The New York Times editorial board appealed to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel to investigate President Trump's election campaign and any of its alleged ties to Russia.
In an "open letter" published Thursday morning, the Times complimented Rosenstein as having a "sterling reputation" and writing a "solid brief" that recommended the termination of FBI Director James Comey. But since that led to Comey's firing, the Times said Rosenstein needs to help make sure a special counsel is appointed.
"You have one choice: Appoint a special counsel who is independent of both the department and the White House," the Times said. "No one else would have the standing to assure the public it is getting the truth."
Comey was forced out Tuesday evening, a decision the White House said was made by President Trump based on Rosenstein's recommendation.
Rosenstein had said that Comey acted inappropriately in heading the FBI's investigations into Hillary Clinton's email controversies.
Democrats and some Republicans, however, are skeptical over the timing of the termination, and point to Comey's other ongoing investigation into Trump and Russia. Media reports have said that Trump actually made his decision because he grew angry with Comey's investigation into Russia and that he asked Rosenstein to make a case against Comey.
The White House has so far said it sees no need for an independent investigator.
"Yes, it might cost you your job," the Times said in its letter to Rosenstein about pushing for a special counsel. "But it would save your honor, and so much more besides."