Thousands demand Mueller protection after Trump fires Sessions

Those opinions have led some leading Democrats, as well as protesters in several cities tonight, to call Whitaker to recuse himself and to protect Robert Mueller. Sessions recused himself in March 2017 because of his work on Trump's campaign and following the revelation that he had met during the 2016 campaign with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

"Donald Trump, you will not keep us from knowing the truth, whatever the truth is", said rally organizer Andrea Hildebran Smith of the activist group Floridians Against Corruption and Treason. It's a job he knows well given that Whitaker has spent the a year ago as Sessions' chief of staff. "Cox clashed with the White House over Nixon's refusal to release Oval Office recordings, some of which implicated the president in the (Watergate hotel) break-in". Despite their House victory, Democrats still appear divided and Trump seems intent on driving a wedge in their ranks, repeatedly expressing his support for veteran Nancy Pelosi, 78, as the Speaker, even though the younger and more radical wing of the party want a younger, fresher face.

The demonstrations were launched nationwide in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' resignation at the request of President Donald Trump, who replaced him with Sessions' chief of staff Matt Whitaker, who has a history of being critical of the investigation.

A Justice Department spokeswoman, asked if Mr Whitaker would now oversee Mueller, replied: "The acting attorney general is in charge of all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice".

If Mr Mueller files a report detailing his conclusions, the new acting attorney general could keep the document from ever becoming public.

King, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, pointed to the passage of a bill supporting Mueller's investigation as the most important action in the wake of the Sessions dismissal, but didn't offer any more specifics about what should be done.

Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee who won the Utah race on Tuesday to become a USA senator, also said Mueller's probe should not be affected by Sessions' dismissal.

If Sessions' departure was an "opening move" by Trump to meddle in Mueller's investigation, Hoyer said in a statement, "the president must be held accountable".

Short of legislation meant to protect Mueller, which is unlikely to pass, there is little Congress can do to challenge Whitaker's oversight of Mueller, said Rosenzweig.

"Essentially we need to shame him into acting in compliance with the law", she said.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions was sacked by Donald Trump Wednesday, casting a cloud over the Russian Federation investigation that has dogged the White House, a day after Republicans lost control over the lower house of Congress.

Trump had enjoyed Whitaker's cable TV appearances - including one on CNN in which he suggested that the Mueller probe be starved of resources - and the two men soon struck a bond.

"The president is entitled to an attorney general he has faith in", he said.

Gonzales resigned as attorney general under a cloud of controversy and amid accusations that the Justice Department has been used for political purposes.

One reason Sessions endured months of taunting from Trump is that he believed he was protecting the integrity of the Justice Department and was trying to prevent the president from bringing in someone who would politicize it, according to a USA official who has worked with Sessions and frequently talked with him.

That left Rosenstein overseeing the investigation, and he named Mueller as special counsel.

An ever-more exasperated Trump ordered him to give up the mic and Acosta refused, with Trump branding him an "enemy of the people" and a "rude, awful person".

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