This script is customized from the Indivisible Guide’s Facebook post. Call Senator Portman’s office: DC (202) 224-3353, (614) 469-6774
Toll Free: 1-800-205-6446 (OHIO)
Michael Flynn, disgraced former national security advisor to the Trump administration, resigned after it was discovered that he illegally contacted Russian officials prior to President Trump’s inauguration. In these conversations, Flynn discussed sanctions levied by President Obama against the country due to its involvement in the 2016 presidential election and urged Russia not to overreact to the action, making clear the sanctions would come under review after the inauguration.
Through these conversations, a non-elected official, appointed by a President-elect who had yet to take office, violated the Logan Act of 1799, which prohibits unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments that the US is engaged in disputes with. Not only did Flynn act illegally, his relations with Russia continue to reveal a troubling relationship between the Trump camp and Russia.
Most troubling of all, the White House knew about Flynn’s illegal communications with Russian officials for at least two weeks and did nothing about it. Flynn resigned only after the information became public through extensive reporting from major news outlets. It is not enough that Michael Flynn has resigned. This is a matter of national security that must be fully investigated by Congress.
Caller: Good morning/afternoon! Can you please let me know the Senator’s views on Michael Flynn’s resignation as National Security Advisor for inappropriately communicating with Russian officials before Trump took office?
OPTION 1: SUPPORTS FLYNN’S RESIGNATION
- Staffer: Thank you for calling! Senator Portman believes Michael Flynn acted inappropriately in privately discussing US sanctions against Russia with foreign officials. He is glad that Flynn has resigned his post.
- Caller: That’s great to hear. I’m calling to say that I truly believe Flynn’s actions are in violation of US law under the Logan Act. Given the unprecedented level of Russian interference in our elections and domestic affairs, I believe a full investigation is necessary. If the Senator truly believes, as I do, that Michael Flynn’s conversations were inappropriate, he should support a congressional investigation into the ties between Russia, Michael Flynn, and other Trump officials. In addition, as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I ask that Senator Portman request the committee to hold a hearing to investigate Flynn’s actions and root out any other inappropriate relationships between Trump officials and the Russian government.
OPTION 2: OPPOSES FURTHER INVESTIGATION OF FLYNN’S DISCUSSIONS WITH RUSSIA
- Staffer: Thank you for calling! Senator Portman believes Flynn acted inappropriately and he is glad that he has resigned. Now, we should move on and get back to solving more pressing issues that matter to Americans.
- Caller: That’s terrible! The Russian government interfered in our elections and in our domestic affairs and what Senator Portman is saying is that he does not think this deserves additional investigation. These conversations were reckless and endangered US diplomatic relations with Russia and our interests abroad. The Dept. of Justice warned the White House two weeks before he resigned of the potential for Russian blackmail and yet the White House did nothing about it. We must root out any other inappropriate relationships between the Russian government and Trump officials. This is a matter of national security and it requires a full and exhaustive investigation.
- Staffer: But there is no evidence of any other connection between Russia and the White House.
- Caller: We don’t know that for sure because Congress has yet to conduct a full investigation. We know that Flynn discussed the removal of the sanctions before the inauguration of Donald Trump, but we don’t know if he was the only person having these types of conversations. We also don’t know whether he or anyone else was blackmailed by the Russian government. In fact, we still don’t even know if Donald Trump himself is vulnerable to Russian influence since we haven’t seen his tax returns. Does Senator Portman support the Russian interference in American affairs?
OPTION 3: DODGES / HAS NO POSITION
- Staffer: Thank you for calling. I have no idea the Senator’s position on Flynn’s resignation.
- Caller: That’s disappointing to hear– this is a very important issue for millions of Americans who are increasingly worried over the Trump Administration’s relationship with Russia before and after the election and prior to his inauguration. The White House knew about Flynn’s inappropriate communications with Russian officials for two weeks but did nothing about it. The Trump Administration is setting a dangerous precedent when it comes to national security and foreign policy. Did you know that the Dept. of Justice warned the White House that Michael Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail by the Russian government?
- Staffer: I did not know that, but I’m happy to take down your concerns.
- Caller: My concerns are this: We need to conduct a full investigation into the relationship between Michael Flynn and the Russian government to root out any other possible interference on the part of the Russian government. I expect Senator Portman will represent his constituents like me and support an investigation into this matter. I expect Senator Portman to do two things to prove that he is on my side here: 1. Publicly state his condemnation of Flynn’s conversations. 2. Support a full and exhaustive congressional investigation of the matter. In addition, as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I ask that Senator Portman request the committee to hold a hearing to investigate Flynn’s actions and root out any other inappropriate relationships between Trump officials and the Russian government.