Hun­dreds in cap­i­tal re­gion protest Trump’s act­ing at­tor­ney gen­eral

The Sacramento Bee - - Local - BY VIN­CENT MOLESKI vmoleski@sacbee.com

Hun­dreds of protesters gath­ered Thurs­day near the state Capi­tol and the FBI dis­trict of­fice in Ro­seville in re­sponse to Wed­nes­day’s nam­ing of Matthew Whi­taker as act­ing at­tor­ney gen­eral to lead the U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice, which over­sees the spe­cial-coun­sel probe of Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 elec­tion.

About 500 protesters showed up at the Capi­tol, and more than 100 ral­lied at the FBI of­fice af­ter Trump ousted At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions Wed­nes­day.

Whi­taker has pre­vi­ously been crit­i­cal of spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller III’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian elec­tion med­dling and any pos­si­ble ties to the Trump cam­paign.

Protesters also gath­ered out­side the Stan­ley Mosk Li­brary and Courts Build­ing on the Capi­tol Mall, and other demon­stra­tions were sched­uled at Ver­non Street Town Square in Ro­seville, the Placer County Su­pe­rior Court House, and down Main Street in Plac­erville.

The lo­cal protests were or­ga­nized pri­mar­ily by af­fil­i­ates of Indivisible, a na­tional pro­gres­sive po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion. Den­nessa Atiles, an or­ga­nizer for The Re­sis­tance in Sacra­mento and Elk Grove, an Indivisible group, said Whi­taker would not be fair in his over­sight of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and that he would im­pede its progress.

Sev­eral protesters at the FBI of­fice said they wanted Trump to held ac­count­able to the law, a prospect they said was un­der threat af­ter Trump named Whi­taker act­ing at­tor­ney gen­eral.

As ev­i­dence of Whi­taker’s bias, Atiles said Whi­taker had once re­ferred to the spe­cial coun­sel in­ves­ti­ga­tion as a “witch hunt.”

Some protesters’ signs read “no­body is above the law” and “im­peach Trump,” while oth­ers’ dis­played sup­port­ive mes­sages for Mueller and Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral Rod Rosen­stein, who led the probe af­ter Ses­sion re­cused him­self in May 2017.

Protests across the coun­try — many of which ap­peared un­der the #Pro­tec­tMueller hash­tag — were staged at gov­ern­ment build­ings.

VIN­CENT MOLESKI vmoleski@sacbee.com

Protesters at the FBI dis­trict of­fice in Ro­seville on Thurs­day op­pose the newly in­stalled act­ing at­tor­ney gen­eral, Matthew Whi­taker.

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