By Larry Baskett

Deadline: ASAP –

On January 6, Trump spawned an insurrection against American democracy by white nationalist thugs and their allies in government. Republican Members of Congress abetted it – some even participated in the riots. Unrepentant Republicans have since doubled down on racist despotism and are punishing anyone in their ranks who stands up to them. There can be no working with these members of the legislature who have completely turned their backs on democracy. We must make sure our leaders take a stand – NOW.

We need our Members of Congress to get the whole truth of what happened, and get that truth to the public. We need them to refer the people responsible for the coup attempt to the Department of Justice for prosecution – especially those in the highest positions of power. And we need insurrectionist Republican Members of Congress to pay the price: removal from Congress. 

What you can do:

1. Tell your Members of Congress to empanel select committees or an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 government overthrow attempt

Congressional leadership failed to finish the job by not calling witnesses for Trump’s second impeachment trial. We need the national spotlight of public hearings with actual witnesses – including the members of Congress who were involved in the riot. And we need it now, before these same people act again. Congress can form special-purpose select committees of their own members (as they did with the post-Nixon Church and Pike committees). This would allow our elected representatives to use their authority to protect lawful governance. Alternatively, Congress can appoint and empower an independent commission to conduct the investigation. There are pluses and minuses to this approach: appointing respected former government officials and others who are not sitting members of Congress can pre-empt accusations of bias, and also allow the participation of Republicans who endorse the legitimacy of the election and who reject “Trumpism.” On the other hand, a commission does not have the full weight of the legislative branch behind it. 

What to say:

If you want to urge Congress to form select committees:

My name is _____, my zip code is _______, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. I’m calling to urge _______ to push for a select committee with a Democratic majority, to investigate the Jan. 6 attempt to overthrow the government. The committee should have powers for subpoenas, civil and inherent contempt, and criminal referrals. They should NOT include any Republicans who voted to overturn the election results or who signed onto an amicus brief to overturn the election results. If that isn’t possible, please make sure to continue the investigation through standing committees, with public hearings.

Alternatively, if you want to urge an independent commission:

My name is _____, my zip code is _______, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. I’m calling to urge _______ to push to appoint an independent commission with a Democratic majority, to investigate the Jan. 6 attempt to overthrow the government. The commission should have powers for subpoenas, civil contempt, and criminal referrals. It should NOT include any Republicans who voted to overturn the election results or who signed onto an amicus brief to overturn the election results. If that isn’t possible, please make sure to continue the investigation through standing committees, with public hearings.

2. Ask your members of Congress to expel insurrectionist colleagues

Ask your Members of Congress to support Rep. Cori Bush’s resolution to expel the insurrectionist Republican Members of Congress:

What to say:

To Senators Feinstein and Padilla, and if you are represented by Rep. Swalwell:

My name is _____, my zip code is _______, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. I’m calling to urge _______ to join Rep. Cori Bush’s effort to expel Members of Congress who contributed to the January 6 riot, who voted to overturn the election results, or who signed onto an amicus court brief to overturn election results, as the 14th Amendment provides.

If you are represented by Rep. DeSaulnier or Lee:

My name is _____, my zip code is _______, and I’m a member of Indivisible East Bay. I’m calling to thank _______ for co-sponsoring Rep. Cori Bush’s effort to expel Members of Congress who contributed to the January 6 riot, who voted to overturn the election results, or who signed onto an amicus court brief to overturn election results, as the 14th Amendment provides. Please convince your colleagues to join this effort. 

How to contact your Members of Congress:

  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein: (email); (415) 393-0707 • DC: (202) 224-3841
  • Sen. Alex Padilla: (email); (415) 981-9369 • DC: (202) 224-3553
  • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (email): (510) 620-1000 DC: (202) 225-2095
  • Rep. Barbara Lee (email): (510) 763-0370 DC: (202) 225-2661
  • Rep. Eric Swalwell (email): (510) 370-3322 DC: (202) 225-5065

Larry Baskett is a mechanical engineer who spent a year as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the California State Senate.

Ann Daniels contributed to this article.

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