Tell Congress: We need a Trump-Russia special prosecutor and an independent commission

Donald Trump has fired the director of the FBI in order to obstruct the investigation into his ties to Russia. It's obvious to everyone but those who carry the water for the President.

And now he is handing over sensitive classified intelligence to the Russians in the Oval Office.

Urge your senators and representatives to call for the appointment of an independent special prosecutor and a non-partisan 9/11-style commission to investigate any and all potential Trump connections with Russia both before the election and afterwards. We need to recapture the integrity of our elections and uncover whether Trump or members of his administration are being blackmailed or in other ways unduly influenced by the Russian government.

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) has recently introduced legislation (S. 27) to create a bi-partisan commission to investigate the matter and more bills are on the way to install a special prosecutor as well.

Attorney General Sessions was forced to recuse himself and House Intelligence Committee Chair Devis Nunes has now stepped aside, too. Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has been forced to resign in disgrace after lying to the Vice-President about his Russia connections, and has now requested immunity from prosecution. Even the President's son-in-law has been caught lying about meetings with the Russians on high-level security clearance forms.

If we cannot have an independent commission handle this matter, then we at least need Senator Richard Burr to recuse himself from the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation. As a former Trump transition official, he cannot possibly be impartial and numerous reports have shown he is trying to stall the probe.

Congress can’t wait any longer. They must investigate all outstanding concerns related to Trump conspiring with Russia, including:

- Recent evidence that points to repeated contact between Trump campaign and transition officials and Russian intelligence officers both during and after the election.

- The Russian cyberattacks on Democratic party infrastructure: Congress must look into the Russian intelligence’s cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign and get a full understanding of the influence they had on the presidential election.

- The reported financial connections between Trump and Russia. Trump’s debt load has increased from $350 million to $630 million in just the last year, at a time when American banks are reluctant to extend Trump credit. In 2008, Trump’s son is claimed to have 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.” Congress must look into the extent to which Trump’s current debt, or his previous business partnerships, obligate him financially to Russian oligarchs aligned with Putin.

- Trump advisors’ history of working with Putin-aligned politicians. Congress must investigate to what degree Trump’s current and past senior advisers, including Paul Manafort and Carter Page – who both have long histories of advising, and collecting enormous profit from, Putin-aligned politicians and oligarchs in Russia and Ukraine – had obligations or ties that might have posed a conflict of interest when they were advising Trump during his presidential campaign.

- Trump’s tax returns. Trump refuses to release his tax returns. Congress must investigate if there is any information in Trump’s tax returns that would indicate previously undisclosed financial ties to Russian interests in close alignment with Putin’s dictatorship.

- Trump’s crony cabinet. Multiple members in Trump’s crony cabinet have very disturbing ties to Russia. Most notable is Rex Tillerson, who has a strong and intimate history of business dealings with Putin and other Russian government officials.

- The Trump campaign’s reported meddling with the Republican platform on Ukraine: Congress should look into why – when Trump stayed away from most every aspect of the Republican Party platform – his campaign worked behind the scenes to make sure the party backed away from supporting Ukraine and putting the “official Republican party position on arms for Ukraine … at odds with almost all the party’s national security leaders.”

We need to speak out now to pressure Congress to step in and investigate these risks to the integrity of the presidency and the electoral process.

Republicans in Congress have been relentless in using their power to call sham committee hearings and squandered millions of dollars in taxpayer money to set up and run special investigative committees to pursue their extreme right-wing agenda against Planned Parenthood, American Muslims, and Hillary Clinton, among others.

Now, it is time for them to address an actual controversy. Given the growing concern of the intelligence community and the American public about Trump’s ties to Russia, there is no excuse for not launching an investigation now.