July 20, 2017, Huntington Beach – Numerous constituent groups of California’s 48th Congressional District are repeating calls for an independent investigation into their Congressman, Representative Dana Rohrabacher, after growing evidence of Russian government ties. In an in depth story published Tuesday, the Daily Beast provided specific details of Rohrabacher’s receipt of a Russian government document and propaganda film smearing an anti-Putin human rights campaigner. According to the article, Rohrabacher attempted to use the pro-Kremlin film in a Congressional hearing to confront a human rights campaigner, but was prevented from doing so by committee leadership.
The Daily Beast article, titled “GOP Lawmaker Got Direction From Moscow, Took It Back to D.C.,” details how the Russian government agents, who reached out to Donald Trump, Jr., Natalia Veselnitskaya and the Moscow General Prosecutor’s Office, also successfully recruited Rohrabacher to peddle the pro-Kremlin propaganda. The dossier and propaganda film concern anti-Putin campaigner Bill Browder, the man behind legislation imposing sanctions on Russian human rights violators – the Magnitsky Act. According to the article, Rohrabacher –Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe– planned to confront Browder at a committee hearing in a kind of “show trial,” before Republican leaders intervened and cancelled the hearing. Newspapers like the Los Angeles Times have also reported that Rinat Akhmetshin, another Kremlin agent present at the meeting with Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, has also lobbied Rohrabacher on behalf of the Kremlin.
In response to the article, Rohrabacher’s constituents are renewing calls for an independent investigation into the congressman’s Kremlin ties. Constituents are also renewing calls for a meeting with Rohrabacher to discuss these and other matters, such as his stance on health care legislation. It has been 180 days since President Trump was sworn in, and Rohrabacher is still ignoring requests from his constituents for a town hall to discuss issues concerning California’s 48th District on topics ranging from healthcare, to protecting our coastline to Russian government interference in the 2016 election. Despite phone calls, letters, postcards, and demonstrations, Dana Rohrabacher has gone to great lengths to avoid his constituents, instead calling them political thugs, “enemies of democracy”, “fascists” and “Nazis in uniform.”
Constituent groups critical of Rohrabacher, have long lobbied Rohrabacher for a town hall and to disclose the full extent and nature of his relationship with the Russian government, to no effect. With these recent revelations, they see no alternative to an independent investigation. According to Chairman of Indivisible OC 48, Aaron McCall, “Rohrabacher has refused to address the numerous media reports strongly suggesting that he serves--knowingly or unwittingly--the interests of Vladimir Putin and his oligarchs. This refusal demonstrates an extraordinary irony and injustice: Rohrabacher eagerly meets with Russian government agents bent on protecting corrupt politicians and human rights abusers, but refuses even to meet with his own constituents. That’s why Indivisible OC 48, in collaboration with a collection of organisations, grassroots activists and constituent groups will be hosting a Town Hall on August 1st, so that the people of the 48th can be heard. Rep. Rohrabacher has been invited repeatedly, but has not issued a formal reply.”