Open Letter to the GOP Congressional Leadership

6 mins read
Republican Party (United States) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dear GOP leadership:

If you read Trump’s letter to Speaker Pelosi, you’ll see that Trump has put you on the horns of a dilemma. 

You can either 

  • embrace outrageous lies and
  • take Russia’s side against the FBI and Ukraine

 or:

  • incur Trump’s wrath & lose support of his base.

What will you do?

The dilemma becomes most apparent in Paragraphs 17 and 18:

Here Trump claims that the Mueller probe was a “witch hunt” based on a “grave, malicious, and slanderous lie.” 

The lies in those two paragraphs are dizzying and dangerous.

As anyone who read the Mueller Report knows, Mueller documented numerous links between Russians and the Trump campaign, but found insufficient evidence to charge a criminal conspiracy. Mueller also acknowledged that the record was incomplete because Trump obstructed justice, and that he might have reached a different conclusion if he’d had access to all the evidence.

Mueller also concluded that Russia engaged in a sweeping and systematic attack on our election.

For Trump, though, the “horrifying abuse of power” in 2016 was on the part of the FBI, who initiated the probe. 

Trump says the FBI attacked the “freedom and liberty of our nation.”

In Paragraph 4, Trump says that his conversation with Zelensky was “innocent” and in asking a favor, he was looking out for “America’s interests.”

This makes sense if you accept, as true, that the real villains in 2016 were the FBI, certain Ukrainians, and the Democrats.

Trump’s “proof” that his conversation with Zelensky was “perfect” and “not an abuse of power” was:

  • He said “the country has been through a lot” (he didn’t say “I have been through a lot.”
  • He said “do us a favor” not “do me a favor.”

The implication was that in asking Zelensky to get to the bottom of Ukrainian “corruption” and the truth of what happened in 2016, Trump was acting in the best interests of America and trying to set the record straight.

Siding with Trump means accepting that as true.

When Devon Nunes said these same things, Fiona Hill (expert witness) explained that in repeating these talking points, he was repeating Russian generated propaganda, and explained that repeating these talking points harms the US.

In other words, stop helping Russia.

So, dear GOP leadership, you have to decide: Will you repeat Russian generated propaganda that harms both the US and Ukraine, or will you break with Trump?

This really shouldn’t be hard.

Trump’s defense to the obstruction charge is that he was asserting “Constitutionally based privileges” and that he had the right to go to court:

Impeachment, at heart, is about the power balance between the Legislative and Executive branches.

If impeachment is too easy, the president becomes beholden to Congress.

If impeachment is too hard, there are effectively no checks on presidential power. 

The Constitution gives the “sole” power of impeachment and removal to Congress. 

We watched House Republicans willing to give up their power to the president and the courts.

Will you do the same?

I’m sure you can see that most of the letter is filled with obvious lies and distortions.The letter uses the “Firehose of Falsehoods” method. Drench people in lies. They get overwhelmed and give up trying to sort out truth from lies.

I’ll address only one:

Biden, in fact, was trying to fire the prosecutor who refused to crack down on corrupt companies.

The letter drips with “I’m the victim,” another propaganda technique. Here he equates his situation, having to face a Congressional investigation, with innocent women actually being burned to death:

He says not many people would be able to tolerate the “punishment inflicted” on him during the Mueller probe:

Trump equates himself with the Republican Party, and accuses Pelosi of personally attacking the entire GOP (later he includes millions of voters):

The letter also drips with the “You’re The Puppet” propaganda technique: Pelosi is the one who is abusing her power, not Trump!

The “You’re the Puppet” technique isn’t to be confused with projection, an unconscious process by which we see our own bad traits in others. The technique of accusing another person of doing what you’ve done is a standard fascist technique.

So, Republican leadership, what will you do? Will you openly embrace Trump’s worldview and lies, and side with Russia—or will you have the courage to break away?

History has its eyes on you.

Originally posted on Musing About Law, Books, and Politics.
Re-posted with permission.


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Teri has written novels, short stories, nonfiction for both young readers and adults, and lots of legal briefs. She is currently working on a book on disinformation to be published by Macmillan Publishers. Her political commentary has appeared on the NBC Think Blog and CNN.com. Her articles and essays have appeared in publications as diverse as Education Week, Slate Magazine, and Scope Magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in the American Literary View, The Iowa Review, and others. For twelve years she maintained a private appellate law practice limited to representing indigents on appeal from adverse rulings. She believes with the ACLU that when the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everybody's rights are imperiled. She also believe with John Updike that the purpose of literature is to expand our sympathies. Teri lives with her family on the beautiful central coast in California.

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