Common Cause Members Demand Congress Name Independent Commission Whether or Not Trump Fires Mueller

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  • David Vance
Statement of Paul S. Ryan, Common Cause Vice President for Litigation and Policy

To even float the idea of firing Robert Mueller through conservative media outlets is an affront to the most sacred values of our democracy. Despite what the assemblage of ‘yes men’ surrounding President Trump have told him, James Comey’s testimony not only failed to vindicate the President but raised serious concerns that the President of the United States abused his power in an attempt to stop the investigation. Comey’s testimony raised very serious concerns that Trump made a concerted effort to obstruct justice by demanding the fealty of the Director of the FBI before asking him to drop the criminal investigation of disgraced National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

President Trump has already fired the last lead investigator of the Russian attack on the 2016 presidential election Regardless of whether the President tries to force the Department of Justice to fire Mueller, Congress must immediately name an independent commission to investigate the Russian attack on the 2016 presidential election, possible collusion by members of the Trump campaign, as well as what appear to be widespread efforts by the Trump Administration to obstruct justice in an effort to squelch the investigation.

Even if Mueller is retained, Americans might not even receive a report from Mueller at the end of his investigation. Regardless of this latest attempt by the Trump Administration to curb the investigation, Congress must still pass a law to create an independent commission, with a mission that is broader than a criminal investigation and will operate with more transparency. Without public hearings the public will be left out of the process completely, eroding faith in our political institutions.

Congress and the congressional switchboard should be prepared to hear from the membership of Common Cause tomorrow. Our 800,000 members will make their voices heard on Capitol Hill demanding that Congress act immediately to end efforts by the White House to operate above the law and to ignore the separation of powers guaranteed by our Constitution.