WANTED: An Independent Commission to Investigate Trump’s Russian Connection

Last week in testimony to the House Intelligence Committee FBI Director Comey confirmed what many of us have been urging for months — the need for an independent commission to look into the Russian act of cyber war on our election and any possible collusion with members of the Trump campaign.

Comey confirmed that the FBI was “investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russian efforts.”

He continued that FBI agents would pursue the investigation “no matter how long that takes.”

This is incredible. I am not surprised, but it is incredible.

Our nation’s top law enforcement agency is investigating possible links between those involved in President Trump’s campaign and a foreign adversary known to have conducted an aggressive intelligence operation to help him get elected.

And all the while this President continues to deny any such attack, praise the dictator who launched the attack, and pursue policies that mirror those of the attacker…including the weakening of the western security alliance.

And yet what has been the priority of the majority party amid this mounting and serious breach — one we already knew about five months ago?

Has it been to set up an independent commission to look into this unprecedented threat to our nation and democracy?

No.

Has it been to work with the White House to disclose all information in an open and transparent manner to clear up any concerns or suspicions?

No, in fact the opposite.

We still haven’t even seen the President’s tax returns to get answers on Russian money in his businesses.

Has it been to pass sanctions on Russia for its attack on our nation?

No.

Has it been to pass meaningful cyber security legislation…legislation blocked by the Majority in the last Congress…to make sure our next elections in less than two years are secure from attack?

No.

So what has been the priority instead?

Well, last week the majority voted to make it easier to kill baby bears and their mothers in their dens. The majority also reversed internet privacy protections for consumers. And a few weeks ago the majority voted to reverse a law to help mitigate corruption in some of the world’s most impoverished nations.

And of course, the majority failed to advance TrumpCare, which would have stripped 24 million Americans of health care…a cruel bill that would have disproportionately hurt those who voted for President Trump.

This is a dereliction of our responsibility here in the Congress.

Not one of these issues is more important than getting to the bottom of possible collusion with the Russians or of the possibility that some in the White House have been compromised by a foreign government.

I want to praise the few on the majority side who have spoken out on the need for an investigation, including Senator Graham and Senator McCain. They noted early on the need for an independent investigation.

And today a majority of Americans also want an independent commission.

And I am again calling for the same.

We need an independent commission — one led by American statesmen or women of unquestioned reputation, like Sandra Day O’Connor or Colin Powell. We did this after the attack of September 11 and this attack and its unanswered questions demand nothing less again today.