Dems ask Justice Department, FBI to 'preserve any and all files' on Comey firing

Dems ask Justice Department, FBI to 'preserve any and all files' on Comey firing
© Getty Images

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the Department of Justice and FBI Tuesday night, asking that both agencies “preserve any and all files” related to the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.

"In light of today's shocking decision by the President to fire FBI Director Comey, it is imperative that you take several immediate steps to protect the integrity of your investigations into Russian efforts to influence our recent election and related matters," the Democrats wrote.

They asked that all materials related to "the Department’s and FBI’s criminal investigation into matters related to Russian interference in our federal elections; collusion with individuals associated with the Trump campaign; and associated matters" be saved and off limits to White House officials or associates.

The letter specifically named Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsKey GOP lawmaker throws cold water on Rosenstein impeachment With new immigration policy, Trump administration gutting the right to asylum Homeland Security advisory council members resign over family separations: report MORE as someone the documents should be protected from, citing his recusal from the Russia probe.

ADVERTISEMENT
They similarly requested all "materials related to Director Comey’s termination by the President, so that it may be subsequently reviewed by appropriate members of Congress, and in connection with any subsequent investigations."

The Democratic senators cited alleged attempts by President Trump's administration and other recent events as further reason to preserve the documents.

"Our request is even more important given that a series of White House efforts to influence the investigation and the media coverage of it have made it clear that the Trump administration cannot be allowed to interfere any further in this investigation," the letter read.

"This includes White House efforts asking the FBI to 'knock down' White House-Russia stories earlier this year; separate efforts by the White House to leak information to Rep. [Devin] Nunes [R-Calif.] so that he could seek to justify President Trump’s unfounded accusations that President Obama 'tapped' his phones; as well as the President’s decision to fire Preet Bharara the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who had jurisdiction over investigations involving trump Tower, even after the President promised Mr. Bahara he could keep his job.  Unfortunately, we are also concerned about the continued involvement of the Attorney General in these issues, including his role in firing Director Comey," the letter continued.

Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommended Trump fire Comey, questioning his judgment and citing how he handled the investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonState Dept: Russia’s allegations about American citizens ‘absolutely absurd’ Trump on possible sit-down with Mueller: 'I've always wanted to do an interview' Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas MORE's use of a private email server.

Reps. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeOvernight Defense: Defense spending bill amendments target hot-button issues | Space Force already facing hurdles | Senators voice 'deep' concerns at using military lawyers on immigration cases Live coverage: Justice IG testifies before House on report criticizing FBI Merkley leads Dem lawmakers to border amid migrant policy outcry MORE (D-Texas), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) signed the letter.