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house Bill H.R. 356

Does an Independent, Bipartisan Commission Need to Investigate Electoral Meddling by Foreign Governments?

Argument in favor

An independent, bipartisan commission is needed to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 election and recommend steps to prevent it from reoccurring.

Rick's Opinion
···
05/10/2017
We need an independent investigation that can move outside of political parties to resolve the issue of foreign involvement in our politics.
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ShePersisted's Opinion
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02/25/2017
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, you, Sirs, are TRAITORS! According to the Washington Post, Trump administration officials asked you to help them downplay and speak out against news reports about the Trump campaign's connections to Russian intelligence. Instead of leading independent congressional investigations into the Russian situation, as you were tasked with doing, you CALLED JOURNALISTS and attempted to “challenge” stories in the New York Times, CNN and elsewhere about top Trump advisers’ alleged communication with Russian government officials. You BOTH confirmed to the Post that you spoke with reporters about the Russia stories, with Nunes declaring that his conversations were “at the request of White House communications aide.” "A conflict of interest is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation or decision-making of that individual or organization." Does this mean you will now investigate YOURSELVES? The American people will NOT forgive such duplicitous behavior. I am looking forward to the day the White House is cleared of it's vermin but until then, I will celebrate the trapping of each rat like you. Deliberately spreading lies and pestilence in an effort to dissuade people from pursuing this further - do you realize how bad this looks? You are both done. Your careers are over. This is reprehensible conduct for a publicly elected official and you should be ashamed. Washington Post: Trump administration sought to enlist intelligence officials, key lawmakers to counter Russia stories - By Greg Miller, Adam Entous
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Anna's Opinion
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05/10/2017
Only a fascist dictator would shut down democratic processes such as these. No one is above investigation. Trump must be held accountable.
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Argument opposed

Congressional committees are already investigating the matter, and they can be relied upon to inform the public of their findings and recommendations.

Delia 's Opinion
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05/10/2017
An Independent Special Prosecutor is needed. It's impossible for US Congress to conduct a nonpartisan investigation.
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Ellen's Opinion
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05/10/2017
We don't need a bipartisan group to investigate this we need an independent prosecutor and Independence investigators this is a matter of breaking the law, treason and an impeachable assault on the constitution
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Loraki's Opinion
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05/10/2017
This is the REAL ISSUE that needs to be FULLY INVESTIGATED: Investigate what the FBI knew and when they knew it and what they were doing about it. Investigate Hillary Clinton's involvement and find out if BHO was in any way connected, and also George Soros! This stinks to high heaven like a major Democommie conspiracy, with Donald Trump being an innocent victim! A Strange Development In The Trump-Russia Investigation Has Left Everyone Floored The investigation into the alleged ties between Trump and Russia just took a strange turn. And a key Senator is focusing on a troubling connection between Russian intelligence and the FBI. And the allegations have turned the investigation upside-down. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has zeroed-in on the Christopher Steele memo. Steele was an ex-British intelligence agent hired by Fusion GPS – which was paid by supporters of Hillary Clinton – to prepare an opposition research memo on Donald Trump. The final product contained wild and unsubstantiated claims about Trump and alleged his campaign had colluded with the Russians to rig the election. So-called “mainstream” media outlets ran with the dossier and gleefully promoted it as proof Trump was a crooked candidate engaged in treason. But observers began to point out the holes in the memo. And Senator Grassley has indentified the most troubling aspect of Steele’s work. In a letter to FBI Director James Comey, Grassley demanded for the information regarding the FBI’s knowledge that Fusion GPS was working on behalf of Russian interests to weaken sanctions, as well as collaborated with Russian intelligence operatives. Grassley wrote in his letter: “Also, more information has since come to the Committee’s attention about the company overseeing the creation of the dossier, Fusion GPS. Namely, Fusion GPS is the subject of a complaint to the Justice Department, which alleges that the company violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by working on behalf of Russian principals to undermine U.S. sanctions against Russians. That unregistered work was reportedly conducted with a former Russian intelligence operative, Mr. Rinat Akhmetshin, and appears to have been occurring simultaneous to Fusion GPS’s work overseeing the creation of the dossier. I wrote to the Justice Department about this issue on March 31, copying you, and I have attached that letter here for your reference. The Justice Department has yet to respond.” Comey was further pressed on this point during his testimony. The Federalist reports: “On Wednesday, another senator joined the mix with pointed questions for the embattled FBI head. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), who has been a vocal critic of President Trump, peppered Comey with questions about ties between Fusion GPS and what Graham termed “the Russian intelligence apparatus”: Graham: Are you familiar with Fusion? Comey: I know the name. Graham: Are they part of the Russian intelligence apparatus? Comey: I can’t say. Graham: Do you agree with me that if Fusion was involved in preparing a dossier against Donald Trump, that would be interfering in our election by the Russians? Comey: I don’t want to say.” Was the entire purpose of the Steele dossier to give misinformation? One of the reasons the Russians may have meddled in the 2016 election was to sow distrust for American democracy. What better way to do that than to introduce a memo that can’t be proven, yet contains wild accusations one side can’t help but run with. If that is the case, then the left played right into Russia’s hands by falling for the Steele memo – in spite of its obvious errors and inconsistencies. http://www.americanpatriotdaily.com/latest/strange-development-trump-russia-investigation/
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedJanuary 6th, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 356?

This bill would establish an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 election. It would create a 12-member commission that would have the ability to interview witnesses, obtain documents, issue subpoenas, and receive public testimony in the course of its investigation. Once the commission completes its investigation, it would issue a final report with its recommendations to Congress and the president within 18 months of its enactment.

Within 90 days of this bill’s enactment, the top two congressional leaders of each party in both chambers of Congress would select the commission’s twelve members. The commission would then choose a chair and vice chair representing each party. No federal officials or employees would be eligible to serve on the commission. Appointees would be prominent U.S. citizens with national recognition in the fields of government service, law enforcement, armed forces, law, intelligence, foreign affairs, cybersecurity, and federal elections.

Impact

The public; members of the to-be created commission; and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 356

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) introduced this bill to create an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 election:

“There’s overwhelming agreement across America that our democracy was attacked this past presidential election.  Now everyone’s asking what our nation’s leaders will do about it.  Our legislation answers that question by identifying who was responsible and telling Americans what we will do to secure our next election... If we do nothing, we are telling the world our elections are open for influence by the most aggressive meddler. With 17 intelligence agencies agreeing that Russia interfered in our election, we most move quickly to have an independent, bipartisan, de-politicized commission to fully examine the circumstances, inform the public of its findings, and develop a plan to prevent this from ever happening again.”

This legislation has the support of 199 cosponsors in the House, including 197 Democrats and two Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Kremlin / Public Domain)

AKA

Protecting Our Democracy Act

Official Title

To establish the National Commission on Foreign Interference in the 2016 Election.

    We need an independent investigation that can move outside of political parties to resolve the issue of foreign involvement in our politics.
    Like (294)
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    An Independent Special Prosecutor is needed. It's impossible for US Congress to conduct a nonpartisan investigation.
    Like (155)
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    We don't need a bi-partisan commission, we need an independent special prosecutor.
    Like (520)
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    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, you, Sirs, are TRAITORS! According to the Washington Post, Trump administration officials asked you to help them downplay and speak out against news reports about the Trump campaign's connections to Russian intelligence. Instead of leading independent congressional investigations into the Russian situation, as you were tasked with doing, you CALLED JOURNALISTS and attempted to “challenge” stories in the New York Times, CNN and elsewhere about top Trump advisers’ alleged communication with Russian government officials. You BOTH confirmed to the Post that you spoke with reporters about the Russia stories, with Nunes declaring that his conversations were “at the request of White House communications aide.” "A conflict of interest is a situation in which a person or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation or decision-making of that individual or organization." Does this mean you will now investigate YOURSELVES? The American people will NOT forgive such duplicitous behavior. I am looking forward to the day the White House is cleared of it's vermin but until then, I will celebrate the trapping of each rat like you. Deliberately spreading lies and pestilence in an effort to dissuade people from pursuing this further - do you realize how bad this looks? You are both done. Your careers are over. This is reprehensible conduct for a publicly elected official and you should be ashamed. Washington Post: Trump administration sought to enlist intelligence officials, key lawmakers to counter Russia stories - By Greg Miller, Adam Entous
    Like (215)
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    Only a fascist dictator would shut down democratic processes such as these. No one is above investigation. Trump must be held accountable.
    Like (207)
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    We need representatives with integrity to uphold our democracy and do what's right for our country and the world.
    Like (114)
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    This matter is of great concern to the majority of Americans and it should be a top priority for all members of Congress. This is not the time for partisan politics. Ensuring the safety and security of our nation must be a bipartisan effort. Please investigate fully and disclose as much information with the American public as possible. We deserve to know.
    Like (96)
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    We need an independent investigation.
    Like (84)
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    We need an independent counsel to investigate Russia, Trump and all business ties and election meddling. I am tired of officials unwilling to put country over party. It is shameful. If that is not going to happen, the least we can do is have a Bi-partisan investigation. Trump has fired the 3 people who have been most closely been investigating him. Our congress must stand up and fight for our democracy.
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    Independent prosecutor!!!
    Like (68)
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    We don't need a bipartisan group to investigate this we need an independent prosecutor and Independence investigators this is a matter of breaking the law, treason and an impeachable assault on the constitution
    Like (62)
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    We're possibly facing another Watergate.
    Like (44)
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    Please appoint independent non partisan council to investigate the possible interference of Russia in our election.
    Like (42)
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    Sally Yates. Preet Bharara. James Comey. All 3 were overseeing investigations related to connections between the Trump administration and Russian agents. All 3 were summarily fired by President Trump with no warning and little justification. In a matter of weeks. Coincidence? This behavior is consistent with an attempt by the President to derail the investigations and so escape any consequences that might derive from them, and the only way to dispel that appearance is a robust unbiased investigation that brings all of the salient facts to light. And so we are all faced with the question of what sort of country we want to live in. Do we want to be governed by the rule of law, with blind justice applied evenly to all citizens? Or would we rather be ruled by an authoritarian strongman who flaunts the law, dispatches any who threaten him, and faces no jeopardy? The nation is in crisis. It is a crisis that demands strong leadership that puts country before politics, country before party, country before ideology. Members of both houses of Congress and both political parties must rise up with one voice and demand both an independent commission and a special prosecutor to settle these questions once and for all. The very future of the United States of America depends upon it.
    Like (39)
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    Mike Flynn spoke to Russia about sanctions just prior to inauguration, then lied about it. That's against the law on 2 counts. Russia interfered with our election according to US intelligence, but Congress won't investigate. That's breaking their sworn oath to protect the country from foreign influence.
    Like (38)
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    Why fire James Comey if something wasn't going on?
    Like (33)
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    This has to be done. The integrity of our elections is supposedly what makes the US different
    Like (30)
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    This is the REAL ISSUE that needs to be FULLY INVESTIGATED: Investigate what the FBI knew and when they knew it and what they were doing about it. Investigate Hillary Clinton's involvement and find out if BHO was in any way connected, and also George Soros! This stinks to high heaven like a major Democommie conspiracy, with Donald Trump being an innocent victim! A Strange Development In The Trump-Russia Investigation Has Left Everyone Floored The investigation into the alleged ties between Trump and Russia just took a strange turn. And a key Senator is focusing on a troubling connection between Russian intelligence and the FBI. And the allegations have turned the investigation upside-down. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has zeroed-in on the Christopher Steele memo. Steele was an ex-British intelligence agent hired by Fusion GPS – which was paid by supporters of Hillary Clinton – to prepare an opposition research memo on Donald Trump. The final product contained wild and unsubstantiated claims about Trump and alleged his campaign had colluded with the Russians to rig the election. So-called “mainstream” media outlets ran with the dossier and gleefully promoted it as proof Trump was a crooked candidate engaged in treason. But observers began to point out the holes in the memo. And Senator Grassley has indentified the most troubling aspect of Steele’s work. In a letter to FBI Director James Comey, Grassley demanded for the information regarding the FBI’s knowledge that Fusion GPS was working on behalf of Russian interests to weaken sanctions, as well as collaborated with Russian intelligence operatives. Grassley wrote in his letter: “Also, more information has since come to the Committee’s attention about the company overseeing the creation of the dossier, Fusion GPS. Namely, Fusion GPS is the subject of a complaint to the Justice Department, which alleges that the company violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by working on behalf of Russian principals to undermine U.S. sanctions against Russians. That unregistered work was reportedly conducted with a former Russian intelligence operative, Mr. Rinat Akhmetshin, and appears to have been occurring simultaneous to Fusion GPS’s work overseeing the creation of the dossier. I wrote to the Justice Department about this issue on March 31, copying you, and I have attached that letter here for your reference. The Justice Department has yet to respond.” Comey was further pressed on this point during his testimony. The Federalist reports: “On Wednesday, another senator joined the mix with pointed questions for the embattled FBI head. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), who has been a vocal critic of President Trump, peppered Comey with questions about ties between Fusion GPS and what Graham termed “the Russian intelligence apparatus”: Graham: Are you familiar with Fusion? Comey: I know the name. Graham: Are they part of the Russian intelligence apparatus? Comey: I can’t say. Graham: Do you agree with me that if Fusion was involved in preparing a dossier against Donald Trump, that would be interfering in our election by the Russians? Comey: I don’t want to say.” Was the entire purpose of the Steele dossier to give misinformation? One of the reasons the Russians may have meddled in the 2016 election was to sow distrust for American democracy. What better way to do that than to introduce a memo that can’t be proven, yet contains wild accusations one side can’t help but run with. If that is the case, then the left played right into Russia’s hands by falling for the Steele memo – in spite of its obvious errors and inconsistencies. http://www.americanpatriotdaily.com/latest/strange-development-trump-russia-investigation/
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    The dismissal of James Comey is the final indication that an independent counsel is critical to the preservation of America's democratic government. Comey's dismissal is not the issue. The timing of it is.
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    Enough already. Let's get this done. If Trump did nothing wrong, why keep blocking progress? The drama is unprofessional and embarrassing.
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