Michael Flynn, the disgraced former National Security Advisor to the Trump Administration, resigned after it was discovered that he lied about illegally contacting Russian officials prior to President Trump’s inauguration. Reports have now surfaced that a number of additional Trump aides had contact with Russian intelligence officials during the 2016 campaign. This week, we learned that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, our top law enforcement officer, lied under oath to cover up his own contacts with the Russian government during the campaign. This is a matter of national security that must be fully investigated by Congress.
SAMPLE CALL DIALOGUE
Caller: Good morning/afternoon! Can you please let me know the Senator’s/ Representative’s view on whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions should resign for lying under oath about communicating with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign?
OPTION 1: SUPPORTS SESSIONS RESIGNATION AND SPECIAL PROSECUTOR
- Staffer: Thank you for calling! Senator/Representative Janet believes Jeff Sessions acted inappropriately in meeting privately with the Russian Ambassador and then lying about it under oath. He should resign his post.Caller: That’s great to hear. I believe that the Senator/Representative should publicly call for Jeff Sessions resignation, and that a special prosecutor should be appointed to conduct a full investigation into the Trump Administration’s ties to Russia. Given the unprecedented level of Russian interference in our elections and domestic affairs, I believe a full, independent investigation is necessary. Will the Senator/Representative commit to fully investigating Sessions and the White House’s ties to the Russian government and support Representative Darrell Issa’s call for an independent special prosecutor for the investigation?
OPTION 2: OPPOSES SESSIONS RESIGNATION AND SPECIAL PROSECUTOR
- Staffer: Thank you for calling! Senator/Representative Janet believes that Sessions did the right thing in recusing himself from any investigations involving the Trump campaign, but she doesn’t support further investigations. It’s time for us to move on and get back to serving the American people.Caller: That’s terrible! Attorney General Sessions met with Russian Ambassador twice in-person during the campaign—and then he lied about it, under oath. This is in and of itself disqualifying for the job of Attorney General. He cannot be trusted to enforce the law as Attorney Generals are charged to do. What’s more, the Russian government interfered in our elections and in our domestic affairs—what Senator/Representative Janet is saying is that she does not think this deserves a full investigation. These conversations were reckless and endangered US diplomatic relations with Russia and our interests abroad. Sessions then lied under oath during his confirmation hearing to hide his conversations with Russia. We must root out all inappropriate relationships between the Russian government and Trump officials. This is a matter of national security and it requires a full and exhaustive investigation led by a special prosecutor.
Staffer: But there is no evidence of any other connection between Russia and the White House.
Caller: That’s wrong. American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted communications between Trump campaign aides and Russian intelligence officials before the election. We don’t know more details because Congress has yet to conduct a full investigation. It sounds like Senator/Representative Janet supports Russian interference in American affairs. Will she commit to supporting a full investigation led by an independent special prosecutor as suggested by Representative Darrell Issa, a senior Republican member of both the House Committee on the Judiciary and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform?
OPTION 3: DODGES / HAS NO POSITION
- Staffer: Thank you for calling. I don’t know the Senator/Representative’s position on Sessions resignation.Caller: That’s disappointing to hear—this is a very important issue for millions of Americans, who are increasingly worried about the Trump Administration’s relationship with Russia before and after the election, as well as prior to his inauguration. Attorney General Sessions met with Russian Ambassador twice, in-person during the campaign—and then he lied about it, under oath. This is in and of itself disqualifying for the job of Attorney General. He cannot be trusted to enforce the law as Attorney Generals are charged to do. The Trump Administration is setting a dangerous precedent when it comes to national security, foreign policy, and the law.
Staffer: I did not know that, but I’m happy to take down your concerns.
Caller: My concerns are these: We need to conduct a full investigation into the relationship between the Trump Administration, the Trump campaign, and the Russian government. Reports that Trump campaign aides had contact with Russian intelligence before the election are troubling, to say the least. I expect Senator/Representative Janet will represent her constituents like me and support a full Congressional investigation into this matter. I expect the Senator/Representative to do two things to prove that she is on my side here:
1. Publicly call for the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
2. Join Representative Darrell Issa in calling for an independent special prosecutor to lead a full investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia.
Staffer: I will certainly pass on your concerns to the Senator/Representative.
Caller: Please do, and please take down my contact information to let me know when the Senator/Representative has made up her mind. I’m eager to hear what she decides.
From the Indivisible Guide resources