Wednesday, July 11 - Oppose Brian Benczkowski / Support Voting in Jail

Actions You Can Take Today


Action 1: URGENT - Tell Senators to Oppose Brian Benczkowski for the DOJ

The Senate is scheduled to vote TODAY on the nomination of Brian Benczkowski to head the criminal division of the Department of Justice, which is responsible for enforcement of all federal criminal law. His nomination is highly concerning given his history with Alfa Bank, the Russian bank under investigation by the FBI for potential connections to the Trump organization.

In March of 2017, Benczkowski agreed to represent Alfa Bank during the investigation into ties between Alfa Bank servers and the Trump Organization. A month later, the Trump administration asked him about his interest in leading the DOJ Criminal Division. Rather than immediately recuse himself from representing Alfa Bank, he continued working with them until June 6, the day he was officially nominated.

Benczkowski’s decision to take on, and keep representing, a controversial client with a potential conflict of interest against the American people, casts serious doubt on his judgment. In addition, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee responsible for his approval, asked him if he would recuse himself from current/future cases involving Alfa Bank, as well as the related investigations underway by Special Counsel Mueller. He refused.

Senators needs to hear from their constituents about their opposition to this highly problematic candidate.

Call Senator Duckworth | DC: 202-224-2854 | Chicago 312-886-3506
Call Senator Durbin | DC: 202-224-2152 | Chicago 312-353-4952

Script: Hi, my name is {NAME} and I'm a constituent in the {ZIP CODE} and member of Indivisible. I'm calling to express my concern about DOJ Criminal Division nominee Brian Benczkowski, who has a troubling association with Russian bank Alfa Bank. I ask that Senator {NAME} vote against his nomination. We need someone with a demonstrated history of good judgment and lack of conflicts of interests for this crucial position.Thank you.

Action and script via


Action 2: Tell Governor Rauner to Support Voting in Jails

Did you know that, in Illinois, detainees awaiting trial are not guaranteed the right to vote while they’re in jail? It’s true. Depending which county they are in, detained citizens are denied access to a ballot.

HB 4469, sponsored by state rep Juliana Stratton, aims to change that. Many people remain in jail before their trials because they are not able to afford jail--this does not mean they are guilty of a crime. People who make bail are not denied the right to vote--why should pretrial detainees be treated differently?

HB 4469 passed the House, and the Senate, and it’s now waiting on the Governor’s desk.

Chicago Votes is aiming to collect 20,000 signatures on its petition to the Governor. Will you sign and share to help them reach their goal?

Action via Chicago Votes.

Daily Actions Editor