A Statement on the Appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Michelle C. Whittaker, Director of Communications
May 18, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Democracy Initiative (DI), a coalition of 58 organizations representing 30 million members nationwide, is encouraged by the appointment of a special counsel but stresses the need for an independent commission to fully investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. The coalition’s co-chairs, Karen Hobert Flynn and Annie Leonard, issued the following statement:
The appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel is a crucial first step toward uncovering the extent of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The American people have voiced their growing and continued concern with Russian hacking and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Our collective voices show the strength of a democracy that is of, by, and for the people and reinforces the need for continued vigilance in creating a reflective and responsive government.
While the appointment of a special counsel is a necessary first step on the path to justice, Mr. Mueller’s mission primarily focuses on criminal wrongdoing in relation to the 2016 election. In addition, the special counsel may not have full independence, as Mr. Mueller will report to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and could be fired under the president’s direction. We need to establish an independent commission to investigate this case thoroughly without fear of disruption or intimidation. An independent commission will complement Mr. Mueller’s work and thoroughly uncover how we can better protect our election system and democracy as a whole from future interference.
The integrity of our election system is directly connected to our ability to advance reforms that protect our environment, ensure our civil liberties, and expand opportunities for all workers. Americans have a right to know the full extent of Russia’s interference in our election, which can only be reached with an independent commission.
The Democracy Initiative is a dynamic network of 58 partner organizations working for a responsive, reflective, and inclusive democracy where all Americans participate fully and freely in the democratic process.