Dear Colleague: Duty & Democracy
April 22, 2019
Dear Democratic Colleague,
As you know, last Thursday’s release of the redacted Mueller Report has caused a public outcry for truth and accountability. Since its release, our Committees of jurisdiction and their staffs have spent the holiday weekend reviewing its contents. Our country is well served by the exceptional leadership of our Chairs to seek the truth for the American people.
While we do not have the full report and the underlying exhibits, including the grand jury testimony, two of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s conclusions stand out: one, the “sweeping and systematic” Russian interference in our elections; and two, the President’s repeated efforts to thwart cooperation with the independent prosecutors in their pursuit of justice.
As to Mueller’s conclusion regarding Russian interference in our elections, House Democrats have led the way to strengthen our democracy with the early passage of H.R. 1.
The For The People Act addresses the sweeping election protection, ethics reforms, and voting rights protections that the public has demanded to ensure that each voter has an equal voice and that their votes are counted as cast. We continue to urge our Senate colleagues to take up these reforms. And in light of the President’s defenders arguing in defense of receiving and weaponizing stolen emails, we continue to press our Republican House counterparts to take up our pledge to refuse to use stolen, hacked, or falsified information in campaigns because the American people deserve honest debate.
As to the President’s conduct, we will scrupulously assert Congress’ constitutional duty to honor our oath of office to support and defend the Constitution and our democracy. That includes honoring the Article I responsibility of the legislative branch to conduct oversight over the other branches of government, unified in our search for the truth and in upholding the security of our elections.
While our views range from proceeding to investigate the findings of the Mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth. It is also important to know that the facts regarding holding the President accountable can be gained outside of impeachment hearings. As we proceed to uncover the truth and present additional needed reforms to protect our democracy, we must show the American people we are proceeding free from passion or prejudice, strictly on the presentation of fact.
Because we still have not seen the full Mueller Report, I have enclosed the bicameral letter Democratic leaders sent rejecting Attorney General Barr’s effort to provide the remainder of the report to only a few Members of Congress, and only in a classified setting. We insist on the public’s right to know, so that the American people can learn the truth and Congress can make our decision on how to proceed.
Whether currently indictable or not, it is clear that the President has, at a minimum, engaged in highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior which does not bring honor to the office he holds. It is also clear that the Congressional Republicans have an unlimited appetite for such low standards. The GOP should be ashamed of what the Mueller report has revealed, instead of giving the President their blessings.
Today, at 5:00 pm ET, we will have a conference call for our Chairs to report on the status of their review of the redacted Mueller report, their request for the full report and underlying exhibits, and discuss what comes next.
Today is also Earth Day, where we sadly see Republicans’ continued denial of the climate crisis and active efforts to roll back our hard-fought environmental protections. When we return to Washington, we will continue to move forward with our Climate Action Now Act, H.R. 9, to uphold the Paris Climate Accord and lay the foundation for more bold action.
United in purpose, we must make the Republican denial face the reality of what the Trump Administration is doing to our natural environment and our constitutional environment – and act with the boldest common denominator to repair the damage and build a better future.
With the hope that you had a Happy Easter or a joyful Passover, I thank you for your leadership For The People.