Protesters Across US Warn Trump Against Derailing Mueller Probe

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President Trump said Friday he hasn't spoken to acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion with Russian Federation.

Noting that the special counsel's budget falls within the attorney general's purview, Whitaker said he could envision a situation in which Sessions was replaced as attorney general and replaced by a new boss who doesn't fire Mueller but "just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt".

Through his CNN role, where he was deeply critical of the Mueller probe, Whitaker got to know Trump, who saw him on TV and later met in person.

The mobilization comes after President Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions Wednesday, replacing him with a man who has previously criticized the probe and offered suggestions on how to slow it down. "Whitaker is recused from all aspects of the Special Counsel's probe, and ensure that the Department of Justice safeguards the integrity of the Mueller investigation", said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee.

The protest came a day after Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign and appointed Whitaker. Several hundred people gathered in South Straub Park.

Leonard Leo, the executive vice president of the Federalist Society, also recommended Whitaker for the post, sources said.

"In my time as Attorney General we have restored and upheld the rule of law", Sessions said in the letter addressed to Trump.

Mueller, who had reported to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, now reports to the interim attorney general. The woman likely set to be the next House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, being was one of them, tweeting; "Given his record of threats to undermine & weaken the Russian Federation investigation, Matthew Whitaker should recuse himself".

Whitaker, a former USA attorney who worked most recently as Sessions's chief of staff, has publicly criticized Mueller's investigation as too broad. Look, it's the Department of Justice investigation; it's not a congressional investigation.

Sessions recused himself from overseeing a probe in March 2017, shortly after taking office. That candidate, unlike Whitaker, would have to be confirmed by the Senate.

Live, ongoing coverage as nation takes to street to let Trump know that "nobody is above the law".

Graham at the time said: "Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency".

"The (Democrats') first step would be to protect the investigation, they would do that by making sure all documents were secured by ensuring Mueller's investigative team was not broken up", he said, adding: "On Capitol Hill, the Democrats are quite likely to call for a floor vote immediately to countermand and reverse the firing".

Rosenstein has, until now, overseen the investigation and given Mueller the support he needs. Whitaker's relationship with Clovis or other members of the Trump administration could well put him on the wrong side of this line. Conway is the husband of the top White House aide Kellyanne Conway.

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 US official who has worked with Sessions and frequently talked with him.