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A bipartisan group of 44 senators pen op-ed about guarding democracy

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A bipartisan group of former senators wrote an open letter in The Washington Post calling for the current Senate to be “steadfast and zealous guardians of our democracy.”

“As former members of the US Senate, Democrats and Republicans, it is our shared view that we are entering a dangerous period, and we feel an obligation to speak up about serious challenges to the rule of law, the Constitution, our governing institutions and our national security,” they wrote.

Published on Monday night, the op-ed reads like the former lawmakers are sounding the alarm to the upper house of the US’s bicameral legislature — a call that was spurred in part by President Donald Trump’s turbulent first years in office.

“At other critical moments in our history, when constitutional crises have threatened our foundations, it has been the Senate that has stood in defense of our democracy,” the letter reads. “Today is once again such a time.”

The letter was published as the cloud of the Russia investigation, led by the special counsel Robert Mueller, hangs over Washington, and Democrats are on the cusp of assuming control of the House giving them more power to investigate the Trump administration.

Just last week, Mueller released documents — including two sentencing memos, and a document about a breach of a plea agreement — related to three key figures in the Russia investigation, former longtime lawyer for Trump, Michael Cohen, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, respectively.

“The likely convergence of these two events will occur at a time when simmering regional conflicts and global power confrontations continue to threaten our security, economy and geopolitical stability,” the former senators wrote.

The country must “engage at every level with strategic precision,” relying as it must on an uncertain executive, and in once resilient national institutions that have never looked as shaky as they do today.

The former senators include 32 Democrats, 10 Republicans, and two Independents.

In the face of partisan politics, amplified by an ongoing investigation, and tensions abroad, the senators sought to remind their sitting colleagues that they took an oath to defend the Constitution.

“Regardless of party affiliation, ideological leanings or geography, as former members of this great body, we urge current and future senators to be steadfast and zealous guardians of our democracy by ensuring that partisanship or self-interest not replace national interest,” they concluded.

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