Dana Rohrabacher as a Russian Tool on the National Stage

If you think about the national Indivisible movement, which our congressman has demeaned and disparaged as fascism and thuggery, it is a localized effort to mobilize for the simple goal of dialog between people and their elected officials to ensure that the people's will is considered by those who are elected to serve them. While that job has been difficult for groups across the country, I wonder if other congressional districts have to contend with a congressman who is caught up in innuendo about being a Russian spy, or an asset of the Russian Federation's intelligence service activated to serve Russian foreign policy interests in the U.S. Congress.

That is what the constituents of the California 48th contend with, as Dana Rohrabacher is seemingly closer to the scandal of Russian influence than one would want in one's elected official. As I consider this—the stranger-than-fiction tale that seems too outrageous to be true— I can't imagine that many of the loyal defenders of Rohrabacher would be too excited to stand with him if they knew what some major outlets are alleging this week. I have anecdotal evidence of this, for I have seen the looks on the faces of conservative voters in Orange County when they are confronted with Rohrabacher's Russia ties. It is a look of incredulity, of disbelief, easily and hopefully dismissed as false. This week those connections became more difficult to dismiss.

As reported by the Atlantic and the Daily Beast, Rorhabacher engaged in an effort to block the Magnitsky Act in congress, a bill that would have imposed sanctions on Russia for essential human rights violations and the theft of money by the Russian state alleged by Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Russian prison seven days before the expiration of a one year period where he could be held without trial. Rohrabacher received a dossier from Russian officials during a congressional delegation in Moscow just two months before the Trump Tower meeting with the Trump campaign's Donald Trump Jr, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a clown car of Russian actors seeking to undo sanctions in exchange for disparaging information on Hillary Clinton. According to the two reports, Rohrabacher took the anti-Magnitsky file back to Washington and worked to campaign against the act, effectively doing the bidding of these Russian operatives.

The fact is that a flag has now been planted in the Trump collusion scandal with the June 2016 meeting, developing a timeline for events that supports the idea that coordination took place between Russian actors and the Trump campaign, as the Russians were engaged in an effort to infiltrate the U.S. election by propaganda, hacking and U.S. asset development. For Orange County residents in the 48th district, the fact that Rohrabacher accepted a file from Russian operatives and acted on that information to influence policy in D.C. is cause for certain alarm.

Since Inauguration Day, Orange County residents have sought to speak with Rorhabacher because of their concerns about Trump, with issues ranging from health care to human rights, to no avail. Now that he is appearing to emerge as a player at the center of the scandal in Trump's Washington, he has a whole lot more to answer to his constituents about. I have to believe that these concerns aren't simply partisan any longer. The 48th district covers California's Gold Coast, where beach towns and quiet life is the ethos, and certainly the notion of a congressional representative operating in Moscow doesn't fit the voter's profile of their elected official.