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* 1. An Open Letter from Lawyers to Members of Congress and the American People
Nothing is more central to our democracy than the rule of law. As the Supreme Court declared over 200 years ago in Marbury v. Madison, “the government of the United States has been emphatically termed a government of laws, and not of men.” No person is above the law, including the President of the United States. The President, in fact, has the explicit constitutional obligation to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Indeed, he is bound by his oath to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution “to the best of [his] ability.”

Inspired by these principles, we, the undersigned members of the legal profession, hereby stand up in defense of the rule of law and against President Donald Trump’s outrageous attempt to undermine the investigation into possible wrongdoing involving the President’s 2016 campaign and the Russian government.

President Trump’s removal of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is clearly a maneuver to obstruct or end Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible illegal activities by his campaign. The Mueller investigation has already uncovered serious crimes committed by the President’s closest associates. Having now removed Sessions, President Trump has appointed Matthew Whitaker to serve as Acting Attorney General.

Whitaker has publicly mused about how an acting AG could defund the Mueller investigation. He has also published op-eds saying that Mueller’s investigation has gone too far and that the investigation should be limited. Whitaker has the potential to end or severely undermine the investigation in ways that could be hidden from the public.

The Special Counsel’s investigations into Russian interference of our nation’s democratic processes must be allowed to continue. They must continue even if they implicate persons or institutions connected to the President, his campaign, or his businesses. To allow the independence of the prosecutorial function in this nation to be sacrificed in order to protect the President endangers the very rule of law on which our nation and our Constitution are based.

We therefore demand that:

· Acting AG Whitaker recuse himself or otherwise be removed from overseeing the Mueller investigation as a result of his profound ethical conflicts;

· Congress hold the President accountable through oversight and pass legislation to protect the Mueller investigation; and

· Any future Attorney General nominated by President Trump pledge to protect the Mueller investigation.

A generation ago, President Richard Nixon assaulted the rule of law by firing a prosecutor investigating the Watergate scandal. But his attack on our democracy was thwarted by dedicated public servants, independent and impartial courts, aggressive bipartisan congressional oversight, and an overwhelming public outcry, led in no small part by lawyers from every branch of our profession. So must it be in our time. This is our challenge and responsibility.

Accordingly, we the undersigned attorneys pledge that we will do all that is in our power to ensure that President Trump is held accountable for his attacks on the rule of law. We will litigate, engage in peaceful protests, and take advantage of our role as community leaders to promote understanding of the rule of law and the seriousness of the current situation.  We will make our voices heard in the media, within our bar associations and other civic associations, and we will call on our representatives in Congress to speak out as well.

We will defend the rule of law from all who seek to undermine it. We call on you to join us.

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* 2. First name

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* 3. Last name

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* 4. Email address 

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* 5. Title (All signatories represent their views as individuals and do not sign on behalf of any law firm, organization, law school, or other entity)

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* 6. Employer (All signatories represent their views as individuals and do not sign on behalf of any law firm, organization, law school, or other entity)