U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-9) of Paterson today signed a discharge petition to force the House of Representatives to vote on bipartisan legislation establishing an independent commission to investigate any collusion between President Donald J. Trump’s campaign and Russia to interfere in the presidential election.
“It boggles the mind to consider the mounting indications of Trump’s inappropriate ties to Russia that started well before his swearing-in,” said Pascrell. “Republican Congressional leadership has continued to rebuff the calls of the majority of the American people, claiming that an independent, outside commission is not needed. However, seeing the political protection from Congress and within the Department of Justice, it is apparent that an independent commission is the only body that can conduct this investigation through an objective microscope. They need staff and they need to get to work quickly.”
Pascrell said polling shows 78 percent of Americans want an independent investigation. The discharge petition filed by House Democrats will force the House to vote on H.R. 356, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, once 218 members sign the discharge petition. Thus far, Speaker Paul Ryan has refused to schedule a vote on the bipartisan bill, and House Republicans have voted seven times to block its consideration in the House.
In July, the FBI opened an investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government. Last week, Trump admitted that he dumped FBI Director James Comey in an attempt to stop his investigation into Trump-Russia ties. On Monday, the New York Times reported that the President compromised highly classified intelligence to the Russians and jeopardized the security of the American people – the day after he fired Comey.
“Along with my pursuit of the President’s tax returns, we need as many eyes on this administration as possible,” said Pascrell. “We’re moving beyond Watergate and the Teapot Dome scandal into a whole new level of White House mismanagement and corruption.”
Also this afternoon, this out of Washington, “Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III has been appointed independent special prosecutor to take over the Justice Department investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any coordination between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian intelligence.”