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Oregon, other AGs urge independent probe of Russian inteference

Say special counsel needed to restore public trust

BOSTON (AP) - A group of 20 attorneys general, all Democrats, is calling for the appointment of an independent special counsel to continue the investigation into Russian interference in last year's presidential election.

The group led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey called Republican President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey during the ongoing investigation a "violation of public trust."

The group said in a Thursday letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that only the appointment of an independent special counsel "with full powers and resources" can begin to restore public confidence.

Those signing the letter include the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Washington.

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News release from Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum:

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today joined a coalition of 20 attorneys general to call for the immediate appointment of an independent special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election. The letter, sent to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, calls the firing by President Trump 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 Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) is meeting in Portland, Oregon this week for their spring meeting. "During our last meeting of DAGA, in January, the President issued his first Travel Ban--and we took action. Once again, we are faced with an astonishing action by this President that puts into question his commitment to our country's democratic values and the rule of law. An independent counsel is now essential," said Attorney General Rosenblum.

The attorneys general, in their joint statement, 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 attorneys general from Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Washington all signed the letter.

A link to the letter is here.


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