin representatives and also news that Carter Page was recruited by Russian Intelligence in 2013. On Thursday night, it was reported that Jared Kushner failed to report on his security clearance application his post-election meetings with a number of Russians, including the Russian ambassador and the head of a sanctioned Russian state-owned bank. While Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) has recused himself as chairman of the House Intel committee following the charade with the White House on “incidental collection” documents, the Republicans on the Committee have shown themselves to be highly partisan. The American people deserve an investigation they can trust. It is time for an independent investigation.
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Daily Call To Action: April 6th, 2017

The Call – #FillibusterGorsuch #NoNuclearOption (Day 2)

Tell your senators that the Senate should preserve the 60 vote (super majority) standard for Supreme Court Justices – and preserve the filibuster. The long tradition of the 60 vote standard is important for preserving some semblance of bi-partisanship. If Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) does not have the 60 votes to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the nominee should be changed rather than the rule. After refusing to consider Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination for more than a year after Justice Scalia died, McConnell is trying to ram through the nomination this week. The unseemly rush has not allowed a full vetting and on Tuesday night reports emerged of significant plagiarism by Gorsuch. Leader McConnell has already filed a cloture motion and has said he will invoke the “nuclear option” and end the 60 vote standard if he does not, as expected, have the 60 votes to confirm Gorsuch. From the Democrats standpoint, Gorsuch is an unacceptable candidate with out of the mainstream views. They see no reason to accept the Gorsuch nomination, forestalling the nuclear option, since McConnell would just use the “nuclear option” for the next nominee.
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Daily Call To Action: April 5th, 2017

The Call – #FillibusterGorsuch #NoNuclearOption

Tell your senators that the Senate should preserve the 60 vote (super majority) standard for Supreme Court Justices – and preserve the filibuster. The long tradition of the 60 vote standard is important for preserving some semblance of bi-partisanship. If Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) does not have the 60 votes to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, the nominee should be changed rather than the rule. After refusing to consider Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination for more than a year after Justice Scalia died, McConnell is trying to ram through the nomination this week. The unseemly rush has not allowed a full vetting and on Tuesday night reports emerged of significant plagiarism by Gorsuch. Leader McConnell has already filed a cloture motion and has said he will invoke the “nuclear option” and end the 60 vote standard if he does not, as expected, have the 60 votes to confirm Gorsuch. From the Democrats standpoint, Gorsuch is an unacceptable candidate with out of the mainstream views. They see no reason to accept the Gorsuch nomination, forestalling the nuclear option, since McConnell would just use the “nuclear option” for the next nominee.
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Daily Call To Action: April 4th, 2017

The Call – Independent investigation into #TrumpRussia

Urge your members of Congress to publicly demand an independent investigation into Russian interference in our election and the Trump campaign’s ties to Moscow. New revelations about Trump campaign allies’ ties to the Russian government or Russian Intel continue to emerge.  Monday’s revelation included Erik Prince’s secret meeting in the Seychelles, on behalf of then president-elect Trump, with Putin representatives and Carter Page being recruited by Russian Intelligence in 2013. Meanwhile, Trump keeps using diversionary tactics to fabricate scandals by Clinton and the Obama administration. And, as John MCain made clear, the Nunes charade with the White House on “unmasking” has killed the bipartisan Russia investigation by the House. It has become clear the full story of the links between Trump, his team and Russia requires a well-staffed, serious, non-partisan investigation.
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Daily Call To Action: April 3rd, 2017

The Call – #NoProbeNoRobe

Tell your senators that the Senate should not move forward on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court until after the investigation of the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with the Russian attack on our election. After refusing to consider Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination for more than a year after Justice Scalia died, the Republicans are trying to rush through the Gorsuch nomination this week. The Judiciary Committee vote is today and the full Senate may vote by Friday. The American people should know with certainty that the president who appointed Judge Gorsuch didn’t collude with Russia to swing the election.
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Daily Call To Action: March 31st, 2017

The Call – Speaker Ryan must remove Chairman Nunes from leading House #TrumpRussia investigation

Urge your House member to call for the House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) to be replaced as head of the Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in our election and the Trump campaign’s ties to Moscow, along with associated leaks. It was reported on Wednesday that Nunes’ source of information about legal “incidental” collection, which he has refused to divulge, was in fact the White House. Nunes reportedly was shown the information by a National Security Council (NSC) staffer and an administration lawyer (who previously worked for Nunes) working on national security issues. After receiving the information from the White House, Nunes gave a nearly incoherent press calling the information legal but “troubling.” He then rushed to the White House to “brief” President Trump on the information, which should have been readily available to Trump from the NSC. The episode appears to be a sham coordinated with the White House to try to give Trump cover for his discredited tweets accusing former President Obama of wiretapping him. Given the obvious inability of  Chairman Nunes to be objective and bi-partisan, along with his collusion with the administration, it would be a mockery of the process for him to continue to head the investigation as Chairman of the Intel Committee. Speaker Ryan must replace Chairman Nunes in order to have an investigation the American people can trust.
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