An organization of veterans is lobbying for Trump's impeachment — and they're headed to D.C.

Elizabeth Howe
August 20, 2019 - 2:44 pm
Common Defense

Common Defense

"It's about challenging hate and intolerance and taking the mission of defending the U.S. to our role as veterans — fighting missions of economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice," said Marine Corps veteran and Common Defense lead Kyle Bibby.

Common Defense was founded in 2015 in response to some of the messages coming from the Trump campaign. Now, they're working to impeach President Donald Trump.

Most recently, they worked with Need to Impeach, an organization started by now-presidential candidate Tom Steyer, to produce a video in response to President Donald Trump's Fourth of July "Salute to America."

"Since 2015, our organization was essentially saying that we didn't think Donald Trump was qualified or up to par to be commander in chief, so when Need to Impeach asked us about this we said this is on-brand, this is on mission, we'll work with them on this video and maybe other things in the future," Bibby said. 

"The video itself was focused particularly on the Fourth of July. We were not happy that Donald Trump wanted to have this military parade that also was being heralded and shepherded by the Republican Party. It's something that's not really keeping with the traditions of the U.S. military," Bibby added. "The goal was really to show people and remind people what the importance of Fourth of July is and that we shouldn't let that be co-opted by a criminal president."

The video wasn't produced with the intention of beginning a partnership with Need to Impeach — but it was so well-received the two organizations are now considering doing just that.

"We saw that there were more veterans who were very interested in this, and we started having more of a dialogue with Need to Impeach about if we want to further this partnership," Bibby said. 

Common Defense, Need to Impeach and several other aligned organizations have started to more directly focus on pushing the impeachment inquiry primarily using a grassroots approach — but things will soon reach Capitol Hill. 

"We take a very grassroots approach. We like to find veterans, talk with them, unite them," Bibby said. "But the main process for impeachment has to come from the House so we're directing most of our focus right now on members of Congress who have not come out in support of impeachment to make the case to them...Our next big thing is we're getting veterans from across the country all together, and we're going to go to Washington, D.C., and we're going to put pressure on folks."

"There's one thing about the military that everyone in the military agrees upon," Bibby added. "I worked with plenty of guys in the military I didn't like, plenty of guys I didn't agree with on a lot of things — but we always knew that we're still united in our mission, in this broader mission of protecting the country and doing what's best for America. What we see now is a president who was incredibly divisive — who was willing to vilify other Americans in order to make gains with a different group of Americans and pitting us against each other. That is the antithesis of everything that the military is supposed to stand for."

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