Documentary filmmaker and political activist Michael Moore on Wednesday said it's time for the Democratic Party in Congress to "declare a National Emergency" and put a stop to all legislative activity—including the confirmation process of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch—until the FBI completes its investigation into possible ties between members of President Donald Trump's campaign and alleged interference by the Russian government in last year's U.S. election.
In a message posted to his Instagram account early in the day, Moore wrote:
The Democratic Party needs to declare a National Emergency. For the first time in our history, the President of the United States and his staff are under investigation for espionage. This announcement, by the head of the Trump-friendly FBI, is a shock to our democracy. The Democratic leadership in the House and Senate needs to bring a halt to all business being done in the name of this potential felony suspect, Donald J. Trump. No bill he supports, no Supreme Court nominee he has named, can be decided while he is under a criminal investigation. His presidency has no legitimacy until the FBI - and an independent investigative committee—discovers the truth. Fellow citizens, demand the Democrats cease all business. "The American people have a right to know if their President is a crook." —Richard Nixon
Accompanied by an image of the infamous "red eye" of the HAL 9000 computer from Stanley Kubrick's classic film "2001: A Space Odyssey," Moore's message comes as the most pronounced version yet of what many, including some top members of the party, have been saying since FBI Director James Comey confirmed the existence of the open investigation during a congressional hearing on Monday.
As of this writing on Wednesday afternoon, a petition hosted on MoveOn.org entitled "Shut Down and Investigate Trump" had garnered nearly 122,000 signatures of its 125,000 goal.
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"Congress must pause all Trump-related legislation and appointments—starting with a halt to Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch's confirmation process—until the American people learn the full truth about Trump and Russia," the petition reads in part. "How can Congress, in good conscience, agree to further Trump's agenda amid such serious allegations regarding possible illegal collusion with Russia? The answer is simple: It can't."
On Tuesday, both from the Senate floor and to reporters in subsequent interviews, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) argued that it would irresponsible to pass major legislation or make irreversible appointments with so much still unknown about the president's business dealings or what, if any, contact or collusion members of his campaign or inner circle had with Russians who may have played a role in trying to interfere with the election.
"There is a cloud now hanging over the head of the president, and while that’s happening, to have a lifetime appointment made by this president seems very unseemly and there ought to be a delay," Schumer said.