Hi, fellow MoveOn member,
On Thursday, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former lawyer, pleaded guilty in a Washington, D.C., court to lying to Congress about Trump's interests in Russia.1 Cohen admitted that his lies were intended to minimize links between Moscow and Trump.2 Trump reportedly planned to give a $50 million Moscow penthouse to none other than Vladimir Putin himself, a claim that Trump seemed to substantiate in tweets Friday morning, when he admitted to working on the Moscow project.3,4
And now, as Trump and his lapdog Rudy Giuliani escalate their attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation, it's being reported that it's Trump that is "Individual 1" in Mueller's recent court filings.5 The Mueller investigation isn't just drawing in all of the cronies around Trump and his relatives, but focusing on the activities that Trump was engaged in directly. It raises the stakes—and as Trump feels more and more threatened, he might act with audacious recklessness to derail this investigation.
Will you chip in $3 a week to help MoveOn mobilize the grassroots pressure we need to protect the Mueller investigation? (MoveOn will bill your weekly donation once a month starting today. You can modify or cancel your weekly donation at any time.)
For more details on the Trump threat to the rule of law, see my message from earlier this week, below.
Dear fellow MoveOn member,
We're living through a slow-motion Saturday Night Massacre.
Jeff Sessions recused himself from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, so Donald Trump fired him.
Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was next in line to replace Sessions, but Trump didn't think he'd shut down the Mueller investigation, either.
So, instead, Trump installed as acting attorney general an unqualified lackey named Matt Whitaker, who has already said on CNN how he would go about ending the Mueller investigation—by starving it of funds. Whitaker is well-known in the Justice Department as a "White House spy," who will feed information about the investigation directly to Trump.6 (Let's be clear: Not only is Whitaker a Trump loyalist opposed to the probe, he also has his own record of shady business dealings and a history of attacking the values of non-Christian Americans.)
Congress must act now to protect the rule of law by passing bipartisan legislation to protect the Mueller investigation during the lame-duck session of Congress. And then, when Democrats take over the House in January, they need to begin oversight hearings immediately.
Will you chip in $3 a week to help MoveOn mobilize the grassroots pressure we need to stop Whitaker and protect Mueller?
Putting a stooge like Whitaker in charge of the Justice Department is shocking even by Trump standards. Whitaker tweeted out an article referring to the Mueller investigation as a "lynch mob."7 He's linked to a firm that scammed veterans out of their life savings.8 And the Justice Department won't even release his financial disclosure forms.9
But now that Trump has installed his lackey as acting attorney general, the next step is obvious: Trump will either order Whitaker to fire Mueller or simply allow Whitaker to implement his own plan of defunding the Mueller probe.
Either way, the very integrity of our democracy and rule of law are at stake.
That's why the American people are rising up against this grotesque abuse of power. MoveOn has a sharp campaign plan to keep the pressure on, including:
- A media-grabbing "Guilty Pleas-ures" ice cream truck handing out free ice cream, with flavors like "Cocoa Conspirator" and "IndictMint Chip," and sharing real facts about the impact of the Russia probe. Everywhere it goes, the ice cream truck gets great press, and MoveOn has decided to keep it going, introducing new flavors like "Michael Waffle Cone Lied to Congress," and a new single-scoop "Individual 1" option.
- Organizing extended protests in Washington, D.C. and around the country, following up on the more than 1,000 events that MoveOn members pulled off in the days after the Sessions firing.
- Flooding Congress with calls to make sure Republicans know that they will be held accountable for Trump's abuses and to remind Democrats that their constituents expect them to fight.
- Producing a raft of new shareable videos to explain in clear terms that people can understand what's at stake and why Trump's actions are so dangerous.
So much of this resistance is tied to the work that MoveOn members have been fueling for the past two years—and relies on MoveOn's continued investment, leadership, and mobilization.
MoveOn has proven time and again that its tactics are effective, but after a knock-down, drag-out midterm election, MoveOn needs our help to sustain this long-term fight.
Can you chip in $3 a week to help build and sustain the next stage of MoveOn's grassroots resistance?
Legal experts from both political parties say that Whitaker's appointment is illegal, and Democrats have filed a lawsuit to stop it.10 Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has threatened to add the Mueller protection bill to must-pass spending legislation to prevent a government shutdown.11
The reason that Democrats in Congress are standing strong is because they've heard our voices. Within hours of Trump firing Sessions, MoveOn members organized more than 1,000 rallies all over the country, which were attended by more than 100,000 people.
MoveOn members are ready to hit the streets again—and, in the meantime, have been hitting the phones, protesting at local events, getting TV coverage, and flooding social media every step of the way to defend the investigation and demand real accountability for Trump and the truth about Russia. It's now just as critical that MoveOn help protect Mueller's work, push Democrats in the House to use every tool at their disposal to hold Trump accountable, and force Whitaker to recuse—or, even better, have him removed from his unconstitutionally-appointed position.
We must keep up the pressure. This is perhaps the greatest threat to our democracy and rule of law that we've seen in a generation, and we need to demand that Republicans join Democrats in passing legislation to protect the Mueller investigation during the lame-duck session of Congress, and then make sure that Democrats begin investigations when they take over the House in January.
Will you chip in $3 a week so that MoveOn can answer this constitutional crisis with the intensity of public outrage that this moment demands?
Thanks for all you do.
1. "Michael Cohen pleads guilty, says he lied about Trump's knowledge of Moscow project," CNN, November 29, 2018
3. "The Trump Organization Planned To Give Vladimir Putin The $50 Million Penthouse In Trump Tower Moscow," BuzzFeed News, November 29, 2018
4. "Trump admits he 'looked' at proposal to build Trump Tower in Moscow," The New Republic, November 30, 2018
5. "'Individual 1': Trump emerges as a central subject of Mueller probe," The Washington Post, November 29, 2018
6. "Schumer calls for investigation of Whitaker's contacts with White House," The Hill, November 20, 2018
7. "What Sessions's Resignation Means for Robert Mueller," The Atlantic, November 7, 2018
8. "The many scandals of Trump's new acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, explained," Vox, November 14, 2018
9. "Failure to turn over Whitaker's public financial disclosure forms angers critics," CNN, November 19, 2018
10. "Senate Democrats are suing to try to stop Matthew Whitaker from serving as acting attorney general," Vox, November 19, 2018
11. "Charles Schumer says Democrats might tie spending bill to Mueller protection," USA Today, November 11, 2018
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