Jim Francis - Qualifying Press Release - What Does Steve Scalise Know?

The idea that Steve Scalise is on a first name basis with a individual who was just yesterday indicted as a Russian spy should be chilling to anyone who believes in and cares about our democracy.

And personally I find it offensive given what we are learning that Steve Scalise would consider himself fit to qualify for office. But since Congressman Scalise has shown no dignity or compunction in the face of children being locked up in cages and his fervent praise of President Trump's disgraceful surrender this week to a petty thug in front of the world tells us that Steve will be here.

But let me be clear, I do not believe Congressman Steve Scalise should be allowed to qualify until he comes clean as to what information he has regarding Russian influence within the Republican Party and his key benefactors the National Rifle Association and the Conservative Political Action Committee. I believe he needs to make clear he will fully cooperate with all investigations to come.

To that end, as the Congressman from the First District of Louisiana, my first act will be to call for a total investigation by a neutrally appointed commission into Russian influence within the Republican Party, the NRA and CPAC.

Personally, it makes me physically ill to think of the way organizations like the NRA and CPAC have exploited the trappings of America with all their flags and perverse interpretations of patriotism as these very organizations were potentially acting as nothing but vessels for an enemy to undermine our society and our democracy.

When you think simply of the pain and suffering that has been caused by virtue of the NRA and its rabid pursuit of dividing Americans while mocking victims of school shootings it begins to become clear just how valuable such an organization would be to a former KGB agent.

In conclusion, I have three specific questions that I believe Congressman Scalise should answer honestly without spin or equivocation and with the respect for our democracy that his oath of office demands.

First: When did Steve Scalise first meet Maria Butina?

Second: What is the nature of his relationship with Maria Butina?

Third: What does he know specifically about the incursion of Russian government agents into the Republican Party, the NRA and CPAC?

Finally, I am calling on Steve Scalise to immediately without delay return every dime of money that his campaign and leadership PAC have received from the NRA and CPAC. There is simply no way that he or anyone else can say with any level of confidence that this money is not in fact illegally laundered Russian rubles.

Mr. Scalise, for once put this country over your political ambitions. After you and I are long gone America will still be here and the perks of power you enjoyed will then mean nothing. But how America endures is our responsibility. All of ours. You Mr. Scalise are not exempt. 

Jim Francis