Support the Creation of the Independent Commission (HR 356)
On May 10th, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter to Speaker Ryan urging for him to bring H.R. 356, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, to an immediate vote on the floor as soon as the House reconvenes the week of May 15th. The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), would establish an independent commission of 12 non-governmental appointees to fully investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and any potential ties to the Trump campaign. If Speaker Ryan fails to bring this bill to the floor immediately, Pelosi will file a discharge petition: a parliamentarian procedure that allows a bill to be brought to the floor without passing through committee. If a simple majority of House members sign the discharge petition, Pelosi can force a floor vote on the measure. Currently, every Democrat has agreed to sign the petition. While a special prosecuter is clearly needed after the abrupt firing of FBI Director Comey, especially given the role AG Sessions and Deputy AG Rosenstein played in the decision, an independent commission is still needed to ensure a fair and thorough investigation. A special prosecutor will be able to press criminal charges if necessary, but he/she could still be controlled or even fired. An independent commission, however, would have more autonomy and will produce an extensive, conclusive report of its findings, including information of wrongdoings that may not warrant criminal charges but is still vital for the American public to know."