Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Thursday joined a group of top law enforcement officials calling for a special counsel to investigate potential Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
In a letter co-signed by 20 attorneys general from around the nation, Madigan and other top officials called the firing of FBI Director James Comey "a violation of 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 reads.
The decision by the Trump administration to remove Comey from his position was met by criticism by Democrats, who viewed the move as a potential action toward ending the investigation by the bureau into whether Russia interfered with the 2016 election of Donald Trump to the presidency, and whether the Trump campaign had any connection to any potential interference.
Madigan was joined by attorneys general from 19 other states, including California, New York and Pennsylvania, and the group has joined a growing number of lawmakers and politicians calling for a special counsel to investigate allegations of Russian interference.
“We await clarification by the White House as soon as possible as to whether this investigation will continue and whether it will have a credible leader so that we know it will have a just outcome,” Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said in a statement.
The White House cited Comey’s handling of the investigation into classified emails sent by Hillary Clinton as the reason for the dismissal, with the president saying in a letter to Comey that he had acted on the judgment of the Department of Justice.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau,” President Trump’s letter said.