Crowd gath­ers in Rock Hill to protest fir­ing of Ses­sions

The Herald (Rock Hill) - - Local & State - BY HAN­NAH SMOOT hgsmoot@her­al­don­ Han­nah Smoot: 803-329- 4068, @hgsmoot

About 40 peo­ple gath­ered Thurs­day night at Foun­tain Park in down­town Rock Hill and marched to U.S. Sen. Lind­sey Gra­ham’s Rock Hill of­fice to protest the fir­ing of At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions.

The protest was part of the na­tion­ally or­ga­nized “No­body is Above the Law” move­ment, which vowed to hold protests na­tion­wide if Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump took any steps that could jeop­ar­dize spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Wed­nes­day, Trump re­placed Ses­sions, who had re­cused him­self from over­see­ing Robert Mueller’s Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion, with act­ing At­tor­ney Gen­eral Matthew Whi­taker, who pre­vi­ously called Mueller’s ap­point­ment “ridicu­lous,” ac­cord­ing to CNN.

Trump had harshly crit­i­cized Ses­sions for re­cus­ing him­self from the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion, and said many times he wanted Ses­sions to put an end to the Mueller probe.

Protests like the one in Rock Hill were sched­uled to take place across the U.S., ac­cord­ing to the move­ment’s web­site.

Joy Robin­son said the Rock Hill’s protest was put to­gether in less than a day.

“We care about our democ­racy,” Robin­son said. “We care about the rule of law.”

Wes Boone car­ried a sign quot­ing Gra­ham’s words from July 2017: “If Jeff Ses­sions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay.”

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

But since then, Gra­ham has be­come a strong Trump sup­porter. Gra­ham met with Trump in the Oval Of­fice on Thurs­day. In­stead of “holy hell,” Gra­ham de­fended the pres­i­dent.

“I’m con­fi­dent the White House is look­ing for



some­one who the pres­i­dent and coun­try can have con­fi­dence in, and be con­firmed by the Se­nate,” Gra­ham said in a state­ment. “In my role as a mem­ber of the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, I look for­ward to meet­ing with act­ing At­tor­ney Gen­eral Whi­taker soon and have con­fi­dence he will do a pro­fes­sional job in this po­si­tion.”

Boone said Gra­ham’s de­fense of Trump is “a far cry” from his 2017 prom­ises.

Boone said the pro­tes­tors want to see the Mueller probe pro­tected, and its fi­nal con­clu­sions re­leased to the pub­lic.

“If he’s in­no­cent than fine, let it run its course,” he said.

Vickie Holt, who ran for the Dis­trict 48 state House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives seat in Tues­day’s elec­tion, was at Thurs­day night’s rally.

“Most of us here want some ac­count­abil­ity from Sen. Gra­ham,” Holt said.

She said Gra­ham’s new­est re­marks on the Ses­sions re­place­ment is “a tap dance that’s get­ting old.” She said she wants a firm re­sponse from Gra­ham.

“As con­stituents of Sen. Gra­ham, I do be­lieve we have the right to get a solid an­swer from him,” she said.

Denise Jenk­ins said she wants Se­nate Repub­li­cans to “grow a spine.”

“We just need a re­prieve from Trump,” Jenk­ins said. “He’s do­ing what­ever he wants to do, re­gard­less of the law.”

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