Nearly 9,000 attorneys from across the nation have signed a letter that opposes Steve Bannon from becoming President-elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist.
Nancy Leong, an associate professor at University of Denver law school and co-author of the letter, confirmed the number to Bloomberg Law on Monday. According to Leong, the letter will be circulated to both current and incoming members of Congress, as well as to the Trump transition team either today or tomorrow.
“As attorneys, we swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. We committed to protect the institutions upon which our democracy depends. We committed to provide zealous representation for all our clients, regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic,” the letter reads.
It continues: “Mr. Bannon has demonstrated his opposition to the stable, democratic form of government that our profession embraces and strives to maintain.”
Bannon is an ex-executive from the conservative news website Breitbart News, during which he “intentionally legitimized racism, anti-Semitism, and other hate-based ideologies,” according to the letter. Breitbart has also been criticized for legitimizing the alt-right movement.
Bannon has faced scrutiny since his move to Trump’s chief strategist was announced earlier this month.
“Of course we do not dispute that Mr. Bannon has the right to voice his opinions. Indeed, some of us have devoted our careers to safeguarding a robust First Amendment that protects individuals, the media, and other organizations,” the letter reads. “But these extreme and hateful views do not belong in the White House.”
Recently, Bannon said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that “darkness is good,” and people like Dick Cheney, Darth Vader, and even Satan represent “power.” He also denied accusations of him being a “white nationalist,” instead saying he’s “an economic nationalist.”