Standing up for Our Democracy

Congressman Gerry Connolly
2018-01-12 15:03:36
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January 12, 2018
 
Standing up for Our Democracy


Dear Neighbor,

Earlier this week, I joined Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and several of my colleagues in calling on House Republicans to finally take seriously the threat posed by Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. This issue goes to the heart of what it means to be a democracy, and I want to share with you my commitment to ensuring that members of Congress – on both sides of the aisle – understand just how important these investigations are to protecting the sovereignty and security of our country. A transcript of my remarks is below, and you can watch the video
 

 
“There are two kinds of sins. Sins of commission – something you do you should not. And sins of omission – something you should do that you did not do.

And, in the “Russia thing,” here in Congress, we see both kinds of sins. So, we see an active attempt to discredit an ongoing investigation headed by a man of impeccable credentials and unimpeachable virtue. We see the firing of the FBI director and the calls for the head of the Deputy FBI Director. We even see attempts to un-see the attorney general because of his recusal. A recusal required because he didn’t tell the full truth of his own nomination here before the United States Senate.

When you watch these sins of commission, what you see is a strategy, which is “Hey, look over there, don’t look over here!” And we can’t be fooled like that as a country. Our country is at stake. This is about foreign adversarial influence in our electoral process—it goes to the heart of being a democracy. And the calls we’re asking for involve standing up for your country. Are you willing to put your country ahead of your party? Or are you going to be an enabler, and an equivocator, and a rationalizer because you can get short term political gain out of it, at the enormous cost to our republic and to our democratic process?

And there are sins of omission. I serve with Elijah Cummings on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. A committee that issued subpoenas at the drop of a hat. A committee that denied the Fifth Amendment rights of an IRS employee. A committee that actually voted to censure the Attorney General – the then Attorney General – of the United States. A committee that started the Benghazi hearings, questioned the credentials of the honor of two incredible public servants who did an exhaustive examination of the events and facts involving Benghazi – that didn’t stop them. They went on to have a special committee and spend millions of dollars headed by now the Chairman of my committee. Sins of omission.

But, you know what? They seem to have forgotten – or can’t find – that subpoena pen anymore. They seem to have forgotten how to have a hearing on arguably the most important existential issue facing the United States: The active interference of Russia in our electoral process. Not a single hearing at the full committee level. No interest. “Look over there.”

And so, we are here today to call upon our colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Stand up for your country. This is not about party and politics. This is about protecting our beloved country. And everybody needs to be counted. And it’s not about a partisan game, it is about protecting the interest of the American electorate.”



As these investigations continue, know that I will remain committed to ensuring Congress does not abdicate its responsibility to protect and defend the integrity of our democratic system. 

Sincerely,
Gerald E. Connolly
Member of Congress

Watch the video of my remarks

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