Twenty state and district attorneys general have signed a letter asking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint an “independent special counsel” to investigate Russia’s attempts to meddle in the United States presidential election.
The effort, spearheaded by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D), comes following President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey earlier this week.
“The residents of our states and the American people deserve a thorough investigation that makes clear the extent of Russian meddling, any collusion by Trump campaign officials, and any coverup,” the letter reads.
“Only the appointment of an independent special counsel, pursuant to 28 CFR § 600.1, with full powers and resources, can begin to restore public confidence. We urge you to appoint a special counsel immediately.”
Attorneys general from the following states also signed the letter: Hawaii, Iowa, California, Connecticut, New Mexico, Maine, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, Vermont and Washington. The attorney general of the District of Columbia also signed.
“As the chief law enforcement officers of our respective states, we view the President's firing of FBI Director James Comey in the middle of his investigation of Russian interference in the presidential election as a violation of the public trust,” the attorneys general wrote.
“As prosecutors committed to the rule of law, we urge you to consider the damage to our democratic system of any attempts by the administration to derail and delegitimize the investigation.”
The letter copies lawmakers who are leading the probes into Russia’s meddling in the United States presidential election on both the Senate and House intelligence committees.
Comey had been leading the FBI’s investigation into the potential ties between Trump campaign staff members and Russia.