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Former Democratic, Republican state AGs call Director Comey’s letter a ‘serious mistake’

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2016 hillary clinton donald trumpA bipartisan group of nearly 50 former state attorneys general on Monday issued a letter expressing concern over FBI Director Comey’s recent letter to Congress, calling it “unacceptable,” and a “serious mistake.”

As former state attorneys general from both parties, we find the recent actions of FBI director James Comey to be unacceptable and unfair to all involved. We call on him, now that he has injected himself into the electoral process, to immediately provide as much detail as possible so the American public can deal with facts rather than rank speculation and innuendo. But we should not be in this position in the first place.

It is long-standing Justice Department policy that employees “must be particularly sensitive to safeguarding the Department’s reputation for fairness, neutrality, and nonpartisanship.” As prosecutors, we were faced with allegations against candidates during every election. It is important not to comment on pending investigations close to an election or else risk that the normal criminal investigation process will be manipulated for political gain. Prosecutors and investigators must use great caution in even acknowledging investigations prior to their conclusion. The damage to a citizen’s reputation often cannot be repaired, even if that person is totally cleared by the investigation or the allegations are proven to be completely groundless.

It appears that Director Comey has made a serious mistake in allowing this unfair speculation and innuendo to exist. Each of us has great respect for both the FBI and the American political process. We call on the Director to act immediately to provide needed clarity and explanation, and to limit the unfortunate damage his actions have caused.

 
Steve Rosenthal, former Attorney General of Virginia
Anthony Troy, former Attorney General of Virginia
Mary Sue Terry, former Attorney General of Virginia
Mike Moore, former Attorney General of Mississippi
Ken Salazar, former Attorney General of Colorado
Grant Woods,  former Attorney General of Arizona
Ron Amemiya, former Attorney General of Hawaii
Rosalie Ballentine, former Attorney General of the Virgin Islands
Paul Bardacke, former Attorney General of New Mexico
Francis X. Bellotti, former Attorney General of Massachusetts
Steve Beshear, former Attorney General of Kentucky
Jeff Bingamen, former Attorney General of New Mexico
Richard Bryan, former Attorney General of Nevada
Roland Burris, former Attorney General of Illinois
Bob Butterworth, former Attorney General of Florida
Bonnie Campbell, former Attorney General of Iowa
Pam Carter, former Attorney General of Indiana
Steve Clark, former Attorney General of Arkansas
Walter Cohen, former Attorney General of Pennsylvania
Jack Conway, former Attorney General of Kentucky
Frankie Sue Del Papa, former Attorney General of Nevada
Jerry Diamond, former Attorney General of Vermont
John Easton, former Attorney General of Vermont
Drew Edmondson, former Attorney General of Oklahoma
John Farmer, former Attorney General of New Jersey
Lee Fisher, former Attorney General of Ohio
Doug Gansler, former Attorney General of Maryland
Terry Goddard, former Attorney General of Arizona
Jan Graham, former Attorney General of Utah
Peter Harvey, former Attorney General of New Jersey
Hubert Humphrey III, former Attorney General of Minnesota
Gary King, former Attorney General of New Mexico
Peg Lautenschlager, former Attorney General of Wisconsin
Bill Lockyer, former Attorney General of California
Dave Louie, former Attorney General of Hawaii
J.D. MacFarlane, former Attorney General of Colorado
Patsy Madrid, former Attorney General of New Mexico
Dustin McDaniel, former Attorney General of Arkansas
Jeff Modisett, former Attorney General of Indiana
Richard Opper, former Attorney General of Guam
Jim Petro, former Attorney General of Ohio
Ed Pittman, former Attorney General of Mississippi
Hector Richard, former Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Steve Sachs, former Attorney General of Maryland
Jim Tierney, former Attorney General of Maine
Knox Walkup, former Attorney General of Tennessee

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