Protests to Protect Robert Mueller Break Out Across the Country as the New Attorney General Poses a Serious Threat to the Russia Investigation

Protests to Protect Robert Mueller Break Out Across the Country as the New Attorney General Poses a Serious Threat to the Russia Investigation

Americans across the country on Thursday took to the streets to protest President Donald Trump's appointment of a new acting attorney general to replace Jeff Sessions, thus usurping oversight of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation from Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein.

As soon as Matthew Whitaker, who had been Sessions' chief of staff, was appointed to the position in violation of the traditional line of succession, observers immediately cried foul. There was no clear reason to replace Sessions with Whitaker unless the sole purpose was to install a crony at the head of the investigation, which Trump clearly feels threatened by.

And if anyone is a crony, Whitaker surely fits the bill.

He's made numerous controversial or wrong public claims about the Russia investigation demonstrating his antipathy toward the probe. He seems to share Trump's delusional view that is a "witch hunt." rather than a legitimate operation directed to uncover key national security issues.

In response to this move, many Americans felt compelled to make their voices heard. In New York City, a large crowd gathered in Times Square to protest the appointment of Whitaker:

Protesters chanted "Trump is not above the law," according to journalist Karen Rubin.

Other protests erupted in Boston, Philadelphia, Sacramento, Chicago, Tampa, Rockville, and Kansas City, among others.

In Washington, D.C., protesters gather near the White House — taking their message right to the president's doorstep. Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics who resigned in protest under Trump, spoke at the demonstration.

“We are in an ethics crisis," he said. "You can't be your own investigator. Trump is not above the law.”

He also noted: “Whitaker isn’t even slightly qualified. People have called him a cartoon character. I think that’s an insult to cartoons.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.