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Groups Deliver Over 300,000 Petitions Demanding Investigation into Election Law Violations by Donald Trump Jr.

July 18, 2017 | Adam Smith

Washington, D.C. — Today, advocacy groups are holding a press conference outside of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and delivering over 300,000 petitions from Americans across the country demanding an investigation by the DOJ and Federal Election Commission (FEC) into possible election law violations by Donald Trump Jr. and the Trump campaign. 

The press conference will be streamed live on Every Voice’s Facebook page at 11 am. Speakers include Every Voice Digital Manager Meghan Faulkner and Common Cause Chief of Strategy and External Affairs Stephen Spaulding.

Last week, following the release of Trump Jr.’s emails arranging a meeting to obtain “dirt” on Hillary Clinton from a Russian lawyer, Every Voice, Common Cause, End Citizens United, and Daily Kos launched petitions demanding investigative actions be taken which gathered over a quarter of a million signatures in one week. The Rootstrikers Project at Demand Progress and Free Speech For People previously launched petitions with over 65,000 signatures demanding investigations into Russian interference and 2016 election law violations.

In December of 2016, Free Speech For People filed a complaint with the FEC on potential violations of federal campaign finance law by the Russian government and the Trump campaign. Last week, Common Cause filed complaints with the FEC and the DOJ requesting an investigation into violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act.

It is illegal to solicit campaign contributions from foreign individuals and entities, according to FEC regulations. That includes “anything of value” to the campaign such as opposition research.

The six groups that gathered the 300,000 petitions called for an investigation:

“The evidence is clear that Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner broke the law and prioritized party politics and support for Donald Trump’s candidacy over our national security interests,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause. “Our nation is under attack from Russia and our leaders are making excuses and defending the attacker.  It’s time for the people to hold these politicians accountable. Every eligible American has right to vote and help decide the direction of our community’s and nation’s future, and we demand a response to this attack and what protections are being put in place to protect the integrity of our elections moving forward.”

“This behavior is not only illegal, it’s unacceptable and the opposite of everything our elections, and our government, are supposed to represent,” said Meghan Faulkner, digital manager for Every Voice, a speaker at today’s press conference. “Americans deserve a government that works for them, not big money donors or foreign interests. Our elected officials should be working for us, only accountable to us.  The 300,000 people who’ve signed their names to these petitions agree—American elections should be decided by Americans, not foreign governments.”

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that we’re far from hearing all the details, or learning all the implications of Donald Trump Jr.’s attempt to collect intelligence from the Russian government in order to help his father’s campaign,” stated Monique Teal, campaign director for Daily Kos. “Getting to the bottom of this is core to protecting U.S. elections and democracy.” 

“Foreign involvement in our elections is unacceptable and undermines our democracy,” said Tiffany Muller, president and executive director of End Citizens United. “The DOJ must investigate Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting and the full Trump campaign.  It must follow the money. And it must hold people accountable.”

“Election and anti-corruption watchdogs have been sounding the alarm for months over mounting evidence of foreign interference in the 2016 elections,” said Carli Stevenson, Campaigner for the Rootstrikers Project at Demand Progress. “But this latest revelation is perhaps the most egregious and shocking. The FEC must investigate without further delay.”

“The Federal Election Commission must do its job,” said John Bonifaz, the Co-Founder and President of Free Speech For People. “It must investigate whether the Russian Government made illegal expenditures in the 2016 election, in direct violation of federal campaign finance law, and it must investigate whether the Trump Campaign illegally coordinated with the Russian Government with respect to those expenditures.  Americans across the country are demanding that the FEC live up to its responsibility to protect the integrity of our election process.”

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Every Voice is a national organization fighting for a democracy that works for everyone. Learn more at everyvoice.org.