Call Your House Rep · Call Your Members of Congress · Call Your Senators · Community Activism · Ethics · Marches and Protests · Postcard Campaigns · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Never Stop Demanding That Congress Investigate Trump’s Ties to Russia and His Violations of the Constitution

This OTYCD entry originally posted in March 2017.

Trump and his minions have done, or tried to do, any number of horrible things. Most of them demanded an immediate answer. Others demanded ongoing attention.

 

Several people are speaking up to say the daily shenanigans are distracting us from focusing on the two issues that have the power to force Trump from office: His financial conflicts of interest, and the Russian hacking scandal, which should shed light on Trump’s curious connections to Putin.

 

To be fair, these issues have not been forgotten, just overshadowed. A team of lawyers from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is suing Trump over his violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments clause. Jerry Nadler, a house rep from New York who sits on the house judiciary committee, recently filed a resolution of inquiry into Trump, an early step on the road to impeachment. Members of Congress are pursuing bipartisan investigations into the Russian hacking scandal, despite Republican attempts to keep such queries under its party’s control (which would let them soft-pedal the findings).

 

But the blogger behind The Liberal Yell rightly points out that it’s on us, the citizens, to keep pressing Congress to stay on the two issues that could end Trump’s presidency, and we should support their efforts to do so.

 

See the blog below.

 

http://theliberalyell.com/focus-people-there-are-only-two-things-to-demand-of-congress-in-regards-to-trump/

 

To summarize: TLY asks us to stay firmly on these two issues, regardless of what other evils Trump looses. No matter what happens, do not lose sight of the need to look into Trump’s Emoluments clause violations and the importance of getting to the bottom of the Russian hacking.

 

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post for a great tool–a custom postcard demanding investigations into both issues, which you can download and print and mail and hand out to others.

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

Read about bipartisan efforts to investigate the Russian hacking scandal, and Republican resistance to it:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/02/02/senate-panel-investigate-russian-election-interference/97411482/

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/10/14220484/house-dems-bipartisan-probe-russian-hacking

http://www.snopes.com/mitch-mcconnell-blocked-investigating-russian-hacks/

 

 

Learn about New York House Representative Jerry Nadler’s filing of a resolution of inquiry into Trump, and its implications:

https://www.countable.us/articles/237-preliminary-impeachment-inquiry-filed-president-trump

Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause

Keep Demanding that Congress Investigate Trump’s Impeachable Offenses

This OTYCD entry originally posted in March 2017.

 

Trump and his minions have done, or tried to do, any number of horrible things. Most of them demanded an immediate answer. Others demanded ongoing attention.

 

Several people are speaking up to say the daily shenanigans are distracting us from focusing on the two issues that have the power to force Trump from office: His financial conflicts of interest, and the Russian hacking scandal, which should shed light on Trump’s curious connections to Putin.

 

To be fair, these issues have not been forgotten, just overshadowed. A team of lawyers from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is suing Trump over his violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments clause. Jerry Nadler, a house rep from New York who sits on the house judiciary committee, recently filed a resolution of inquiry into Trump, an early step on the road to impeachment. Members of Congress are pursuing bipartisan investigations into the Russian hacking scandal, despite Republican attempts to keep such queries under its party’s control (which would let them soft-pedal the findings).

 

But the blogger behind The Liberal Yell rightly points out that it’s on us, the citizens, to keep pressing Congress to stay on the two issues that could end Trump’s presidency, and we should support their efforts to do so.

 

See the blog below.

http://theliberalyell.com/focus-people-there-are-only-two-things-to-demand-of-congress-in-regards-to-trump/

 

To summarize: TLY asks us to stay firmly on these two issues, regardless of what other evils Trump looses. No matter what happens, do not lose sight of the need to look into Trump’s Emoluments clause violations and the importance of getting to the bottom of the Russian hacking.

 

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post for a great tool–a custom postcard demanding investigations into both issues, which you can download and print and mail and hand out to others.

 

 

Read about bipartisan efforts to investigate the Russian hacking scandal, and Republican resistance to it:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/02/02/senate-panel-investigate-russian-election-interference/97411482/

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/10/14220484/house-dems-bipartisan-probe-russian-hacking

http://www.snopes.com/mitch-mcconnell-blocked-investigating-russian-hacks/

 

 

Learn about New York House Representative Jerry Nadler’s filing of a resolution of inquiry into Trump, and its implications:

https://www.countable.us/articles/237-preliminary-impeachment-inquiry-filed-president-trump

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Ask Congress to Open an Investigation Into the Ambush in Niger That Killed Four American Servicemen; Also, Donate to the Deceased Green Berets’ GoFundMe Accounts

Ask Congress to open its own investigation into the incident in the African country of Niger that killed four American servicemen in early October 2017, and donate to the GoFundMe pages of the three Green Berets who died in the attack.

 

If the Trump administration wasn’t a 24/7 crisis generator, the Niger ambush would be getting the attention that it’s due. Instead, it’s been smothered under a pile of outrages.

 

First, a recap: On October 4, 2017, twelve American troops, along with about 30 Nigerian soldiers, were attacked by an ISIS-affiliated group near the town of Tongo Tongo in Niger, a country in central Africa. The American-Nigerian group was on what was considered a routine patrol. The attacking group had about 50 militants in it. An hours-long battle ensued that killed five Nigerians and four Americans: Staff Sargent Bryan C. Black; Staff Sargent Dustin M. Wright; Sargent La David Johnson; and Staff Sargent Jeremiah W. Johnson. All but Jeremiah Johnson were Green Berets.

 

The Pentagon is investigating, but it’s still not clear exactly what happened, and why. Information continues to drip out. The four who died were somehow left behind. The bodies of three of the men, along with their interpreter, were found hours after the area was evacuated. La David Johnson’s body was recovered about two days after the incident. Reportedly, he was found with bound arms and a gunshot wound in the back of his head, which might mean that he was caught and executed.

 

Subsequent investigations by a team from the U.S. military and the FBI turned up additional remains belonging to La David Johnson. The Pentagon expects to finish its inquiries in January, but finishing does not necessarily mean that it will publicly release its findings then.

 

Regardless of what the Pentagon discovers, we at OTYCD feel it’s a good idea to ask your MoCs to open an investigation into the Niger ambush. Arizona Senator John McCain had been aggressively shining the spotlight on the incident, and the need to know what happened. With McCain ailing due to brain cancer, he may not be able to continue to press the case.

 

By showing your MoCs that you remember the Niger incident, and you want answers, you encourage them to keep it on the radar.

 

Do either of your Senators sit on the Senate Committee for Armed Services? Then it’s extra-important for you to call. See its members here:

https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/about/members

 

Does your House Rep sit on the House Committee on Armed Services? Then it’s extra-important for you to call. Here’s its list of members:

https://armedservices.house.gov/about/members

 

 

Calling script: Dear (House Rep/Senator Lastname), I am (Firstname/Lastname from town, zip code). I am calling to encourage you to seek a Congressional investigation into the October 4, 2017 ambush in Niger that left four American servicemen dead. I realize the Pentagon is investigating and might be finished in January 2018, but I feel it is important for Congress to launch its own inquiry, and I’d support you in seeking one. The families of the servicemen who died deserve answers, as does the American public. Thank you for listening.”

 

 

Note also that as of December 31, 2017, the GoFundMe for the college educations of La David Johnson’s three children was still open, and had raised more than $731,000 against its $1 million goal. Donate here:

https://www.gofundme.com/sgt-la-david-johnson-scholarship

 

 

The GoFundMe for the two young sons of Green Beret Bryan C. Black is still open as of December 31, 2017. It has raised more than $55,000 of its $200,000 goal:

https://www.gofundme.com/rally-for-ssg-bryan-black

 

 

The GoFundMe for the family of Green Beret Dustin M. Wright remains open as of December 31, 2017. It has collected more than $53,000 against its $150,000 target:

https://www.gofundme.com/ssg-dustin-wright-memorial-fund

 

 

Read about the October 2017 ambush in Niger:

http://www.businessinsider.com/congress-demands-answers-from-pentagon-over-niger-attack-2017-10

http://www.businessinsider.com/niger-ambush-special-forces-lured-and-delayed-investigation-2017-10

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/senators-after-pentagon-briefing-want-more-answers-on-deadly-niger-mission/2017/10/26/42a3c128-ba96-11e7-a908-a3470754bbb9_story.html?utm_term=.9f3b435710db

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/john-mccain-may-use-subpoena-to-get-answers-on-niger-ambush/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mccain-says-trump-administration-not-being-upfront-about-niger-attack/

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/356329-fbi-joins-investigation-of-niger-attack

 

http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/07/politics/niger-investigation-questions/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/us-soldier-in-niger-ambush-was-bound-and-apparently-executed-villagers-say/2017/11/10/3aebba3e-c442-11e7-9922-4151f5ca6168_story.html?utm_term=.622cd603be59

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/21/politics/niger-ambush-sgt-la-david-johnson-remains/index.html

http://abcnews.go.com/International/niger-ambush-investigation-expected-complete-january-pentagon/story?id=51024994

https://www.npr.org/2017/10/30/560826204/niger-ambush-reignites-senate-debate-over-authorization-of-military-force

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/11/11/when-did-congress-authorize-fighting-in-niger-thats-an-excellent-question/?utm_term=.6c801ccf77b4

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Call Your Members of Congress · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Call Your MoCs and Ask Them to Investigate the Yemen Raid

Call your members of Congress and ask them to investigate the January 27 raid in Yemen, in which a Navy Seal lost his life along with as many as 29 civilians.

Less than a week after taking office, Trump gave the go-ahead to an attack on the central Yemen home of a suspected Al-Qaeda collaborator. Unfortunately, everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Navy Seal Ryan Owens died along with as many as 29 civilians, possibly including an 8-year-old American girl. An Osprey aircraft valued at $75 million had to be deliberately scuttled to prevent Al-Qaeda from taking possession of it.

The military is now conducting an investigation of the raid. But Trump’s administration has not yet launched its own investigation. Bill Owens, father of the dead Navy Seal and himself a veteran of the Navy and the Army Reserves, has asked for a full probe of the mission.

Owens declined to meet Trump when his son’s body arrived in the United States. He was annoyed when White House Press Secretary invoked Ryan Owens’s sacrifice when deflecting criticism of the raid.

In early February, the Washington Post quoted Spicer saying: “The action that was taken in Yemen was a huge success. American lives will be saved because of it, future attacks will be prevented. The life of Chief Ryan Owens was done in service to this country, and we owe him and his family a great debt for the information that we received during that raid. I think any suggestion otherwise is a disservice to his courageous life and the actions that he took, full stop.”

(White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has since said that she “would imagine that [Trump] would be supportive of that [an investigation into the Yemen raid].”)

Owens has since countered Spicer’s words in a February 27 Miami Herald article: “Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation.”

It’s entirely possible that the mission was plagued by bad luck. It happens. But given the loss of life and the circumstances surrounding the choice to go ahead when it did, Owens is right to demand a formal, public investigation of the incident that claimed his son.

Does your house rep belong to the House Armed Services Committee? Is one of your senators a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee? Then it’s extra-important that you call. Check the links below before dialing:

House Armed Services Committee:
Senate Armed Services Committee:
Sample script: “Hello, I am (Firstname Lastname) from (town, zip code). I’m calling (Senator/Rep Lastname) to ask for a formal investigation into the Yemen raid that Trump pursued in late January. Early indications show that it went poorly, yet White House press secretary has deflected criticism by claiming that questioning the raid is a disservice to the Navy Seal who died in it. That Navy Seal’s father has explicitly asked for a full investigation. I ask you and your colleagues to pursue one.”
Read about the Yemen raid, and what went wrong:
 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/01/yemen-strike-eight-year-old-american-girl-killed-al-awlaki
Read how Spicer defended the Yemen raid and invoked the sacrifice of Ryan Owens to deflect criticism:
Read about how the raid may have been a bust, goal-wise:
Read the Miami Herald articles on Bill Owens and his call for an investigation of the raid that killed his son:
Read the article in which Deputy Press Secretary Sanders gives her opinion that Trump would be open to a probe:
Call Your House Rep · Ethics · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Support House Rep Elijah Cummings’s Call to Investigate Trump’s Ethics Issues

ICYMI: Call your House rep to support Elijah Cummings’s call to investigate Trump’s tangled finances.

Jason Chaffetz, the Republican leader of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was gung-ho to investigate Hillary Clinton’s foibles, but has shown nowhere near the enthusiasm for looking into the many and varied ethics snarls posed by our new president, Donald Trump.

In fact, Chaffetz has targeted Walter Shaub, head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), for criticizing the inadequacy of Trump’s attempts to resolve his conflicts of interest. He is trying to force Shaub into a closed-door meeting, presumably to berate him. (Scroll down for a previous OTYCD post on how to support Shaub.)

Elijah Cummings is Chaffetz’s counterpart on the committee. If the Democrats had the majority in the house, Cummings would lead the committee, not Chaffetz.

In November, Cummings called on Chaffetz to start an investigation into Trump’s finances and any potential conflicts of interest they might pose. He spoke in mid-November, not long after the election, which might explain why it never quite broke through. But it is only growing more evident that Congress needs to launch an investigation, and Chaffetz’s committee exists to do it.

Is your House rep on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee? If so, it is extra-important that you call and make your voice heard. Look at the link below before you pick up the phone.

https://oversight.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/

 

Sample script for your House rep: I am (Firstname Lastname) from (town, zip code). I am calling to ask you to support House rep Elijah Cummings’s request to his colleague, Jason Chaffetz, to launch an investigation into Trump’s finances. Cummings asked for an investigation back in November and Chaffetz has not yet acted. This needs to move ahead. Please do what you can to make it happen.

 

You can also call the House Oversight Committee to voice your support for Cummings’s request.

The majority (Republican) office is: 202.225.5074

The minority (Democratic) office is: 202.225.5051

 

More on Cummings’s request of Chaffetz for an investigation of Trump’s finances:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/11/14/investigate-trumps-potential-conflicts-of-interest-top-dem-tells-chaffetz/?utm_term=.e580869eba8b

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/11/29/503766832/rep-elijah-cummings-leads-call-to-investigate-trumps-business-entanglements

 

This Washington Post opinion piece from January 18 cites a Salt Lake Tribune poll that shows that Chaffetz’s Utah constituents support an investigation of Trump’s conflicts of interest by two to one:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/01/18/utah-voters-to-chaffetz-do-your-job/?utm_term=.081eac157993

 

In case you missed it, a previous OTYCD post asked you to call your House rep to defend Walter Shaub, head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE):

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/01/17/call-your-house-rep-to-defend-walter-schaub-jr-head-of-the-office-of-government-ethics/

Call Your House Rep · Call Your Members of Congress · Call Your Senators · Ethics · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause

Keep Pushing for an Independent Investigation of the #TrumpRussia Scandal and Ask Your Senators to Refuse to Confirm a New FBI Director Until That Happens

Keep calling your members of Congress to demand an independent investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia, and in particular, demand that your senators refuse to confirm the next FBI director until that investigation is launched.

Yes, we’ve written about this before, and we’ve carouseled this post a lot, but the craziness that went down with Comey’s May 9 firing has convinced us that we have to put this post up every  weekday (when Congressional offices are open) until we actually get a goddamn independent investigation. We haven’t done this in the short history of this blog, but it’s that important.

**UPDATE to the update: And since we set up these daily posts, Senator Mitch McConnell has moved to squelch Congressional interest in an independent investigation of #TrumpRussia. Quelle surprise, no? (No.)

So it’s that much more important to call your MoCs every goddamn day until Congress relents and does what’s needed: launch a prope r investigation already. The Republicans control everything, and they’re showing no interest in doing the right thing. We will have to call and tell them to do their jobs, every day, until they step up and do them.

In case you need cites on McConnell, see this link:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/05/10/mitch-mcconnell-just-shut-down-any-hopes-democrats-had-of-an-independent-russia-investigation/?tid=pm_politics_pop&utm_term=.3a8cfb0add43

At least some Democratic senators are doing whatever they can to slow things down and generally grind the gears of Congress to a halt. If your senators are among them, call and tell them you support what they are doing.

Overarching reminder: ONLY CALL YOUR OWN MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. Leave outsider MoCs’ lines free for their own constituents. Fight your urge to call MoCs who don’t rep you by urging your friends in other states and districts to call their MoCs.

Ok, back to the first update:

The scandal over Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia gets weirder and more disturbing by the day. America needs an independent investigation into the matter–not one that can be manipulated, sidelined, and suffocated by Republicans who want to put party over country.

Every new little odd turn in this story gives you an opening to call your MoCs to repeat your request.

On May 9, Trump went full Nixon, firing FBI director James Comey, evidently at the suggestion of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

We need an independent investigation of #TrumpRussia. We needed it months ago. We need it, we need it, we need it. Call.

Sample script: “I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I am calling yet again to ask Senator/House Rep (Lastname) to support efforts to launch an independent investigation into Trump and the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

<Here, you mention the most recent event that gives you an opening to call. Maybe it’s Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee asking Nunes to step down. Maybe it’s Ryan defending Nunes. Maybe it’s Michael Flynn trying to seek immunity. Maybe it’s Trump firing FBI director James Comes. Plug in whatever’s freshest.>

It is eminently, grotesquely clear that any Congressional investigation that Republicans can control will be compromised and suspect. Please do what you can to help us all learn the truth, which we need to learn in full, however startling or painful it might be. Thank you for listening.”

We also have a special script just for your senators, seeing as they will confirm the next FBI director. But before you call, check and see if either of your senators is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. It’s extra-important for you to call if they are:

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members

Special script for your Senators: “I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I am calling yet again to ask Senator/House Rep (Lastname) to support efforts to launch an independent investigation into Trump and the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. The firing of James Comes as FBI director leaves the post open for Trump to nominate and confirm a new director. I am asking you to withhold your support for any FBI director nominee, no matter how excellent, unless Congress first sets up an independent investigation of the ever-growing Trump-Russia scandal.

Call Your House Rep · Call Your Members of Congress · Call Your Senators · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Keep Pushing for an Independent Investigation Into the #TrumpRussia Scandal

Keep calling your members of Congress to demand an independent investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia.

The scandal over Trump and his campaign’s ties to Russia gets weirder and more disturbing by the day. The bizarre actions of Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee who was also on the Trump transition team, underline the fact that America needs an independent investigation into the matter–not one that can be manipulated, sidelined, and suffocated by Republicans who want to put party over country.

Every new little odd turn in this story gives you an opening to call your MoCs to repeat your request. Nunes brings information to the president instead of his Congressional committee members? Call. Speaker Ryan inexplicably defends Nunes and says he doesn’t need to recuse himself? Call, and call Speaker Ryan if you are his constituent and give him an earful. (Or two. He has two ears, after all.) Nunes FINALLY steps down from chairing anything to do with the Russia scandal? Call, and say you want to see more like this. The Nunes substitutes prove as feckless as Nunes? Call, call, call.

Sample script: “I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I am calling to ask Senator/House Rep (Lastname) to support efforts to launch an independent investigation into Trump and the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

<Here, you mention the most recent event that gives you an opening to call. Maybe it’s Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee asking Nunes to step down. Maybe it’s Ryan defending Nunes. Maybe it’s Michael Flynn trying to seek immunity. Plug in whatever’s freshest.>

It is eminently, grotesquely clear that any Congressional investigation that Republicans can control will be compromised and suspect. Please do what you can to help us all learn the truth, which we need to learn in full, however startling or painful it might be. Thank you for listening.”

 

Read the National Review’s article calling for Devin Nunes to step down from the House Intelligence Committee:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/446179/devin-nunes-trump-surveillance-campaign-investigation-house-intel-committee-russia

 

Read about House Democrats asking Nunes to step down from the Russia investigation:

 

Read about Ryan’s rebuff of calls for Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation:

http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-ryan-devin-nunes-trump-russia-investigation-2017-3

 

Read about Michael Flynn’s attempts to seek immunity in exchange for his testimony:

 

And read about why Flynn might want immunity:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/03/31/why-michael-flynn-may-be-seeking-immunity/?utm_term=.8db0910a2cc5