Locals gather in conjunction with national protest to declare, 'no one is above the law'

Hannah Swayze • Updated Nov 8, 2018 at 11:35 PM

Barely 24 hours after Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ resignation and President Donald Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ former chief of staff, as his acting replacement, Democrats in Washington County and elsewhere took to the streets.

Concerned about what the appointment means for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election, a little more. than 70 people gathered in Founders Park Thursday night to voice their concerns, demand Whitaker recuse himself from the investigation due to previous comments in opposition of the investigation and declare that “no one is above the law.”

The group gathered at 5 p.m. in conjunction with other protests in cities nationwide, carrying signs that read, among other things, “Trump is not above the law,” and “Mueller must be protected.”

“The goal tonight was to not only talk about what happened but the importance of why it matters what happens in terms of Jeff Sessions being fired,” said Kate Craig, chair of the Washington County Democrats. “And now we’ve got a new attorney general who does not seem to believe in the checks and balances that are the bedrock of our nation,” said Craig, referring to Whitaker.

Among the speakers at the demonstration were Craig, Joe Buckles, vice president of the Washington County Democratic Party, Ed Wolfe and Jeff Clark. Issues addressed were the mid-term election, the new attorney general and what to do moving forward.

“I can’t claim to be a Jeff Sessions fan or I wouldn’t be standing where I am right now,” Craig said. “But at least he recused himself and was saying stuff that held the president accountable. Now we don’t even have that.”

The Associated Press reported that several hundred demonstrators gathered Thursday in New York's Times Square and chanted slogans including "Hands off Mueller" and "Nobody's above the law" before marching downtown. They held signs saying "Truth Must Triumph" and "Repeal, Replace Trump."

Crowds also turned out in Chicago; Greensboro, North Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee, and many other places. Organizers said the naming of Whitaker is a "deliberate attempt to obstruct the special counsel's investigation."

The Founders Park event was organized by the Washington County Democratic Party to coincide with the larger movement by the MoveOn organization. For more information about the Move On organization, visit https://front.moveon.org/.

To find out more about the Washington County Democratic Party, visit wctndp.com.