Protesters are out in force across the country tonight, taking part in “rapid response” demonstrations against Donald Trump’s firing of attorney general Jeff Sessions, the removal of deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, and the installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general. After Democrats won control of the House in the midterms, Trump appears to be setting up the pieces to undermine Robert Mueller’s special investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Protests are planned all over the country–in as many as 1,000 cities–and large crowds are already being reported in New York’s Times Square, at the White House, in Boston, and in Seattle. The effort is supported by a large number of progressive groups including MoveOn.org, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and Common Cause.
Free speech: the sounds of a protest in support of Mueller fill #TimesSquare – #NYC's town square where free expression has always been part of the landscape. Thanks also to #NYPD for quick response to help with safety & crowd flow. pic.twitter.com/g8DVwxC89j
— Times Square (@TimesSquareNYC) November 8, 2018
Trump’s selection of Whitaker as acting AG (Sessions had recused himself from oversight of the Mueller investigation) drew immediate fire, as Whitaker has already established himself as a highly partisan Trump loyalist. He has, for instance, talked down the Mueller investigation on a number of TV talk shows. The White House selected Whitaker without seeking the consent of Congress, which may present its own Constitutional issues.
— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) November 8, 2018
Now that the House of Representatives is in the control of Democrats–who will support the Mueller investigation with their subpoena power–the president clearly feels increasingly threatened.