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Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) sent a letter to every Republican member of the House of Representatives making the case for them to support an independent commission to investigate Russian influence in the election and over the White House. Rep. Peters specifically urged his Republican colleagues to co-sponsor the Protecting Our Democracy Act, which would create a bipartisan commission to investigate Russian interference and related issues free from partisan and jurisdictional barriers. He also called on his colleagues to sign the discharge petition that, if signed by a majority of House members, would force a vote on the bill. This letter comes in the days after media reports have alleged that President Trump gave classified intelligence to the Russians in the Oval Office and directly intervened to ask then-Director Comey to halt the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation.

“The first rule of politics is that you have to ask for everyone’s vote. I thank my Republican colleagues who have already stood up to support an independent commission, and this letter is my invitation for others to join as well,” Rep. Peters said. “Every member of Congress – Republicans and Democrats – should stand shoulder to shoulder and say that we want all of the answers on Russian influence in our government and whether the President has obstructed justice. There should be nothing partisan about seeking justice and the answers that America deserves.”

The text of the letter can be read HERE or in full below:



I write to you today not as a Democrat, but as a peer and as an American. Recent events and revelations have made clear the need for impartiality as we struggle to unearth the facts surrounding Russia’s assault on our democracy and on our institutions. The safety, security, and integrity of our nation is our most sacred responsibility and we are now being called to exercise our power to restore trust in our government.

The facts we have been presented with are cause enough for each one of us to demand a thorough, impartial, independent investigation into Russia’s attempts to influence our elections and its attempts to exert influence and control over decision making in the White House. In the midst of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the connections between the President, his organization, his surrogates, and Russia, the President’s National Security Advisor resigned, the Attorney General of the United States recused himself, and the F.B.I Director was fired by the President of the United States because, at least in part, Director Comey was committed to completing the investigation. Most recently, there are public allegations that the President, prior to making the decision to relieve him of his post, said to Comey, “I hope you can let this go.” Given the apparent connections between individuals within the Administration and Russia, and the President’s own reticence toward the FBI’s pursuit of answers, it should be clear to all of us that the establishment of an independent commission to carry out this investigation has never been more critical.

Supporting an independent commission at this time goes beyond politics. At minimum, the establishment of an independent commission that is free of influence by the President and his surrogates will help restore public trust and Congressional confidence in the investigation. The legitimacy of this investigation—whatever the outcome—depends entirely on the impartiality of its investigators. For that reason, I urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 356, the Protecting our Democracy Act, and to sign the discharge petition to bring this bill up for an immediate vote by the House.

History is judging each and every one of us on our faithful execution of the oath we took to support and defend the Constitution. We are compelled to uphold Congress’ role as a co-equal branch of government and a check on the power and a source of accountability of the executive. Now is the time for courage. We must stand shoulder to shoulder, put aside considerations of party politics, and get the answers that all of us, as Americans, deserve.


                                                                                                                                Scott Peters

                                                                                                                                Member of Congress