Bill to Investigate Activities of Russia in 2016 Election Gains First GOP Sponsor

The Protecting Our Democracy Act (H.R. 356) which has as its purpose to establish a commission “to examine any attempts or activities by the Russian government, persons or entities associated with the Russian government, or persons or entities within Russia to use electronic means to influence, interfere with, or sow distrust in elections for public office held in the United States in 2016.”

Including Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), the bill has 198 cosponsors and it has just gained the one thing it was missing: its first Republican co-sponsor, Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC). MSNBC’s Kyle Griffin tweeted the news this morning:

As Rep. Swalwell announced in December,

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“This past election, the principles of our democracy were attacked. We owe it to our constituents to defend the integrity of our representative democracy, starting with finding out what exactly happened and how we prevent it from ever happening again,” said Ranking Member Swalwell. “While our intelligence agencies have concluded with high confidence that Russia meddled in America’s elections, to what degree and whether other state or non-state actors were involved remains unresolved. Americans of all political parties are rightfully worried and deserve answers. To protect our democracy, we are calling for a fact-based, independent, bipartisan-appointed commission on foreign interference in the 2016 election.”

As Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said in a tweet yesterday, “It is unconscionable that Republicans are refusing to investigate Russia’s interference with our elections.” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) is more concerned with leaks than with what was leaked, as is Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).

Former Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin, also a Republican, has like Democrats in Congress been outspoken in his criticism of Republicans more interested in pushing a conservative agenda than defending our national security, accusing them of shirking their duties.

Democrats are fighting an uphill battle in holding the Trump administration accountable. Republicans, who were more than eager to investigate Hillary Clinton without any evidence whatsoever, are now refusing to even look for evidence.

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