A group of life-long Republicans says that the Mueller Report proves that President Trump obstructed justice. The group, Republicans for the Rule of Law, is calling on Republicans to “speak up” about the president’s actions — the group also wants everyone in America to read the Mueller report.Republicans for the Rule of Law has been using their social media to jab at prominent Republicans who support the president. They also want everyone in America to read the Mueller Report, which they’ve made available on their website.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Viral Ad Released by the Group Says Republican Silence on the Mueller Report Is ‘Deafening’
A new ad from the Republicans for the Rule of Law has been going viral on social media; you can see it above. Many people are retweeting it and adding instructions to “listen with your sound turned all the way up,” because this video is supposed to be all about silence. The spot, shot in black and white, features close-ups of Republican Ben senators Sasse, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, John Kennedy, Tim Scott. They’re all looking straight ahead and saying nothing. You can hear a bit of static and the faint sound of a ticking clock.
A caption at the end reads, “Republicans: Your silence is deafening. Our president attempted to obstruct justice. Stand up for the rule of law.”
2. They Recently Posted an ‘Embarrassing Video’ of Lindsey Graham from the Clinton Era
On April 22, Republicans for the Rule of Law posted a video of Lindsey Graham talking about presidential misconduct. You can see that video above. The video shows Graham saying:
“This is about a person out of control. He took the law, turned it upside down. Every time there was a crossroads, he put his personal and legal interest ahead of the nation. He is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the land. He encouraged people to lie for him. He lied. I think he obstructed justice. I think there’s a convincing and compelling case that he has in fact engaged in conduct that it would be better for him to leave office than to stay in office.”
of course, this clip is taken from a 1999 interview Graham gave to C-Span, and the president he’s talking about is Bill Clinton, not Donald Trump. But some people take the video as a sign of Republican double standards and are saying that the clip is “embarrassing” for Lindsey Graham, who pushed hard for Bill Clinton to leave office but has supported President Trump.
3. They’ve Been Jabbing at Mike Lee & Praising Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on Social Media
Republicans for the Rule of Law recently reposted a letter to the editor that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune, slamming Utah Senator Mike Lee. The letter, written by the Utah chapter of Mormon Women for Ethical Government, asked Lee why he continues to stand by the president. The letter reads:
“When you state that nothing in this report changes your view of this president, do you mean that you already fully understood that President Trump was doing whatever he could to obstruct justice and was “saved” only because his staff refused to follow his orders? Do you mean that you support the president despite this unethical and self-serving behavior?”
Republicans for the Rule of Law has also been showering praise on Maryland governor Larry Hogan. Hogan is the son of the late Maryland representative Lawrence Hogan, who was the only Republican representative to vote for all three articles of impeachment against Nixon. More recently, Larry Hogan made headlines when he called the Mueller Report disturbing and said it didn’t exonerate the president.
4. The Group Is Part of a Larger Conservative NGO that Calls for Increasing Legal Immigration & Expanding Free Trade
Republicans for the Rule of Law is part of a larger organization called Defending Democracy Together. That group, a coalition of Republicans and Conservatives, says it is opposed to the “nativist” tendencies in the modern Republican party. The group is in favor of free trade and legal immigration. The organization’s mission statement says, in part:
“Today, the Republican Party finds itself entertaining some of the same unsettling nativist and authoritarian impulses that characterized Europe throughout the 20th century. These ideals are antithetical to what it means to be a Republican, and what it means to be American.
Defending Democracy Together is a 501c4 advocacy organization created by lifelong conservatives and Republicans — many of whom have served in Republican administrations and write for conservative publications. We are dedicated to defending America’s democratic norms, values, and institutions and fighting for consistent conservative principles like rule of law, free trade, and expanding legal immigration.”
5. Their Legal Adviser Is the Son of the 1940 Republican Nominee for President
Republicans for the Rule of Law has a legal advisory board of seven legal advisers. One of those seven advisers is Wendell Wilkie II, who is an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and an adjunct professor at NYU. Willkie’s father, Wendell Willkie, was the 1940 Republican nominee for president. Willkie initially ran on an anti-isolationist platform, although his positions evolved during the campaign. He was beaten handily by Franklin D Roosevelt.