Hi! Alexandra Chandler is running for Congress in MA-3. She is a Russian-speaking lawyer with 13 years of experiencee at the Office of Naval Intelligence. She knows more about this than anyone running. I am her deputy campaign manager and wanted to share her recent statement with all of you. Settle in, it’s a long read but worth your time!
From Alexandra Chandler:
The events of the last several days are reflections of the incredible breadth and success of Russia’s effort to undermine our institutions and our place in the world.
The reaction to the most recent indictments against Russians by Mueller, the spectacle of the conduct of Members of Congress at the Peter Strozk hearing, and the President’s behavior with our NATO allies, especially the Germans and British— they are all interconnected. And they all have something in common— they all serve the interests of Moscow.
It is a jarring moment when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein needs to urge people to view the indictment of 12 Russian military officers who hacked into Democratic email accounts and stole information on 500,000 U.S. voters as an attack on “Americans, not as partisans.” I couldn’t agree more with that Republican appointee, confirmed by the Senate for his position by 94-6. At any other moment in history, this would be the time for a President to show leadership from the top, and to heed his own Deputy Attorney General’s advice.
And yet, at his press conference with UK Prime Minister May today, the President again described the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt,” and he lamented that it hurts the country and hurts our relationship with Russia. The White House statement on the indictments focused on their argument that the indictments somehow exonerate or vindicate the President or the Administration from allegations of collusion with the Russians.
It is important to remember how abnormal these actions are in the sweep of U.S. history. Other Presidents and White Houses have been self-serving and focused on appearances— all of them are, to some extent. But not like this, not at the expense of any regard for the recent and ongoing attack by an adversary government.
It would be bad enough if this behavior stopped with the Administration. But based on their behavior yesterday, certain Members of Congress have more performative outrage about the 1st Amendment and Hatch Act protected speech of FBI employee Peter Strozk (when many of them have used stronger language against the President) than they have outrage or worry about Russia’s ongoing attempt to undermine our institutions.
Like several Members of Congress, I also reject Strzok’s derision of fellow Americans as “ignorant hillbillies”— I’m not a name caller. But the damage caused to this country by Stzok’s poor choices of words are nothing compared to the millions of words of leaks, lies, and disinformation spread by Russia before and during the 2016 campaign. Some Members of Congress would seem to believe one can’t be opposed to both, or that Strzok’s choice of words somehow is of equivalent national interest, or that those words by Stzrok somehow undermines the entire ever-growing case against Russia— declassified intelligence reports and 191 criminal charges against 32 people and 3 companies notwithstanding. At least that is what I took away from their very made-for-TV monologues masquerading as questions for Strzok.
One of America’s greatest treasures is our non partisan career federal workforce. In other countries (like Russia) and in our own history, jobs in the national government are filled by patronage, are bought and sold, and above all, loyalty to the leader or ruling political party is paramount.
Within our government, people (including Strzok) may have their political preferences, but they are checked at the door. This may seem impossible to believe in the climate of 2018 outside the federal government, particularly in our national security agencies— but it is so. I have former colleagues I worked with closely for over a decade, and I have no idea what their partisan political views are, if they have any. Though by happenstance I do know for a fact that most of my greatest champions during my on-the-job gender transition back in 2006 were actually politically conservative.
Too many career politicians and political operatives can’t even imagine the mindset of people who can check partisan politics at the door in the name of a higher purpose. Which explains so much about how ineffective they have become. And it is part of why I am running for Congress.
By ignoring the Inspector General report finding that there was no bias injected into the Mueller investigation by Strzok, and holding up text messages as some sort of false proof of institutional bias within the FBI— those Members of Congress like Trey Gowdy and Louie Gohmert were sending a message to the entire federal workforce.
We can subpoena your text messages, too.
We can go after your personal political views, too.
Agree with the party in power, federal employees, or be silent.
Never mind that the Hatch Act protects the ability of Strzok or other career federal employees to have private personal political views and engage in certain political activity, never mind the First Amendment.
Given that the career federal employees in our national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs agencies are often the ones who raise questions about the President’s efforts to confront our NATO allies and echo Russia’s positions and worldview time and time again— this attack on the nonpartisan career federal workforce not only undermines our government and institutions within the U.S. (to Russia’s benefit) but furthers Russia’s interests in a fragmented Europe and an America that is fighting against the rules and values-based post-WWII order America helped to build.
If elected to Congress, I will heed our Republican Deputy AG’s words, and serve as an American, not a partisan, first. The fewer Americans that Mueller finds were connected to Russia’s attack on our democracy in 2016, the happier I will be, as an American. However, just as federal employees check their politics at the door, I will put my happiness or sadness aside no matter what the results. Whatever comes next in the direct and indirect effects of Russia’s attack on us, I will use my expertise to educate the public, protect our federal workforce and other institutions, and to rally Congress to put aside photo-op politics and embrace its Constitutional role again. #MA3 #mapoli