Action #1: Stop saying “quid pro quo”. There is power in language. Say the real names of his crimes.
Does “quid pro quo” always equal a criminal act or can it apply to normal political horse trading? Mick Mulvaney gave us an object lesson in the slipperiness of this Latin phrase when he both confirmed that the administration had withheld aid to further Trump’s election campaign, while declaring it merely an instance of normal “political influence in foreign policy.” Luckily, our own language has unequivocal terms for the possible crimes Trump committed during his “perfect” phone call. So, go basic “Law & Order” and call them out by name. Here are the most powerful charges:
- Bribery/Extortion: Trump didn’t just ask for a personal favor from a foreign government, which is illegal by itself. He tied badly needed foreign aid to the tail of his request. So, bribery or extortion? According to Patrick Cotter, a former New York prosecutor who helped bring down the mobster John Gotti, that issue depends on whether the person being asked for a payout is closer to being an accomplice, or a victim. If the person is being threatened, then it may be extortion.
- That we are even having this discussion about “bribery or extortion” in regards to our president shows what trouble we are in.
- For those Thanksgiving guests/facebook friends who think colluding with foreign powers for private gain is no big deal, send them this video. Trump is why our founding fathers added impeachment to the Constitution.
- Campaign Finance Law: As discussed above, it’s a crime for an American to ask a foreigner for help winning a U.S. election. Furthermore, the monetary value of his “ask” exceeds the $25,000 required for a felony, since overall spending in the 2020 election is expected to be in the billions, said Richard Hasen, a specialist on election law at the University of California Irvine.
- “Honest Services” Fraud: According to Barbara McQuade, Detroit’s former top federal prosecutor, Trump has violate this law too. “The theory is that by performing an official act in exchange for personal gain, a public official defrauds his constituents of his honest services to make decisions and take actions that are in the best interests of the public.”
- Witness Intimidation: Everything Trump has ever said about the whistleblower.
- Obstruction of Justice: The Trump administration has obstructed justice by refusing to comply with subpoenas for documents and testimony relating to the crisis, making us call for Congress to retake their power of inherent contempt and start jailing no-shows. Mueller’s report also outlined multiple instances of obstructive behavior, in evidence so damning that over 1,000 former prosecutors signed a joint letter (read here) stating that anyone else would have been charged.
Action #2: Name these crimes on your social media.
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world … would do this, it would change the earth.” ― William Faulkner
Each of us has power to influence others through our unique social media footprint. Don’t allow the ridiculous conspiracy theories being concocted every day to get the air they need to thrive. Thwack this video or this article onto any feeds that are heading off the rails about the upcoming impeachment hearings.
You may ask if it’s worth the aggravation…yes, because people do change their minds! “Researchers at George Mason University…sampled some 684 survey respondents and found something that indicates that this may happen more often than we think: “Even when a person [isn’t explicitly seeking out information of one sort or another], if the person stumbles into a cross-cutting political discussion while using SNS [social networking sites], he or she has a high possibility of experiencing political view change or increased issue involvement.” Martin Luther King, Jr. said “For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing.” Don’t do nothing.
Action #3: Indivisible members just like you are calling blue voters in red states. Join in.
“Democrats are particularly prone to toggling between overconfident jubilance and terrified paralysis,” said Ben Wikler, who was elected Wisconsin Democratic Party chair in June after years with the progressive organizing group MoveOn.
- What solves terrified paralysis? Diving in to do the work. Realizing that you are not alone.
- What are the stats?: 53 senate seats held by republicans. 23 of those GOP senate seats are before voters in 2020.
- The project: We must overwhelm at least 20 republican senators with calls from their own constituents and shame them (or make them worried about their own re-election) into doing their constitutional duty: voting to remove this corrupt President from office. Starting today and through next week, Indivisible is running shifts for a whole new batch of key senators, including:
- Sen. David Perdue (GA)
- Sen. Dan Sullivan (AK)
- Sen. Mitt Romney (UT)
- Sen. Ben Sasse (NE)
- So far: Indivisible members have already made 419,000 calls to other progressive people living in red states and connected them to directly their own senators.
- Join in! Beginners and serious introverts welcome!: Sign up for a shift here. There’s tons of instructions.
(We will be posting writing actions tomorrow. Stay tuned)
Action #4 – Do you know people with GOP senators? – CALL THEM!
If you know someone who lives in a state with GOP senators and especially those listed below, ask them to express, loudly and frequently, their dissatisfaction with the criminal and corrupt behavior of the President. Like…every day! Politicians just want to get re-elected, so calls from both sides are carefully counted. The calls can take less than 10 seconds to make and your friends and family can make them while waiting for their coffee to brew.
Then ask for a little more… The NAACP created the “Power of Five” campaign to empower voters to take leadership of their own spheres of influence by reaching out to 5 people they know. Ask your friends and relatives identify 5 friends of their own to reach out to and get involved with this action as well.
Minimal message to GOP Senator: I’m calling from [zip code] and want Senator [__] to publicly acknowledge that the President has violated his Oath of Office & the Constitution and has subverted our democracy for the benefit of foreign powers. Sen. [__] took an oath as well, and therefore, on his/her honor, he/she must vote “YES” to the articles of impeachment and to restoring the rule of law to our country.
Contact numbers for all Senators: here.
- (#Alaska) Murkowski – She’s voted against President when pressed by constituents. Alaskans are working on her.
- (#Arizona) McSally – Already running behind former astronaut Kelly for John McCain’s former seat that McSally was appointed to after she lost in 2018.
- (#Colorado) Gardner – Up for re-election in 2020 in a swing state where he is considered one the most vulnerable senate republicans.
- (#Florida) Rubio has run against President or publicly disagreed with him at times.
- (#Georgia) Isakson – Resigning 12/31/19, seat filled by appointment until special election in November 2020.
- (#Iowa) Ernst – both Iowa senators are disagreeing with the President and voicing support for the Ukraine scandal whistleblower.
- (#Iowa) Grassley – both Iowa senators are disagreeing with the President and voicing support for the Ukraine scandal whistleblower.
- (#Kansas) Roberts is retiring and no longer needs to coddle campaign donors.
- (#Maine) Collins – Voters on her state are still angry about her Kavanaugh vote, crowdsourced campaign funds raised millions of dollars for her eventual opponent, likely faces uphill struggle for re-election if she doesn’t retire; already expressing disapproval of President’s actions.
- (#Nebraska) Sasse has criticized the President in the past.
- (#Ohio) Portman has run against President or publicly disagreed with him at times.
- (#Tennessee) Alexander is retiring and no longer needs to coddle campaign donors.
- (#Texas) Cruz has run against President or publicly disagreed with him at times.
- (#Utah) Romney – A full throated disapproval of President’s suggestion China should investigate Biden, President is already viscously attacking Romney.
- (#WestVirginia) Capito was one of three GOP women that voted to preserve the Affordable Care Act;
- (#Wyoming) Enzi is retiring and no longer needs to coddle campaign donors.