Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who led the letter calling for an independent special prosecutor to be appointed to look into alleged Russian interference in the election. (Photo: Jennifer Cogswell/City Year/flickr/cc)

20 AGs Demand Immediate Appointment of Special Prosecutor for Russia Probe

'We urge you to consider the damage to our democratic system of any attempts by the administration to derail and deligitimize the investigations,' group writes

Andrea Germanos

Following President Donald Trump's firing of FBI director James Comey, 20 state attorneys general have added their voices to the chorus and called for an independent special prosecutor to probe alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The letter (pdf), dated May 11 and addressed to U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (as Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself), refers to Comey's dismissal "in the middle of his investigation" of such interference "a violation of the public trust."

The letter reads:

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. 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 deligitimize the investigations.

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 cover-up. Only the appointment of an independent special counsel, pursuant to [Justice Department regulation] 28 CFR 600.1, with full powers and resources, can begin to restore public confidence. We urge you to appoint a special counsel immediately.

The letter was spearheaded by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, and was also signed by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Delaware, and Minnesota.

"As the top legal officers in the states, and in many cases the top law enforcement officers, it's something in which we have experience, expertise, and deep concern," Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said to Newsweek.

Several congressional committees and federal agencies have ongoing investigations into the matter, and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said to a Senate committee Thursday that his agency's probe was still a "highly significant investigation."

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, for her part, said, "There is growing support for an independent prosecutor to take over that investigation without the risk of meddling from any political figure (and) the attorney generals' letter is part of that growing chorus of concern."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Sanders Blasts 'Rigged Economy' as Chipmakers Cut Investments After Big Handout

"Intel announced it will be cutting back on plans to increase jobs by $4 billion while increasing dividends for its wealthy shareholders," the Vermont senator wrote on Twitter.

Jake Johnson ·

Argentine Unions Lead Mass Demonstrations for Higher Wages, Lower Prices

"We can't continue with this level of inflation where every day we keep losing parts of our salary," said one labor leader.

Kenny Stancil ·

Outrage as Israeli Forces Raid, Shutter Offices of Top Palestinian Rights Groups

"Israel continues to persecute Palestinian human rights and civil society groups with the clear aim of silencing any criticism against it."

Jake Johnson ·

Economists Fear Fed Minutes Show Central Bank Bent on 'Unleashing Mass Unemployment'

Continued interest rate hikes "risk a recession throwing millions out of work," a pair of experts warned.

Jake Johnson ·

Watchdog: Secret Service Didn't Notify Capitol Police of Threat to Pelosi Until After Jan. 6 Attack

"This is deeply disturbing and requires a full investigation," said one legal expert.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo