Congressman Adriano Espaillat Moves to Force House Vote to Launch Independent Trump-Russia Commission

May 18, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Amid accelerating revelations of President Trump’s attempts to shut down the FBI’s investigation of his campaign and administration’s ties to Russia, Rep. Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) joined a discharge petition to force the House to vote on bipartisan legislation establishing an independent, outside commission to investigate the Trump-Russia connection and possible collusion to interfere in the presidential election.  Recent polling shows 78 percent of Americans want an independent investigation.

“For too long, House Republicans have stood in the way of the full, independent investigation the American people deserve,” said Rep. Espaillat.  “We must have an independent, outside commission to investigate the Trump-Russia connection and the possibility of collusion to influence the presidential election without the brazen meddling of the Trump Administration.”

The discharge petition filed by House Democrats and joined by Rep. Espaillat will force the House to vote on H.R. 356, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, after 218 Members of Congress sign the discharge petition.  Thus far, Speaker Ryan has refused to schedule a vote on the bipartisan bill, and House Republicans have voted seven times to block its consideration in the House.

In July, the FBI opened an investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government.  Last week, President Trump admitted on national television that he fired FBI Director James Comey to try to stop his investigation into Trump-Russia ties.  On Monday, we learned the President compromised highly classified intelligence to the Russians and jeopardized the security of the American people – the day after he fired the FBI Director.  On Wednesday, the Department of Justice appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the probe into Russia’s interference, and though this is a first step in the right direction, he cannot truly be as independent as an outside commission completely free from ties to the Trump administration.

“If the President has nothing to hide, then he should welcome the chance to remove all doubt of a cover-up,” said Rep. Espaillat. “It is time for House Republicans to decide which they value more: their oath to the Constitution or allegiance to a radical White House obstructing justice.”

# # #

Media inquiries: Candace Randle Person at