Working towards peace and sustainability

Seeking Truth. Marching for Truth.

Peaceworks is working to organize a local March for Truth (MfT) that will be held here in CoMo on Saturday, June 3 (details below). We hope you’ll come out to participate and help us send a message to our elected officials and our fellow citizens.

The MfT is a national project with more than 135 marches taking place around the country, including six in Missouri. As the national website indicates:

Our goals are simple:
  • An independent commission must be established and Congressional investigations should be properly resourced and pursued free of partisan interests;
  • As much information should be made available to the public as possible, and as soon as possible;
  • Congress should require Donald Trump to release his tax returns to clarify his business interests and obligations to any foreign entity;
  • If crimes were committed or if collusion is discovered, it must be prosecuted.
While Peaceworks focuses primarily on war and peace, climate, sustainability and related issues, we also see the pursuit of justice and the support of democracy as essential parts of our mission.

Each day, it seems, there are new revelations of previously undisclosed contacts between members of the Trump campaign, the Trump transition team or other Trump associates and either Russian officials or other Russian players with close ties to those at the highest levels in the Russian government. Reuters reports there were at least 18 such undisclosed contacts during the last seven months of the campaign. This is disturbing. (More on the connections between Team Trump and the Russians can be found HERE and HERE.)

The head of the FBI was fired by Trump, and, contradicting a false narrative initially offered up, the President, himself, acknowledged to NBC News that he was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he decided to fire Director James Comey. Trump also reportedly asked Comey to drop the investigation into his first National Security chief, Mike Flynn, who Trump had to fire, after it became public that he had lied about his conversations with the Russian ambassador during the transition. 

These actions by the President both could be found to be obstruction of justice. Trump also fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who brought to light the fact that Flynn had lied to the public and to Mike Pence. She was scheduled to testify before a Congressional committee. Her appearance was initially canceled when she was fired. All these facts are also are deeply disturbing, raising the obvious question, “What do they have to hide?”

We need to know the truth. If there was collusion between the Trump campaign and foreign operatives in an attempt to influence the outcome of the election, this would not only cast in doubt the legitimacy of Trump’s election victory, it could also implicate Trump and/or his campaign associates in a conspiracy to interfere in the election, which could be grounds for impeachment.  

We also are calling for truth and transparency when it comes to Trump’s finances. Every contender for the White House, since Nixon, has disclosed their tax returns. This is more than simply a matter of informing the voters as to where their income comes from or how much wealth they have. Serious allegations have arisen regarding Trump’s connections to—and possible debts owed to—Russian oligarchs or even members of what’s sometimes called the Russian Mafia. There have been allegations leveled that Trump’s business was involved in “laundering” money for some of these Russian interests. These are right now simply allegations, but it is critical for us to know if there is any basis for these claims.

What’s at stake is more than whether crimes have been committed. Rather, there is a very real question as to whether Trump and/or his close associates are in a position where they might be blackmailed. As recently as this week, CNN is reporting
Russian government officials discussed having potentially ‘derogatory’ information about then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and some of his top aides in conversations intercepted by US intelligence during the 2016 election . . .”

These recent allegations are not the only ones hinting that the Russians have something to hold over Trump. In January it was revealed that former British MI6 officer Christopher Steele had compiled an extensive Trump-Russia Dossier that “contains unverified allegations of misconduct and ties between Donald Trump, then President-elect, and the Russian government during the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the period preceding the election.” Perhaps these allegations are baseless, but if the POTUS is being held hostage, subject to blackmail, this is something we need to know.

And, again, the fact that Trump has repeatedly refused to make his tax returns public, with  no legitimate reason provided (his claims of an audit being the reason strain credulity), raises the question: “If all is on the up and up, why won’t he take the simple step of doing what every other presidential candidate has done and release his tax returns?”

Now Some Clarification

Life and politics are sometimes complicated. So, while we favor a thoroughgoing investigation of Trump and his associates’ actions and financial involvements, we do not support the vilification of Russia.

Specifically, we oppose a new Cold War with Russia, we oppose the NATO push into Eastern Europe, and we certainly oppose any military conflict with Russia. This noted, we also oppose Russian, or any other, foreign involvement in U.S. elections.

We know some on the left are pointing out the great frequency of U.S.
intervention in other nations' elections and governance. We have consistently opposed this for decades. The fact that our government engages in illegal and unjustifiable actions, however, does not justify others engaging in similar actions. The fact that we are calling for truth and full disclosure in no way reduces our commitment to promote a non-interventionist U.S. foreign policy.

March Details

We will gather outside the office of Sen. Claire McCaskill, 28 N. Eighth St. on Saturday, June 3, between 3-3:30 p.m. and, at 3:30, we will march to Sen. Roy Blunt’s office. We urge participants to bring signs and letters or cards addressed to Sen. McCaskill, Sen. Blunt and Rep. Hartzler. If staff are present, we will deliver letters, notes and cards that day. If not, we will deliver these on the following Monday. Facebook event for the March, which is co-sponsored by CoMo for Progress is available HERE.