Top House Judiciary Democrats Call on DOJ & FBI to Preserve Russia Investigation Documents & Materials Related to Comey Firing
Washington, DC – Today, after President Donald Trump abruptly fired Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and House Judiciary Subcommittee Ranking Members Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Steve Cohen (D-TN) and David N. Cicilline (D-RI), sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, calling for the protection and preservation of all documents and other materials involving the Department's and FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 federal election as well as the protection and preservation of all files related to Director Comey's termination.
Full text of the letter is available here and below.
May 9, 2017
Rod J. Rosenstein
Deputy Attorney General
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C., 20530
Andrew G. McCabe
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C., 20535
Dear Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and Acting Director McCabe:
In light of today's shocking decision by the President to fire FBI Director Comey, it is imperative that you take several immediate steps to protect the integrity of your investigations into Russian efforts to influence our recent election and related matters. First, we ask that any and all files, documents, memoranda and other materials involving the Department’s and FBI’s criminal investigation into matters related to Russian interference in our federal elections; collusion with individuals associated with the Trump campaign; and associated matters be preserved and placed off limits to any and all White House officials and staff and any other individuals, including Attorney General Sessions, who have recused themselves from the investigation. Second, we request that you preserve any and all files, documents, memoranda and other materials related to Director Comey’s termination by the President, so that it may be subsequently reviewed by appropriate members of Congress, and in connection with any subsequent investigations.
We do not make this request lightly. However, the recent firing of Director Comey by a President, whose own campaign representatives and associates are under investigation for possible collusion with the Russian government, leave us with little choice but to call for these actions. Our request is even more important given that a series of White House efforts to influence the investigation and the media coverage of it have made it clear that the Trump Administration cannot be allowed to interfere any further in this investigation. This includes White House efforts asking the FBI to “knock down” White House-Russia stories earlier this year; separate efforts by the White House to leak information to Rep. Nunes so that he could seek to justify President Trump’s unfounded accusations that President Obama “tapped” his phones; as well as the President’s decision to fire Preet Bharara the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who had jurisdiction over investigations involving trump Tower, even after the President promised Mr. Bahara he could keep his job. Unfortunately, we are also concerned about the continued involvement of the Attorney General in these issues, including his role in firing Director Comey. Our request takes on added urgency given that Mary McCord, the career prosecutor supervising the Russia probe has announced that she is departing this week.
Nothing less than the integrity of our leading independent law enforcement agency and the credibility of our democracy are at stake. We look forward to your response at your earliest convenience, and by no later than May 12, 2017 at the latest.