After the Justice Department ordered raids on the home and offices of Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, Trump and his network news mouthpieces have been rattling their sabers; indicating that Trump might move to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
For those of you just tuning in, Mueller is a special prosecutor appointed by Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to investigate whether Trump and his associates broke any laws during their repeated contacts with members of the Russian oligarchy as Russia’s intelligence services worked to manipulate the 2016 Presidential election in Trump’s favor.
Given that the Special Prosecutor’s office is a product of Justice Department rules, rather than Federal law and Congress is only just starting to move to protect Mueller’s investigation from interference by Trump, we need to be the backstop protecting Mueller and giving him the time he needs to do this important work.
there will be nationwide protests if Trump interferes
In the event that Trump moves against the Russia investigation, MoveOn.org will trigger nationwide Rapid Response protests in over 800 cities and towns nationwide.
More than 300,000 people are already signed up to be part of these protests. If you want to join us, please text READY to 668366 and MoveOn will add you to the list.
There are four things that could trigger these protests:
- Trump fires Mueller
- Trump fires Rosenstein
- Trump fires Sessions, or anyone else in the chain of command who refuses to fire Mueller.
- Trump pardons anyone of a Russia-related crime.
Timing: If news of a firing breaks before 2pm Pacific Time, the protest will begin at 5pm the same day. If the firing takes place after 2pm Pacific, the protest will take place at noon the following day.
Seattle Protest Information
Seattle protests will begin at at Cal Anderson Park. After a short program, protesters will march to the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building downtown.
Q&A with Seattle Rapid Response organizer Kati Wilkins
Q: How long with the protest take and how far will we march?
A: We anticipate that the first rally at Cal Anderson will be about 30 – 45 minutes, depending on how many speakers/performers are available at the time. We anticipate that the march will take about an hour, and the rally at the federal building will be about an hour. Programming is still in the planning phase, though, so this may change.
Q: What is your definition of success for this protest?
A: At the end of the day, this isn’t just about Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin. This is about protecting the very core of American democracy. We want to show the President and Congress that there is tremendous support for this critical investigation into meddling by a foreign government into our democracy. By having as many people in the streets as possible, Congress will be able to have the visual of how important this is. We will then follow up with relentless phone calls and engagement with their offices demanding that Speaker Ryan and the House Judiciary Committee must immediately begin hearings into abuse of power and obstruction of justice by President Trump. Senators must move immediately to create a Watergate-style Select Committee to investigate Russia’s interference and Trump’s obstruction of justice.
Q: What can people to do help?
A: Bringing sign making materials to the protest would be great! Also, if anyone has medic and/or peacekeeping training and is willing to volunteer, we definitely need more folks who are able to go at the drop of a hat (or a tweet). We are in particular need of medics or anyone with first aid/CPR training. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to volunteer.
For more information, please see this interview with Kati from KIRO 7 News.
What Happens Next?
I asked my friend Jayne Fagan, a national orgnaizer at MoveOn, what happens after the nationwide protests. Here’s her response:
“These events are only the first step. Our goal with these actions is to create an opportunity for anyone outraged by Trump’s abuse of power to engage immediately in voicing their concern. Together, we will communicate unmistakably that this is not okay and that this act to undermine democracy is not going to be allowed to become a new normal.
But that’s only the first step, and it’s far from the last one. Congress is the only body with the constitutional power and responsibility to hold a president politically accountable for major violations of the public trust like this. And “we, the people” are their backstop and source of legitimate power. And what people do next to force Congress to act is up to them!
Certainly, everyone at an event should also call their member of Congress to demand action. And everyone is encouraged to communicate that demand directly at congressional offices. Beyond that, it’s up to you! It’s a good idea to discuss possible scenarios in advance with the hosts of your event or with your friends to develop other nonviolent ways you would like to compel actions from Congress.
Here’s what groups will be asking Congress to do:
- Demand members of Congress protect the special counsel’s office, including preserving its files and staff and ensuring it receives the full cooperation of all federal government law enforcement assets.
- Demand the creation of a modern-day version of the Senate Select Watergate Committee to investigate all matters involved in the Russia scandals and Trump’s abuse of power and obstruction of justice.
- Demand bipartisan hearings in the House Judiciary Committee on obstruction of justice and abuse of power.”
Statement from Tae
Like Jayne says, the next steps are up to us. MoveOn.org and the local Seattle organizers are not calling for people to occupy the public space after the official program has ended, but I believe that Seattle’s answer to the question of “what happens next?” should be to stay at the Federal Building until Congress acts to protect the investigation.
I will be posting updates as events warrant to my Twitter account.
Other accounts you may wish to follow for news include:
I am speaking with local organizers from multiple groups now and will update this post with recommendations and requests from the people on the ground when I get them.
Please dress warmly and stay safe, friends. I still believe America’s best days are ahead of us, but we all have to stand up for it together today to make tomorrow possible.