Tacoma and Seattle were among the cities to join a nationwide protest Thursday, decrying the actions of President Donald Trump in the aftermath of the firing of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Seemingly hundreds of demonstrations, at least 47 of them in Washington state, came together within hours of the White House announcement that Sessions was forced to resign.
An interactive map on the website trumpisnotabovethelaw.org shows the reach of the coordinated effort.
Matthew Whitaker, an official with the U.S. Department of Justice who has been a vocal critic of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, will serve as acting attorney general. That means Whitaker is now positioned to oversee Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry, a move that sparked the widespread rallies Thursday night.
Protesters say Trump’s ouster of Sessions, which came just hours after the midterm election, is a direct threat to the Russian probe. They say the president has “undercut the independence of the investigation.”
Sen. Patty Murray denounced Trump’s decision on Twitter, calling for lawmakers to step in to protect the investigation.
Hours after Democrats regain control of the House, Pres Trump removes Jeff Sessions & installs an Acting AG who has publicly criticized the Mueller probe.
GOP leaders: no more excuses. Schedule a vote on the bipartisan bill to safeguard the investigation. America is watching.
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) November 8, 2018
In Tacoma, South Sound reporter Will James said the energetic protest outside the federal courthouse was among the biggest he's seen in the City of Destiny. A couple hundred people gathered Thursday night, chanting "let's go Mueller" and "no one's above the law."
"People have eyes on this," said protester Benjamin Lam. "People care and want to see justice."
Also on Thursday, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson signed onto a letter with 17 other AGs across the country that urges Whitaker to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation.
MORE FROM SEATTLE'S PROTEST