SOMETHING WE CAN DO TODAY: Demand that our representatives come out in favor of the “Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act” to protect the Mueller investigation

Donald Trump just reversed himself yet once again on the subject of Russian election interference. After reluctantly agreeing with U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia had, in fact, sought to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, Donald Trump changed course again this evening, calling the whole thing “a big hoax” perpetrated by President Obama. While I’d like nothing better than to rant about this most recent outrage, I think I’ve probably dedicated enough time to the subject of Russian influence since last week’s joint Trump-Putin press conference, during which our President sided with the Kremlin over his own intelligence agencies. So, I’m not going to speculate any further on what kind of leverage Putin may have over Trump, or, for that matter, go off on a salacious tangent about recently outed Russian spy Maria Butina and her well-documented campaign to infiltrate conservative organizations, like the NRA, using the promise of both sex and cash to open doors. I’ve decided instead, however, to spend my time this evening writing about one small thing we can all do to help keep the investigation moving forward.

Right now, today, we can all demand that our representatives in D.C. support legislation to protect the Mueller investigation. The legislation already exists. It just needs to be brought to a vote. And we can help do that.

First, here’s the history.

On April 26 of this year, Senate Bill 2644 (S.2644), the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, with a 14–7 vote. The bill, which, if signed into law, would “give any special counsel 10 days after being fired to challenge the termination in front of a three-judge panel in federal court,” passed through committee with the support of every Democrat, as well as four Republicans; Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, and Senators Thom Tillis, Jeff Flake, and Lindsey Graham, who authored the bill. Sadly, though, as it passed through committee over the objection of Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, it was doomed to failure. McConnell, saying, “we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate,” refused to bring it to a vote. [“I don’t think (Donald Trump) should fire Mueller, and I don’t think he is going to,” McConnell told Fox News at the time. “So this is a piece of legislation that’s not necessary, in my judgment.”] And the legislation, since then, has languished in limbo.

Yes, I realize that, even if it were to pass the Senate, it would likely be an uphill battle to get it through the House. [The House version of the bill, sponsored by Jerrold Nadler, is H.R. 5476.] And, even if it were to pass both the House and the Senate, it would still have to be signed into law by the President, which would be incredibly unlikely, given that he’s almost surely under the control of Vladimir Putin. With that said, though, I still think it’s a fight worth having, if only to know definitively, once and for all, which members of Congress, when push comes to shove, are willing to stand up for the rule of law.

So, if you’re looking for something to do, other than just vent about the most recent outrage, here are a few things that you can do right this very minute.

1. You can look up the phone numbers of your Senators, give them a call, and request that they come out publicly in favor of S.2644, and demand that Senate Majority Leader McConnell bring it to a vote immediately.

2. You can look up the phone number of your member of the House of Representatives, call their local office, and demand that they come out in favor of H.R. 5476.

As I noted earlier, up until now, Republican leadership has been stalling, saying that such legislation isn’t necessary, but, maybe, with the tide beginning to turn against Trump after his side-by-side appearance next to Vladimir Putin, during which he took the side of the Russians over his own intelligence community, things may have shifted enough to make it possible. And, let’s not forget, as McConnell will need every Republican vote to get Brett Kavanaugh through to the Supreme Court, there might be an opportunity for Republican Senators to force him to first bring the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act to a vote. At least, I figure, it’s worth a shot…

So, if you live in Arizona, call up Jeff Flake’s office and say, “Before you vote for Kavanaugh, demand that McCain put S.2644 on the floor for a vote.” And tell everyone you know in Arizona to do the same.

[For what it’s worth, I’d also like to write posts like this about some other initiatives in Congress, like the attempt to subpoena Trump’s tax records. Hopefully I can stay focused long enough to make that happen.]

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26 Comments

  1. Elliott
    Posted July 22, 2018 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    1. Protect Mueller.
    2. Subpoena Trump’s taxes.
    3. Compel the translator to testify.

  2. John Brown
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Yes do those things. Email the Debbies and faux Harley Boy at least as much as you comment on MM. Also canvass for progressive candidates and Voters not Politicians. Finally, get gunned up, if you have the skills, and get the message into the zeitgeist that the left will never surrender democracy to a pootin allied christo-fascist cabal. Live free or die.

  3. John Brown
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    After you email on S.2644 and HR5476, take a minute and read what the people in the bizzarro bubble are hearing about how killing liberals will free them from tyranny. Seriously.

    https://boingboing.net/2018/07/19/former-senior-cia-official-say.html

  4. Iron Lung
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    No doubt, the Mr. Flakes will have no problem with this.

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Not sure what thread to place this on, so for the sake of expediency it’s here.

    HW was wrong again about Trump tax cuts. Imagine that.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-07-18/trump-s-tax-cut-hasn-t-done-anything-for-workers

  6. Iron lung
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Phuuuck so wrooooong 420trump4lyfe

  7. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    IL,

    It depends on what you mean by “this”.

    Removing Mueller would do an immense amount of damage to Trump and the Republicans, as things already are, imo. Giving extra protections to Mueller has two unintended consequences: 1) It would reduce the liklihood of Trump doing something very damaging and stupid–removing Mueller.; and 2) It would increase the chances that a greater amount of half of America would reject the eventual findings of the investigation if they find Trump guilty of collusion.

    Do I have a problem with dim-whitted virtue signaling and political theater, in general ,without discussing possible unintended consequences? Yes I do.

  8. Jean Henry
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    FISA application also released today. Again, HW was proven wrong. Nothing to see. Many experts saying it’s a thorough and complete application approved by three separate judges.

    Wrong, wrong ,wrong. I’m guessing this does not upend his world view as HW imagined it would ours were we found wrong.

  9. Iron Lung 2
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    The Mr. Flakes, doesn’t think we neet to have to have a “discussion” about possible unintended consequences of electing a candidate who ran on a platform on white supremacy.

    Just do it.

  10. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    It is always good to talk about real consequences and possible consequences. What are you talking about IL? I just said, in the post above that it is important to discuss possible consequences and I gave my opinion of those possible unintended consequences. Again, what are you talking about man? Is the logic of a bigot and amateurish attempts to smear others the most we can expect to get from you IL?

    You can do much better.

  11. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    And what is this business of me not wanting to have a discussion about Trump + white supremacy platform. I literally, within the last few weeks, asked you to help me compile a list of Trump’s white supremacist platform so we could look at it and discuss it, and, despite pestering you for quotes, over the course of a day or two, you only gave me: “trump said he wants to make cities clean”.

    Do you have early onset dementia or something?

  12. Iron Lung 2
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Mr. “I can’t see racists because I don’t want to” Flakes, lol Where did this guy grow up?

    On the other hand, THIS is the “FISA Memo” that was supposed to cause all of us “psychological damage?”

    Seriously, this is it?

    https://www.scribd.com/document/370599093/FISA-memo-Full-text

  13. Iron Lung 2
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    The Mr Flakey Flakes never heard of Lee Atwater. He still believes that politicians don’t speak in coded words that only racists think they understand.

    It’s comical really. He truly believes that racists don’t exist unless they are burning crosses in their yards.

    So funny. A silly, silly man.

  14. Iron Lung 2
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    “Who is Lee Atwater?”

    “What’s a dog whistle?”

    “THERE REALLY ARE MEXICAN RAPISTS!!!!”

    – frosted flakes

  15. Iron Lung 2
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    “Trump was talking about cats, not female genitalia”

    – frosted flakes

  16. Iron Lung 2
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    It’s like the guy has never taken a literature class.

  17. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    The problem is that every assertion you just made is false. I mean, you have literally resorted to quoting things I have never said and never would say because they are all false statements.

    Very goofy.

  18. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 23, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    I get it though. I am, in your mind,’the type of person that would say those things and not be aware of those other things. The problem is all of your assumptions are wrong. You habitually employ the same logic that is employed by bigots. Bigots are among other things not bright. Isn’t that embarrassing to you? Don’t you want to do better?

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    “It’s possible that the true intent — and the probable consequence — of the Trump policy is that naturalized citizens will not actively participate in political activity for fear that some old mistake on their forms could put their status in jeopardy.

    This makes denaturalization policy a tool of political repression: Immigrants might not exercise their rights for fear that they will lose them all, or at least be dragged in front of a court and required to pay expensive lawyers’ fees. Since it is virtually impossible for a natural-born citizen to lose his citizenship, even the small possibility that naturalized citizens can lose theirs makes them, in effect, second-class citizens, unable to freely participate in public life without looming state repression.

    When Arendt warned that “totalitarian solutions may well survive the fall of totalitarian regimes” and return disguised in otherwise free countries, things like this and Mr. Anton’s perverse proposals may be the sort of things she had in mind.

    The way to forever neutralize this technique of fear is to make citizenship permanent and irrevocable. While a statute might suffice, a constitutional amendment as Arendt proposed would make it so citizenship could never again be a political target. Even the remotest possibility that one group of citizens who have gained power might have the ability to strip another group of citizens of their rights should make one shudder. The future of American democracy demands we guarantee now that citizenship cannot be stripped.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/23/opinion/trump-birthright-citizenship-mccarthy.html

  20. Iron Lung
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    No doubt, certain posters on this blog will find this to be a harmless policy, not at all aimed at generating support among Mr. Trump’s racist base because no one explicitly said so.

  21. ---
    Posted July 24, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Another piece of legislation you might want to tell people about.

    Republican Senator Susan Collins just co-sponsored legislation to impose sanctions on Russia if they interfere in our upcoming elections.

    Collins: “We know that Russia was relentless in its efforts to meddle in the 2016 elections. To help secure our elections, I cosponsored a bill that will impose harsh sanctions on Russia if it attempts to influence or undermine faith in our electoral process again.”

    https://www.collins.senate.gov/newsroom/senator-collins-cosponsors-bipartisan-bill-deter-foreign-interference-american-elections

  22. Bill Kristol‏‏ by proxy
    Posted August 2, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    There is pending legislation, already passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee 14-7, that would help protect Mueller. Perhaps @SenateMajLdr could bring it to the floor now?Perhaps Senate Democrats (and a couple of Republicans) could block adjournment if McConnell won’t do so?

    https://twitter.com/BillKristol/status/1024684944130551815

  23. M
    Posted October 30, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Looks like Mueller is one step ahead of the October surprise.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/574411/

  24. Posted October 30, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if Trump himself knew of this, M. I’m assuming not. But you never know with these idiots.

  25. Anonymous
    Posted November 17, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    “Maria Butina, Accused Of Being A Russian Agent, May Be In Talks For Plea Deal”

    https://www.npr.org/2018/11/16/668625222/maria-butina-accused-of-being-a-russian-agent-may-be-in-talks-for-plea-deal?live=1

  26. Posted December 3, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] investigation. And, with that in mind, here’s something that I wrote a while back about the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, and what we can all do to make it a […]

  2. […] Judiciary Committee, only to have Mitch McConnell keep in from being voted on by the full Senate. Read the post, if you get a chance, and share it. It’s important […]

  3. […] Judiciary Committee, only to have Mitch McConnell keep in from being voted on by the full Senate. Read the post, if you get a chance, and share it. It’s important […]

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