Brennan Center Joins Call for Special Prosecutor in Russia Investigation

May 11, 2017

CONTACT:

Steve Smith, ACLU, 347-628-4077; ssmith@aclu.org
Vivien Watts, Brennan Center, (646)292-8317; vivien.watts@nyu.edu
Derrick Robinson, LCCRUL, (240) 473-3034; drobinson@lawyerscommittee.org
Phoebe Plagens, NAACP LDF, 212-965-2235; pplagens@naacpldf.org

In the wake of recent events related to the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s influence on the 2016 election, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Defense Fund, Inc. (LDF), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL), and the Brennan Center for Justice today called on the Deputy Attorney General of the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel to oversee the investigation regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election:

“The decision this week by the President to fire FBI Director James Comey has deepened grave concerns about the integrity and independence of the investigation into the Russian government's influence on the 2016 election. Attorney General Sessions has already recused himself from participation in this investigation, and yet he took part in the decision to recommend that the President dismiss the FBI Director who has been conducting the investigation.  Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who also recommended the firing of the FBI Director, now must appoint a special counsel to supervise the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Appointing an independent and fully empowered special counsel is the only way to ensure a truthful investigation, to protect the integrity of our institutions, and to preserve the rule of law in the United States.

“In the last few months, we have seen the Trump Administration:

  • Abruptly fire FBI Director James Comey, the official directly responsible for the Russia investigation, just days after Comey requested new resources to expand the probe and just after subpoenas have been issued.
  • Fail to immediately dismiss former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn despite knowledge that he had been compromised by the Russians.
  • Regularly attempt to discredit the investigation in public statements, including Tweets from the president’s official account.
  • Fail to disclose Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ meetings with the Russian Ambassador during the presidential campaign, ultimately leading to his recusal from the Russia inquiry.

“These actions do not only jeopardize an investigation of grave national importance; they also pose a serious threat to the rule of law, a threat that transcends any divisions of party and ideology. Our rights and liberties as Americans rest on the principle that law enforcement and the judicial process must be free from arbitrary political interference – a principle this administration has repeatedly sought to subvert.”

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Originally posted on NAACP LDF.