Following Donald Trump's sudden firing of FBI Director James Comey in the middle of the investigation into Russian election interference, 20 state attorneys general — who together represent nearly half the country — have signed a public letter to the deputy U.S. attorney general to urge the appointment of a special counsel.

After Donald Trump followed through on his previous threats and fired FBI Director James Comey, in the midst of that agency’s investigation into Russia’s interference in our presidential election — and possible collusion with Russia on the part of Team Trump — the calls for a special prosecutor immediately grew louder.

And now 20 state attorneys general, representing nearly half of the country in both red and blue states, have signed a public letter to the deputy attorney general for the United States, Rod Rosenstein, urging the appointment of a special counsel to continue the FBI’s probe.

The letter pointedly describes Trump’s decision to fire Comey, particularly at this time, as a “violation of the public trust,” beseeching Rosenstein “to consider the damage to our democratic system of any attempts by the administration to derail and delegitimize the investigation.”

The only way to “begin to restore public confidence” in the systems of government, according to the letter, is to “appoint a special counsel immediately.”

The letter is signed onto by the attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington state, and Washington, D.C.

Those 20 states have a combined population of approximately 147,754,000 Americans — nearly half the population of the country as a whole.

America deserves and needs to know the truth. These attorneys general are speaking for the people, and demanding a thorough — and thoroughly independent — investigation into the still-ongoing morass surrounding Trump’s campaign, his White House, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.