According to The Associated Press, a group of nearly 100 former federal prosecutors and high-ranking DOJ officials from both Democratic and Republican administrations, including former AG Eric Holder and former Deputy AG Larry Thompson, issued the following join letter expressing concerns over FBI Director Comey’s departure from long-standing department protocols. The letter outlined:
- Evidence uncovered during an investigation are often incomplete, misleading or even incorrect, if it is released prematurely before the investigation is complete.
- The letter emphasizes that releasing information or making public statements in connection with an on-going investigation can unfairly prejudice individuals and undermine the public’s faith in the integrity of the legal system.
- Justice Department officials are instructed to refrain from commenting publicly on the existence, let alone substance, of pending matters.
- Additionally, they are instructed to be extra cautious near the time of a primary or general election because, as official guidance from the Department instructs, public comment on pending investigative matter may effect the electoral process which may create the appearance of political interference in the fair administration of justice.
- The letter states that many of those involved in writing the letter have worked with Director Comey and have respect for him.
We do not question Director Comey’s motives. However, the fact remains that the Director’s disclosure has invited considerable, uninformed public speculation about the significance of newly-discovered material just days before a national election.
- According to the former prosecutors and staff of the DOJ, the letter is inconsistent with prevailing Department policy, breaking longstanding practices followed by officials of both parties during past elections.
- The letter concludes by stating that the American people deserve all the facts, and fairness dictates releasing information that provides a full and complete picture regarding the material at issue.
The full letter could be found here.