Attorney General Racine and Counterparts Call for Independent Special Counsel Following President’s Firing of FBI Director

WASHINGTON, D. C. – Today, Attorney General Karl A. Racine joined Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and a coalition of 20 state attorneys general in calling for the immediate appointment of an independent special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the presidential election.

The letter, sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of the United States Department of Justice, calls the firing of FBI Director James Comey during his ongoing investigation “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 delegitimize the investigation,” the letter states.

The attorneys general also argue that the residents in their states “deserve a thorough investigation that makes clear the extent of Russian meddling, any collusion by Trump campaign officials, and any cover-up.”

The letter concludes by saying: “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.”

“My fellow attorneys general and I have not hesitated to bring actions -- such as supporting successful lawsuits against the Muslim travel bans -- against measures that we believe violate the rule of law,” Attorney General Racine said. “As the chief legal officers of our jurisdictions, we are sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States and all other state and federal laws. We will continue to speak out forcefully when we see any threat to these laws and the democratic principles they embody -- including the core legal principles of separation of powers and prosecutorial independence.”

Joining Attorneys General Racine and Healey in today’s letter are attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Washington.

A copy of the letter is attached.