November 12, 2018

Thank Yous in a Perilous Time

To the veterans I know — Alfred Saucedo, Pete Kalenik, Pete Buttigieg, Alison Jaslow, Lori Wilcox, Jeff Perez, Mike Lyons, Nakia Gibson, Jill Morgenthaler, Tammy Duckworth, Brendan Kelly, Todd Connor, John Murray — and to the many thousands whom I do not know: Thank you. Thank you for your devotion and your sacrifice. Thank you for your discipline and determination. I honor and respect your service. I will never forget.

Thank you, also, to the many thousands of voters in Cook County who have given me the opportunity to serve the public in my own way by electing me to another term on the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. I am humbled by your support and will endeavor to be worthy of it every day.

imrs.jpgForty-five years ago, on a Saturday night in late October, President Richard Nixon ordered the Attorney General of the United States, Elliot Richardson, to fire the special prosecutor who had been appointed to investigate the Watergate break-ins. Richardson, a Republican appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, refused to fire Archibald Cox and resigned his cabinet post. President Nixon then ordered the Deputy Attorney General, William Ruckelshaus, to fire Cox. Ruckelshaus refused to do so and also resigned. Both Richardson and Ruckelshaus had pledged to Congress that they would not interfere with Cox’s investigation nor fire him except “for cause.”

President Nixon then turned to the Solicitor General and acting head of the Justice Department, Robert Bork, and ordered him to fire Cox. Bork had made no such pledge to Congress. He fired Cox, and this became known as the Saturday Night Massacre. 

Archibald Cox said at that time: “Whether ours shall continue to be a government of laws and not of men is now for Congress and ultimately the American people to decide.”

Friends, we the people are the deciders. We are the bearers of witness in these perilous times. We are the finders of fact, the tellers of truth. We must ensure that the current investigation by Robert Mueller be allowed to continue unimpeded and follow its course. We must be the patriots who act. We will never forget.