Chicago protesters seek to protect Mueller probe after Sessions dismissed
Thousands of demonstrators hit downtown Chicago streets Thursday evening to protest any potential attempt by President Donald Trump to block Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin was among the halfdozen speakers at a 5 p.m. rally in Federal Plaza who criticized the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday.
“If this president believes he can stop the Mueller investigation and get by with it, then I believe we have reached a point in our democracy which is very sad and very troubling,” Durbin said. “We need to hold this president accountable, and we need to do everything in our power to stop any interference with this Mueller investigation.”
State Sen. Daniel Biss joined in the chorus of anger, calling Sessions’ replacement, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, unfit to oversee the special counsel’s probe.
“They’re not fooling anyone,” Biss said. “No one is above the law. Not just the president, but especially the president.”
Whitaker, who served as Sessions’ chief of staff, has previously said the Mueller investigation overstepped its bounds and that there was “no collusion” between then-candidate Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. It is not clear what led Whitaker to those conclusions.
More than a half-hour after the rally began, the group of about 2,000 protesters marched to Trump International Hotel and Tower.
Several downtown streets were shut down as the crowd chanted, “This is what democracy looks like,” and, “No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA,” while Chicago police escorted protesters through the Loop. The crowd started to dissipate about 6:40 p.m., but a few dozen demonstrators stayed for another half-hour.
A crowd of demonstrators protest Thursday night outside Trump Tower.