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The Time for an Independent Investigation is Here

The survival of our representative democracy depends on regular, active communication between Americans and the politicians who represent them. Democracy dies when our leaders hide information and hide themselves behind walls of privilege, secrecy and silence.

Over the last nine months, we have seen a steady drip, drip, drip of information leaking out into public view, revealing dozens of contacts between agents of the Russian government and surrogates of Donald Trump at the very same time that Russia decided to act to subvert America’s democratic process.

With every new drip of revelation, it has become more clear that we’ve been lied to.

Trust us, Trump’s people said: we didn’t contact the Russians. But that was a lie.
Then trust us, each one of Trump’s people said: it was just me, not anyone else. But that was a lie.
Then trust us, they said: we didn’t discuss the election. But that was a lie.
Then trust us, they said: we didn’t talk about policies or favors. But that was a lie.

Drip.
Drip.
Drip.

And now our leaders in the House and the Senate are telling us that the best course of action for resolving this crisis is for a few well-connected politicians to meet in secret behind closed doors, collect evidence in secret behind closed doors, make decisions in secret behind closed doors, and resolve the scandal in secret behind closed doors — under the secure leadership of who? Trump’s surrogates, that’s who.

Trust us, our elected leaders and their appointed agents say. Trust us that this time, we won’t hide anything. Trust us that this time, there won’t be any lies. They swear they’ll do a good job, just like their colleague swore under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Trust us and go home. Trust us and stop calling our offices. Trust us and stop asking questions. Trust us and everything will be just fine.

Do you trust that? Should we trust that?

Democracy sickens when politicians seclude themselves. Authoritarianism grows in the dark. When the truth is held secret it dies. As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis put it, “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

It’s time to make the truth public. It’s time to open the doors and shed a little light. An independent, public, open investigation of the ties between Russia and the Trump administration is the only way to restore trust, stop the lies and preserve the integrity of our democracy.

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