Meeting Minutes: Foreign Policy/Russia Committee – May 16, 2017

PARTICIPANTS: Jim Sporn, Co-Chair; Ava Kleinman, Co-Chair; Monique Sporn, Chuck Bensonhaver, Ray Keegan, Madeleine Kaye

We began the meeting by introducing ourselves and making brief statements as to why we are each interested in the workings of this committee.

The discussion turned to our ultimate objective as members of SIAN. There was consensus that impeachment of the current president is the desired objective; however, based on what issue(s)/actions of the president and how fast we should expect this to occur did not result in total agreement by those present. Some want fast action based on the president’s mishandling of a wide range of policy issues and personnel choices. Others believe that time will be required to build a case for impeachment based on the results of various congressional committee investigations.

At the time of the meeting, the firing of former FBI Director Comey was a major news item, as was the president’s mishandling of intelligence that he offered to the Russians. During this meeting, there was consensus that we needed to push our congressional representatives hard on naming a Special Prosecutor to investigate these matters as possible grounds for impeachment. It was also suggested that we put pressure on our representatives to force release of the president’s tax returns. The former matter was overtaken by events the following day when former FBI Director Mueller was named to head an investigation of the president’s firing of Comey as well as his campaign’s close relations with Russian government officials.

The question was raised as to whether this committee should take a lead in monitoring and taking action on the Comey and Russian meddling issue. We agreed that this would be raised at the next Steering Committee meeting.

We reviewed resources such as Indivisible Charleston and Indivisible Berkeley (CA) as references for our members to draw on substantive material as well as scheduling of events where we can make our voices. Some members were not as aware as they thought of their abilities to phone representatives’ offices to make their voices heard. We reviewed the simple procedures for making calls and how to deal with staffers who field the calls. Participants felt more confident in making telephone calls to action after the discussion.

Given various personal travel schedules of committee members, we agreed to try to have another meeting by mid-June before the summer travel/family visitation schedule kicks in.

SIAN Contact: Jim Sporn
SIAN email:

Posted in Foreign Policy/Russia