Every once in a while Chip’s staff will spit out a form letter explaining to his constituents why he is ignoring everything they’ve told him and voting in ways diametrically opposed to the values of his district. A few common threads stand out in these letters:

  • Chip really, really wants people to know he was a “former federal prosecutor”—even though the position he filled, Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Texas, is an unpaid, volunteer position designed for young lawyers seeking “professional credibility.”
  • He calls anything he doesn’t like “a violation of the Constitution” or says it would somehow violate individuals’ “Constitutional rights.” He sometimes seems to be saying that it is unconstitutional for Congress to pass any laws at all.
  • Though the letters always include the same line about being glad to hear from constituents, they also order the recipient not to reply. They’re supposed to go fill out a form on his website if they want to continue the conversation. This is a tactic intended to prevent follow-up, so the recipient can’t hold Chip accountable for his vagueness, double-standards, and digressions from the real issues they raised when they contacted him the first time.

Reply to constituent’s request that Chip support the voter protection bill H.R. 1 

Here, Chip argues that the Constitution gives states have the right to disenfranchise voters:

The image is a letter, dated March 27, 2019. Two sections of text are highlighted in red boxes. The letter reads, "Dear [name redacted], Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2019. I am always eager to hear the views of my constiuents, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns. As a Constitutional Republic, our government is designed to empower the states to decide who they send to Congress to represent their interests. Centralization of power and influence in Washington wrks gainst the principles of federalism laid out by our founding fathers, and I will always fight to preserve those principles while considering any legislation. H.R. 1 passed the House of Representatives by a margin of 234 to 193." The following text in the letter is highlighted by a red box: "This legislation removed electoral authority and oversight away from th states, thus violating the Constitution and centralizing power in Washington. I voted against the bill and will continue to defend the Constitution and federalism during my time in office." End highlight. "Thank you again for your correspondence. I trust that you will continue to share your thoughts with me on other matters important to you. If I can ever be of assistance to you and your family, please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely, Chip Roy Member of Congress" The following text is highlighted in a red box: "Please do not reply to this email." End highlight. "To share your thoughts please visit my website.”

Reply to constituent urging Chip to vote to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act

Here, “former federal proescutor” Chip weasels out of his pro-NRA vote by accusing a woman of “scoring points”—a pretty staggering charge from the man who shut down emergency aid to his own state just so he could net a couple of high-profile media interviews:

The image is a letter, dated May 24, 2019. Two sections of text are highlighted in red boxes. The letter reads, "Dear [name redacted], Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding H.R. 1585, The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019. I am always eager to hear the views of my constiuents, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns. As a former federal prosecutor, I believe violence against women is unacceptable and those who commit violent crimes should be punished to the full extent of the law. I believe most Americans agree on that principle.” The following text in the letter is highlighted by a red box: “Unfortunately, rather than work across the aisle in good faith to craft a workable pice of legislation, Speaker Pelosi chose to politicize the reauthorization for the benefit of her own party. As a legislative body, scoring political points should not outweigh securing our rights and constitutional limits on federal power.” End highlight. “H.R. 1585 was hardly recognizable from the original passed in 1994. This reauthorization includes new provisions that extend the law beyond its core purpose and overly extends the federal government into traditionally state and local matters. Local leaders are best suited to enforce state laws and tailor programs and services to the needs of their communities. Thank you again for your correspondence. I trust that you will continue to share your thoughts with me on other matters important to you. If I can ever be of assistance to you and your family, please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely, Chip Roy Member of Congress" The following text is highlighted in a red box: "Please do not reply to this email." End highlight. "To share your thoughts please visit my website."

Summary of reply to constituent who suggested concrete actions Chip could take to solve the immigration crisis he constantly rails about

Here, Chip used one of his favorite moves: ignoring the specific, actionable information in the letter he received, to instead ride his favorite hobby horse of border security hysteria.

The image is a screenshot of a website comment. It reads, "I received two replies from Chip today. The first one was in response to a letter I sent last month protesting Trump wanting to include a citizenship question on the 2020 U.S. Census. I honestly tried to detect a thread of meaningful thought in Chip's reply, but I finally gave up as it was just gobbledygook. In my second letter I urged him to support bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform (including protections for Dreamers) along the lines of what the U.S. Senate passed in 2013 before being torpedoed by the then GOP controlled House. In his reply he completely ignored pathways to citizenship, permanent resident status and the right of people to apply for asylum - instead, he focused exclusively on border control. I wasn't surprised but this type of mindset isn't going to get us anywhere. #GoodbyeMrChip"

2 thoughts on “Letters FROM Chip: TX-21 constituents share Chip’s cut-and-paste replies

  1. here’s one I got this morning–I will respond but I am just so frustrated and livid right this minute!

    Dear Ms. Alvarez,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the ongoing investigation by the House regarding Ukraine and U.S. diplomatic activity. I am always eager to hear the views of my constituents, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

    Impeachment of a president is a solemn undertaking. It will inevitably, as Alexander Hamilton noted in Federalist 65, veer toward political factions. Yet, it is important that our founders purposefully did not embrace “recalls” or “votes of no confidence.” Rather, our system demands from Congress evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors and contemplates a level of behavior commensurate with the chaos inflicted on the Republic by potential removal of a president. By its very structure, it suggests a judicious exercise of that Constitutional safeguard when the people have a clear opportunity to render their own judgment in less than a year.

    To determine the facts, I have largely sought to avoid the media circus while taking part in depositions, reading reports, and observing public hearings. As a former prosecutor and as a member of the House Oversight Committee, I believe it important to review the facts and then render judgment.

    The most important evidence presented is the July 25th call between Presidents Trump and Zelensky, which the White House voluntarily released. I am sympathetic to those who reasonably believe that the call was not “perfect,” but I also do not see evidence sufficient to impeach a President of the United States. My specific thoughts are as follows:

    Regarding the call, it was foreseeable that mentioning a potential political opponent on a call with a foreign head of state would, at a minimum, give the appearance of mixing domestic politics with foreign policy. This is particularly likely when there are people within the bureaucracy who want to find malfeasance, whether it exists or not. I also do not believe so much effort should be spent advancing the argument that there was “no quid pro quo.” It’s legally debatable, but it’s difficult to argue there wasn’t a “this for that” desired outcome, based on the totality of the phone call and the testimony. But these kinds of conversations occur often between heads of state and provided they are related to the interests of the United States, they are generally speaking legitimate.

    It is important to stipulate the relatively clear facts. A meeting, and a portion of security aid was in fact withheld. In the case of aid, it was withheld for just under 2 months and apparently with the knowledge of at least some in the White House. The President clearly wanted President Zelensky to act both in the form of investigations and, it appears, by way of some public statement(s) – ostensibly to demonstrate Zelensky would be different from past Ukrainian leaders in combatting the country’s endemic corruption. It also appears that President Trump wanted Ukraine’s assistance looking into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation (which the Justice Department had been conducting) and into activities involving Ukraine and the Bidens vis-à-vis Burisma. So, were there high crimes and misdemeanors?

    First, the President deserves, and is given under the Constitution, a great deal of latitude to conduct foreign policy, which includes tough negotiations. In the case of Ukraine, it is clear that President Trump wants Europe to carry more of the burden of supporting their effort, and that he views both a long-standing history of corruption and Ukraine’s nexus to our 2016 elections as a problem. He is most certainly within his rights to believe these things, and act on them. Indeed, federal law requires he act to stop corruption if American foreign aid is being distributed.

    The history of corruption is readily agreed to by all. But central to the issue at hand is whether there is evidence that Ukraine worked with Democrats to influence our 2016 elections. While my Democrat colleagues and the media counter that this allegation has been “debunked,” in doing so, they make two errors. One, they suggest that because Russia is rightly regarded to have purposefully targeted our elections, this means Ukraine did not. Of course, these are not mutually exclusive, and both can have meddled in varying degrees.

    They also purposefully obfuscate the obvious evidence – as acknowledged under oath by one of the Democrats most celebrated witnesses, Dr. Fiona Hill – that there were troubling efforts by Ukrainians to influence the 2016 elections. They do this by conflating it with the less likely technological “interference” (see, e.g., “Crowdstrike”). To be certain, the President’s continued personal promotion of that angle perpetuates that questionable narrative, but that’s not the core issue. The truth is that we saw Ukrainian leaders – including the sitting Ambassador – publicly attack candidate Trump in the press. We saw some make open efforts to promote Hillary Clinton and actually work with the DNC to try to dig up dirt on candidate Trump. Further, though later overruled, even a Ukrainian court once found that a Ukrainian parliamentarian and head of anti-corruption police interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. But what matters is that all of these things raise legitimate questions of Ukrainian engagement in 2016 elections, and thus provide President Trump with reasonable questions to raise to a new reformer Ukrainian President.

    Second, investigating the Bidens was never based on “digging up dirt,” as both Bidens’ public actions raise legitimate questions regarding self-dealing and are reasonably connected to overall corruption in Ukraine. The elder Biden threatened $1 Billion in aid to the Ukrainians in order to eject the Prosecutor General, who was looking into Burisma – an energy company with known corruption issues and a board that his own son was sitting on with income of $83,000 per month. Whether or not Biden’s effort was independently defensible, his actions regarding Burisma are not immune from scrutiny just because he is a candidate for President. That would be absurd. Even the Obama administration raised concerns about the likely conflict of interest involving the Bidens – as was clear in testimony provided by Ambassador Yovanovich.

    It is also noteworthy that not one witness – in a sea of witnesses offering loads of conjecture – has yet provided direct evidence that the President targeted Vice President Biden or his son specifically and/or solely for political reasons involving the 2020 elections. Arguably the July 25th phone call could have been word-for-word the same even if Biden were not running for President; and if the name Biden had not been mentioned, the president’s comments would have been an unremarkable call for a crackdown on corruption by a country that receives hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from U.S. taxpayers. Even if you make the leap that it had to be about gaining a 2020 advantage, not one witness offers direct, non-hearsay evidence connecting withholding aid specifically to targeting Biden for 2020 political gain. The closest was David Holmes’ testimony that Sondland said it was about “big stuff” like Biden, but that implication wasn’t specifically about 2020 and Sondland rejected this account anyway. For me, that’s the whole ballgame and ends the question of impeachment.

    But for those remaining on the fence, we should not dismiss the larger context. Zelensky himself denies feeling pressure either during the phone call or after. The delay in funding was a fraction of the total, occurred for less than two months, and there is no evidence that the delay was actively communicated to Ukraine, or certainly not in a way to apply pressure. More, there was reason to ask Ukraine, with a new reformer as President, to investigate potential meddling in 2016, and there were non-political reasons to mention looking into certain activities involving Biden and his proximity to associated allegations involving Burisma. Additionally, a delay in aid was consistent with the president’s directive that foreign aid in general be scrutinized given our own country’s financial straits.

    This is particularly obvious when viewed through the lens of history – in which President Obama saw an airliner get shot down in Ukraine and Russia annex Crimea, yet he resisted missile defense and had offered his own quid pro quo to Russian President Medvedev about needing space to get past the election, when he would have “more flexibility.” It is noteworthy that during the administration of President Trump, the Ukrainians now have a potential reformer President in Zelensky, full security funding, and Javelin missiles.

    Therefore, while I will continue to examine any evidence offered in the apparent final days of this partisan impeachment exercise, House Democrats have utterly failed to provide compelling evidence of a high crime and misdemeanor meriting the impeachment of a President.

    Once this process is completed in the U.S. House, we should immediately turn our attention to solving any one of the significant issues that Americans care most about. Reducing healthcare prices, securing the border, balancing the budget, passing free trade, or providing a clear mission for our military – these are the things I hear Texans talking about every day. Let’s do our job now.

    I am grateful to have engaged constituents, because when you actively engage in our democratic process the Republic can function as needed. I trust that you will continue to share your thoughts with me on other matters important to you.

    Sincerely,

    Chip Roy
    Member of Congress

    Like

Leave a Reply to Sandra Alvarez Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s