The group is posting anti-Trump billboards in 12 congressional districts represented by Republicans. Representatives Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Francis Rooney of Florida, and John Katko of New York are among the GOP lawmakers targeted by the campaign.
The lawmakers are being pressured because they have shown willingness to “assert their independence” and stand up to Trump, in the past, according to the group.
“What is Trump hiding?” the billboards ask. The question is juxtaposed with photographs of high-ranking current and former Trump administration officials with duct tape over their mouths.
The photographs of officials blocked from testifying before Congress by the Trump White House are meant to demonstrate that the president has been obstructing congressional investigations, according to the group.
Among the high-ranking administration officials are former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
In a statement, Chris Truax, a spokesman for Republicans for the Rule of Law, explained that Trump should “have made some effort” to prove he is innocent, if he actually is innocent, instead of obstructing the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
“The House of Representatives is the people’s house, and the Constitution gives it full responsibility for impeachment,” he said.
“When President Trump completely obstructed an impeachment inquiry, he made it clear that he doesn’t think the American people deserve to know what’s going on in the administration,” Truax continued.
“If the President really does think the facts will exonerate him, why won’t he let those facts come out?” he asked.
The billboards are part of a broader campaign. The conservative group is also running television advertisements meant to raise concerns about Republican lawmakers’ refusal to stand up to Trump, and about the president’s alleged obstruction of congressional investigations
Republicans for the Rule of Law has pushed similar campaigns in the past. In November, for instance, the group ran an advertisement accusing Trump of abuse of power. The ad was a compilation of impeachment witness testimonies juxtaposed with footage of pro-Trump Republicans. It aired on Fox News, during Fox & Friends.
Earlier this week, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives introduced two articles of impeachment against Trump. According to House Democrats, Trump is guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The president, Democrats claim, committed impeachable offenses when he pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate his political rivals, allegedly freezing military aid in order to force Ukrainian authorities to fulfill his requests.