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4 million and one reasons why we need an independent Trump-Russia Commission

The day before historic testimony from former FBI Director James Comey, four million petition signatures calling for an independent Trump-Russia commission were delivered to Congress.

Director Comey’s testimony before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence only underscores the need for such investigation. Based on his testimony, Trump appears to have repeatedly tried to derail investigations into the ties between Russia and his campaign. Further, Comey stated confidently that Russia took a number of measures to influence the 2016 election and will try to do so again in the future.

Lisa Gilbert, Vice President of Legislative Affairs at Public Citizen, was on hand for the delivery of the signatures to Congress. She stated, “As the threads of deception become even more tangled in the Russia story, the need for truly independent investigation deepens”

“The public deserves to know what role foreign governments played in influencing our elections as well as what entanglements our administration might have. Our national safety and the integrity of our democracy is at stake. The President is not above the law, and for the good of our nation, it is essential that the truth be revealed,” added Gilbert speaking with other organizations, members of Congress and engaged citizens.

The most likely path to getting such an investigation would be through a discharge petition being championed by Rep. Eric Swalwell and Rep. Elijah Cummings. Rep. Swalwell spoke at the event, recounting his time as an intern at the U.S. Capitol building on the day of the historic and terrifying September 11, 2001 attacks. He spoke of the bipartisan “coming together” across party lines that he witnessed at that time and called for a return to an ethos of “country before party,” in the face of our current national crisis.

Speaking alongside him at the event were fellow House members Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. John Sarbanes, Rep. Jerry Nadler, and Rep. Anna Eshoo.

Public Citizen members joined those representing 19 other national organizations in helping push the petition past the four million signature threshold. To put this remarkable number in perspective, this is roughly four times the signatures garnered by the most popular petition ever hosted at the Whitehouse.gov petition site. The subject of that petition? Calling on President Trump to release his tax returns.

This post was edited to correct a quote from Rep. Swalwell.