Hundreds of local activists protested against President Donald Trump on Thursday, opposing his controversial decision to ask for the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which they believe may threaten Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The "Nobody Is Above The Law" rally was one of about 900 taking place at across the country by MoveOn.org, which declared that Trump crossed a red line by forcing Sessions to resign and violating the independence of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of alleged Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation.
Suburban activists, like many Democratic leaders, called for newly appointed acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to step away from overseeing Mueller's investigation because he previously made statements against it.
From left: Gail Brill, Phyllis Magnus and Beckie O'Neill protest Donald Trump's firing of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the appointment of Matt Whitaker as acting AG in Riverside Park on Thursday night. Rosenstein had the role of supervising the probe because of Sessions' recusal. He wrote previous year on CNN.com that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should limit the scope of Mueller's investigation to stop him from delving into Trump's finances.
"At your request, I am submitting my resignation", Sessions said in the first line of a letter released by the Department of Justice. "It's a disgrace. It should never have been started, because there is no crime".
In 2017, Whitaker wrote an opinion piece featured on CNN titled "Mueller's investigation of Trump is going too far". Serving as a special counsel does not require Senate confirmation by statute.
Mueller's team and Democrats in Congress can fight back.
"The president decides who serves in the cabinet".
He could also refuse to sign off on a subpoena of Trump if the president refuses to voluntarily speak to investigators.
But his departure was anticipated since early this year, after he endured withering and repeated criticism from the president over the legally troubled ban on Muslim travellers Trump sought when he came into office, and over the Mueller probe.
Moscow has repeatedly rejected allegations of election meddling, characterizing them as unfounded fabrications and attempts by United States politicians and media to fuel Russophobic hysteria.
Those included an op-ed article in which he said Mueller would be straying outside his mandate if he investigated Trump family finances and a radio interview in which he maintained there was no evidence of collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.