Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Precipice of a constitutional crisis

Firing Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—who's overseeing the special counsel's investigation—would set off a constitutional crisis that would shake the foundation of our democracy.

Dear MoveOn member, 

We've come to the most dangerous moment yet of Donald Trump's presidency and are on the precipice of a constitutional crisis.

In the aftermath of the FBI's raid of the office, home, and hotel room of Trump's longtime personal attorney and self-described "fixer" Michael Cohen, Trump is accusing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of being "A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!" and "an attack on our country."1,2

Trump went so far as to openly admit to reporters on Monday night that he's considering firing Mueller, saying, "We'll see what happens. Many people have said [I] should fire him."3

Let's digest that. Trump would fire the leader of the investigation that has already landed multiple guilty pleas and dozens of indictments, and is the most serious effort to understand Russian interference in our elections.

Firing Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—who's overseeing the special counsel's investigation—would set off a constitutional crisis that would shake the foundation of our democracy. And, Eddie, we've reached a crisis point: I put the odds that Trump fires Mueller or Rosenstein within the next 10 days at better than 50-50.

We must be ready because our response will help determine whether Congress uses its constitutional power to rein in Trump—or not. And that's why I'm writing to you right now.

MoveOn has had immense foresight to spend months building a rapid-response network—now numbering 800 planned events and more than 317,000 people—to put into action immediately after Mueller is fired or Trump otherwise acts to end the investigation.

But MoveOn still needs to raise $250,000 to have the resources to support the network in the chaotic aftermath of a firing. Can you chip in $3 to MoveOn right now?

Yes, I'll chip in right now.

Cohen has been one of Trump's most trusted advisers for the past decade.4

In response to questions from the media about Cohen paying Stormy Daniels $130,000 before the 2016 election, Cohen tweeted, "A person who deserves my loyalty receives it. I will always protect our @POTUS [President of the United States]."5

When the media reported that Trump's first wife, Ivana, said in a deposition that Trump had raped her, Cohen told the reporter, "You write a story that has Mr. Trump's name in it, with the word 'rape,' and I'm going to mess your life up ... for as long as you're on this frickin' planet ... you're going to have judgments against you, so much money, you'll never know how to get out from underneath it."6

The search warrant that enabled the FBI to seize privileged communications between Trump and Cohen resulted from a tip from Mueller but was obtained by the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and required high-level authorization within Trump's Justice Department.7

It's an extraordinary step for the Justice Department to take—bringing us to this fever-pitched moment.

Click here to chip in $3 to MoveOn and help defend the Mueller investigation by supporting more than 800 protests across the country, which will take place if Trump fires Mueller or Rosenstein.

MoveOn is working at a feverish pace to put all of the pieces in place in time—and now time may be very short. MoveOn's plans are bold and detailed; here's a look at what's planned:

  • Promote and strengthen the rapid-response network to reach even more people before Trump fires Mueller or Rosenstein—and have the resources to connect to hundreds of thousands more in the immediate aftermath of a firing.
  • Support the over 800 events already planned. MoveOn will quickly hire extra on-the-ground support in key cities, run ads, hire video crews and photographers, distribute signs, and hire security, if needed.
  • Cut through the right-wing media and Trump's propaganda machine. MoveOn will use its megaphone to reach tens of millions through its rapid-response videos, on social media, and by helping to equip its millions of members with signs, talking points, and everything else they'll need to connect with neighbors about this crisis.
  • Invest in a sustained campaign. If Trump causes a constitutional crisis, our response won't be limited to just one day—it will be every day. MoveOn will demand that Democrats and Republicans take action—and won't stop demanding they act until they do.

Will you chip in $3—or whatever you can afford—to MoveOn to help out?

Yes, I'll chip in right now.

The future is very much in our hands. And, together, we can meet this moment—as full of peril as it is.

Thanks for all you do.

–Robert Reich


1. "Trump lawyer Michael Cohen: The loyal 'fixer' now under federal scrutiny," The Washington Post, April 9, 2018

2. "Donald Trump again rants against Robert Mueller and a 'witch hunt,'" USA Today, April 10, 2018

3. "Donald Trump has never been more likely to fire Robert Mueller than he is right now," CNN, April 9, 2018

4. "Michael Cohen, 'Ultimate Trump Loyalist,' Now in the Sights of the F.B.I.," The New York Times, April 10, 2018

5. "Trump lawyer Michael Cohen: The loyal 'fixer' now under federal scrutiny," The Washington Post, April 9, 2018

6. Ibid.

7. "F.B.I. Raids Office of Trump's Longtime Lawyer Michael Cohen; Trump Calls It 'Disgraceful,'" The New York Times, April 9, 2018

Want to support MoveOn's work? The MoveOn community will work every moment, day by day and year by year, to resist Trump's agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation's pendulum back toward sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on. And to do it MoveOn needs your support, now more than ever. Will you stand with MoveOn?

Click here to chip in $3, or whatever you can afford.

Contributions to Civic Action are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. This email was sent to Eddie Alfaro on April 11th, 2018. To change your email address or update your contact info, click here. To remove yourself from this list, click here.

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