Over 5,000 people raised hell in Union Square last night to protest the firing of Jeff Sessions and demand that Donald Trump’s new attorney general recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
An invite for the nationwide “Nobody Is Above the Law” rallies, which garnered over 21,000 RSVPs in New York, declared that “Donald Trump just crossed a red line, violating the independence of the investigation pursuing criminal charges in the Trump-Russia scandal and cover-up.” The #ProtectMueller rallies had been planned by Move On well before Sessions announced his resignation at Trump’s request on Wednesday, and were to be triggered by the crossing of certain “red lines,” such as the firing of Robert Mueller or of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
“The firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions would be one step short of the break glass moment,” the organizers wrote before that became a reality on Wednesday. However, critics are voicing concern about new attorney general Matthew Whitaker’s previous statements about the Russia investigation and are demanding that he recuse himself. On CNN last year, Whitaker envisioned Trump reducing Mueller’s budget “so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.” As Intelligencer pointed out, he has supported the firing of James Comey and has said that any investigation of Trump Organization finances would indicate that Mueller’s investigation is “a mere witch hunt.” Others have said that Whitaker’s appointment is unconstitutional, since Trump didn’t seek the Senate’s advice and consent.
Watch our video to hear from organizers and protesters, many of whom marched from Times Square. “This is about the rule of law; no one is above it and we must preserve it,” Congresswoman Caroline Maloney told the crowd at Union Square. “And the people have to speak out as you’re doing today.”
Video by Amber Wang.