We, the nearly 130,000 members of Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG), believe that President Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director James Comey on May 9, 2017 raises critical concerns about the integrity of our government and the independence of our justice system. For the reasons outlined below (and particularly in light of the connections documented here between President Trump, his advisors, and Russia) we demand a swift and appropriate response to Director Comey’s dismissal - including the appointment of independent special counsel and the establishment of an independent investigatory committee.
The timing of the dismissal suggests it was inappropriately motivated by Director Comey’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia (not by Director Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails).
- President Trump fired Director Comey less than a week after Comey verified the existence of an ongoing investigation into Trump administration officials’ involvement in Russia’s alleged interference with our 2016 general election - and on the same day that subpoenas were issued in the grand jury case investigating former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
- If the intent of the firing was to interfere in any way with the Russia investigation, that constitutes obstruction of justice - a crime and an impeachable offense. An immediate investigation into the reasons for the firing is therefore essential.
It is also troubling that the President claims to have relied in part on the recommendation of Attorney General Sessions when deciding to fire Director Comey (Sessions promised under oath to recuse himself from such decisions).
- Attorney General Sessions promised under oath to recuse himself from any involvement with Secretary Clinton’s e-mail investigation and the current Russia-related investigation due to his (1) close ties to the Trump campaign, and (2) misrepresentations under oath regarding his own contacts with Russian officials.
- If Attorney General Sessions was involved in the decision to fire Director Comey, then he has violated his promise to recuse himself. The American people have a right to know whether this occurred, as it would reflect on his overall fitness to serve as Attorney General.
President Trump’s dismissal of Director Comey under these circumstances calls into question whether justice will ever be served, and whether the American people will ever learn the truth about one of the most serious national security incidents of our time.
If the President and/or his advisors played any part in Russia’s alleged interference with the election - or knew about it and said nothing - the American people have a right to know, and justice must be served.
As attorneys, we swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States of America. As an organization, we are committed to defending our nation’s highest ideals, including the core American principle that no one is above the law.
It is therefore our duty to insist that an independent special counsel and an independent investigatory committee continue the investigation into connections between President Trump (and his advisors) and state and private actors in Russia, particularly where those connections pertain to the alleged Russian interference with our 2016 general election.
We also ask the United States Senate to place country above party when confirming a new Director for the nation's top law enforcement agency, and appoint someone who is willing and able to conduct the investigatory and law enforcement work of the federal government in an autonomous and non-partisan manner.
For more information concerning the documented connections between President Trump, his associates, and Russia, please see this detailed timeline compiled by the Lawyers for Good Government Foundation.