LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Twenty former Republican US attorneys on Tuesday (Oct 27) accused President Donald Trump of threatening the rule of law as they declared their support for Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden.
The former senior federal prosecutors, who collectively served under every Republican president from Mr Dwight Eisenhower to Mr George W. Bush, said in a publicly released letter that Mr Trump treated the Department of Justice as his personal law firm by pressuring government lawyers to protect his allies and attack his political foes.
The group is the latest of several Republican-led organisations opposing Republican Trump's re-election.
Others include Republican Voters Against Trump, Former Republican National Security Officials for Biden, and 43 Alumni for Biden, which consists of hundreds of officials who worked for Mr George W. Bush, the 43rd president.
The former US attorneys say Mr Trump has politicised the Justice Department like no other president.
"We believe that President Trump's leadership is a threat to the rule of law in our country," the group wrote.
The Trump campaign has described Republican-led groups campaigning for Mr Biden as disaffected former officials "trying to take down the duly elected president of the United States".
Mr Trump on Twitter last year referred to "Never Trump Republicans" as "human scum".
The attorneys said they were dismayed by Mr Trump's 2017 firing of FBI director James Comey, which they believe was done to thwart an investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election; his dismissal of then Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, who Mr Trump publicly rebuked for not shutting down the Russia investigation, and Mr Trump's decision to commute the sentence of his adviser Roger Stone, sparing him from prison after he was convicted of lying under oath to lawmakers investigating Russian interference.
"He's not just bending the norms, he's smashing them," said Mr Ken Wainstein, a co-founder of the group who served as a US attorney in Washington under Mr Bush.