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45 & Russia

Have you heard about Russia?

Namely, have you heard about how messy U.S./Russian relations are becoming? Maybe messy is the wrong word... Incestuous? Or illegal?

FIRST THING'S FIRST - THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN.

Despite strong and frequent denial that No. 45 knew nothing of it, reports show that the Trump campaign was in communication with Russian intelligence during the 2016 election. Russian intelligence officials repeatedly contacted the campaign, and some of this contact came at the same time U.S. agencies were investigating Russia's attempts to influence the election results.

Ironic, considering how frequently Trump accused Hillary Clinton of rigging the election.

NOW, ABOUT FLYNN.

Remember in December when President Obama (*sigh, I miss him*) issued sanctions against Russia in response to Russian hackers attempting to interfere with the 2016 Presidential election? Well, apparently General Flynn, who was set to take the National Security Adviser position under President-elect Trump, discussed the U.S. sanctions on Russia with Ambassador Kislyak around the same time. Flynn then lied to Vice President Pence, claiming he did not discuss the sanctions. Flynn claims he did not purposefully leave out the information about the sanctions. It must've just slipped his mind.

The real question is why did it take so long for No. 45 to fire Flynn? White House counsel Done McGahn and the previous Attorney General Sally Yates alerted Trump on or around January 26th of their concerns.

If it is what Flynn says it is, Flynn did not necessarily commit an illegal act. Nevertheless, Flynn has been thrown under the bus. But, is Trump's campaign connection to the Russian intelligence units enough to impeach the President? 

First is first, y'all. Impeachment takes a long time. Not only that, but you need a simple majority (218 votes) in the House and a two-thirds majority (67 votes) in the Senate to impeach the President. However, think back to President Nixon. The threat of impeachment was enough to force him to resign. In my opinion, that is the best we can hope for here. 

AND IF YOU WEREN'T ALREADY CONFUSED...

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being pressured (thank you, Chuck Schumer) to recuse himself from an investigation into Flynn's actions. According to DOJ rules, an employee is prohibited form taking part in an investigation if they have a "personal or political" relationship with the subject of the investigation. Sessions was the chairman of the national security advisory committee alongside Flynn. He was also a senior campaign adviser for Trump. Thus, he is disqualified from running this investigation. Sessions is, so far, resisting this pressure to recuse himself.

Furthermore, the FBI has decided not to pursue an investigation. Smell fishy?

Perhaps what's more is this news widens Trump's credibility gap. Who will trust him now? He kept his voters in the dark. He kept the press in the dark. And he kept the vice president in the dark.

What do I do about it?

You can sign this petition calling for an independent investigation into Flynn's communications with Russian intelligence.

You can also call your representatives -- as usual -- to find our their position on the election issue. Remember, be kind, stick to one specific point, and say thank you.

Need some suggestions for what to say? Try the script below:

Hi. My name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent in zip code [ZIP]. Has [Rep/Sen____] publicly called for a special select committee to investigate Russian subversion in the presidential election and President Trump’s ties to Moscow?”

[If Yes] “Thank you for letting me know! I am so glad to hear that she/he is as concerned about these allegations as I am. Please tell her/him how much I appreciate and support her/his courage and patriotism. I appreciate your time.”

[If No or anything else] “I see. I’m concerned about recent reports that the President’s campaign team was in constant communication with Russia during the election, that Flynn was allowed to continue as National Security Adviser for weeks after the White House was notified he might be compromised and all the evidence that continues to accumulate of serious Russian subversion into our presidential election. I respectfully ask that [Rep/Sen____] quickly make a public statement requesting a special select committee separate from Congress and the Department of Justice. There is nothing more important to me than our national independence and as a constituent of [Rep/Sen____], I will remember how [he/she] acted this week with regard to this issue. I can’t remember a time when there was a more pressing need for courage and patriotism than now. I greatly appreciate your time.

Note: We borrowed this script from The Loyal Opposition.

Scott Pruitt | EPA

2016 Federal Election Revote