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Tell Congress: Investigate Trump’s ties to Russia

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Tell Republican Congressional leaders:

“Protect the integrity of our electoral process by launching an investigation to ensure that there is no inappropriate relationship between Donald Trump and the Russian government.”

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    Tell Congress: Investigate Trump’s ties to Russia

    Last week, Donald Trump encouraged the Russian government to spy on the United States. In the wake of his unprecedented statement, members of the intelligence community – and more than 170,000 CREDO activists – have called for Trump to be denied access to classified national security briefings.

    In addition to the outrage over Trump’s shocking comments, recent media coverage has raised questions about financial ties between Trump and Russian oligarchs with close connections to Putin;1 highlighted longstanding relationships between high-ranking Trump advisors and pro-Russian politicians and oligarchs;2 and flagged a change to the Republican party platform position on Ukraine that seems out-of-step with Republican policies but in-line with Russia’s policy agenda in the disputed region.3 There has also been widespread reporting that Russian secret intelligence was behind recent cyber attacks on Democratic political organizations, and leaks which seemed timed to help Trump’s campaign.4

    Taken together, the mounting evidence of ties between Trump and Putin provides reason for concern that Trump’s connections and financial obligations to Russian political and financial players could present a conflict of interest in a Trump presidency. There is also reason for concern that Russian government interests would be served by interfering with the U.S. electoral process.

    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.

    Tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan: Launch an immediate investigation into the relationship between Donald Trump and the Russian government.

    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.

    Tell Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan: Launch an immediate investigation into the relationship between Donald Trump and the Russian government.

    Republican leaders in Congress must investigate any and all potential Trump connections with Russia in order to ensure the integrity of our elections and that American voters are informed about any conflicts of interest when it is time for them to vote. The issues they must investigate include:

    • Trump’s tax returns: Trump refuses to release his tax returns.5 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.
    • The reported Russian cyberattacks on Democratic party infrastructure: Congress must look into the the extent of Russian intelligence’s cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign and inquire whether those attacks seemed designed to influence 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.6 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.”7 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 Vladimir Putin.
    • Trump advisors’ history of working with Putin-aligned politicians: Congress must investigate to what degree Trump’s key advisors, 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 – have obligations or ties which might pose a conflict of interest in their advice to Trump.8
    • 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 support of Ukraine and putting the “official Republican party position on arms for Ukraine … at odds with almost all the party’s national security leaders.”9

    Republican leaders in Congress are relentless in trying to designate themselves the guardians of our national security, even when their political gamesmanship demonizes and endangers Americans at home and abroad. It would be the height of hypocrisy for them to refuse to investigate evidence that a presidential candidate might have competing loyalties between the United States and a hostile foreign government.

    The more of us who add our voices, the harder it will be for Sen. McConnell, Rep. Ryan and the other leaders in the Republican Party to sweep these reports under the rug and go on with presidential politics as usual. Click the link below to demand they launch an investigation immediately into Trump’s ties to Russia.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References

    1. Tom Hamburger, Rosalind S. Helderman and Michael Birnbaum, “Inside Trump’s financial ties to Russia and his unusual flattery of Vladimir Putin,” The Washington Post, June 17, 2016.
    2. Peter Stone, David Smith, Ben Jacobs, Alec Luhn and Rupert Neate, “Donald Trump and Russia: a web that grows more tangled all the time,” The Guardian, July 30, 2016.
    3. Josh Rogin, “Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine,” The Washington Post, July 18, 2016.
    4. Mark Hosenball, Joseph Menn and John Walcott, “Exclusive: Clinton campaign also hacked in attacks on Democrats,” Reuters, July 30, 2016.
    5. Caitlin Macneal, “Manafort: Trump Still Not Going To Release His Tax Returns,” TalkingPointsMemo.com, July 27, 2016.
    6. Josh Marshall, “Trump & Putin. Yes, It's Really a Thing,” TalkingPointsMemo.com, July 23, 2016.
    7. Hamburger, Helderman and Birnbaum, “Inside Trump’s financial ties to Russia and his unusual flattery of Vladimir Putin.”
    8. Marshall, “Trump & Putin. Yes, It's Really a Thing,” and Abigail Tracy, “Trump’s Confusing Answer on Crimea Raises Questions About His Campaign Chairman’s Alleged Ties to Russia,” VanityFair.com, August, 1, 2016.
    9. Rogin, “Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine.”