There has been a whole lot going on this week. As the Senate's iteration of the ACA repeal hangs in the balance, and the revelations about Russia swamp the Trump administration (unless of course you're watching that other network, where all is well), it has been more challenging than usual to keep up with the pace of events. We in the CA-48th congressional district have consistently remained focused on the effort to simply hold our representative accountable to his own constituents, demanding a town hall forum as a simple vehicle to express concern about the state of the district and whether our elected representative is working in the interests of his constituents. That has proven to be difficult enough. When the recent scandal erupted in the Trump administration about the President's son admitting his meeting with Russian lawyer in an effort to obtain information designed to help the Trump campaign, one might be compelled to call one's congressional representative to express concern and ask what one's elected member of the House of Representatives might do about the situation. If one is living in a district where one's congressional representative is a member of the GOP, you might get force-fed a platter of nothing burgers as a matter of course. However, in the CA-48th, our nothing burgers come with a unique special sauce concocted by none other than our very own Dana Rohrabacher.
This week, the players in the Russian scandal have been revealed to be curiously linked in Rohrabacher's orbit. It turns out that Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian government linked lawyer who met with Donal Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort during the 2016 campaign, dined with Rohrabacher at the Capitol Hill Club during the same visit to the U.S. in June of 2016. Rohrabacher told the Hill in an interview that he didn't notice she was present at that dinner in question while he attempted to argue for the ease of the Magnitsky Act in his typically evasive and roundabout way of speaking to the press. As the truth about the Trump Tower meeting dripped out over days, the revelation that former Russian intelligence officer and lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin was also in attendance at that meeting came out today. Akhmetshin has a documented history with Rohrabacher, and yet the nature of the relationship and the extent of their dealings is not known beyond Rohrabacher's stylistic verbal dancing around matters under inquiry. There are no degrees of separation between these Russian actors and Rohrabacher, and these Russian players are neck deep in allegations of colluding with the Trump campaign.
And this is where the DCCC steps in. Today the DCCC called for Rohrabacher to fully disclose his Russia Ties. While the DCCC has far less teeth than any legislative body, their spokesman delivers a scathing indictment against Rohrabacher and raises the call to fully disclose his involvement with "shadowy Russian figures and come clean to his constituents." Thus far, his constituents have not had much luck getting him to answer far less innocuous questions. However, these questions go straight to the heart of whether he is representing his district at all, and they must be asked, and they must be answered.