San Clemente, CA -- Earlier today, House Democrats announced that they had began to circulate a discharge petition to force a vote on legislation that would create a 12-member bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. In reaction to this move, Congressional Candidate Doug Applegate issued the following statement:

"The White House has consistently ignored Russian cyber attacks on our political process. The subsequent firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and the additional reports concerning former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn did little to ease those concerns. These allegations have the potential to rock the very foundation of our democracy and only serve to further erode the public’s trust in our government. At a time when we need real leadership, the president and his backers in Congress confuse and distract from our democracy to protect their own careers.

The fact is we need mature leadership coming from the legislature, not childish antics and grandstanding. As we move closer to a constitutional crisis, we must demand a thorough investigation to include the full disclosure of any and all memos former Director Comey drafted in the weeks and days leading up to his termination, in addition to Flynn’s ties to the Kremlin.

But what’s even more telling is that Darrell Issa, the self-proclaimed “watchdog” of the House, serves as nothing more than a lapdog for this administration. We demand that Issa sign this discharge petition and vote in support of a full investigation into these allegations. Currently, there is a bipartisan bill, sponsored by two Democrats and two Republicans, to create a Trump-Russia commission. If Darrell was one quarter of the watchdog he claims to be, he needs to show it and sign the petition. Otherwise, we’ll know he opposes an investigation and we will remember that come November 2018.”