Thousands demand Mueller protection after Trump fires Sessions

Donald Trump

Whitaker has indicated to associates that he has no intention of recusing himself from overseeing the special counsel probe.

But its fate now depends on the acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker - who's been openly critical of the investigation.

In a Twitter message, the medium he often uses for dismissing subordinates, Trump announced on Wednesday that he had replaced Sessions with Matthew Whitaker whom he appointed acting attorney general.

Just to review how we got here, last year, Jeff Sessions recused himself from any investigations into the 2016 campaign. Though Sessions was an early and prominent campaign backer of Trump, his departure letter lacked effusive praise for the president and made clear the resignation came "at your request". "Period. But the dismissal of the nation's top law enforcement official shouldn't be based on political motives".

"Congress must take bipartisan action to protect the integrity of Mueller's investigation", Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives, said after Democrats won a House majority in Tuesday's elections.

Spats between Trump and journalists can sometimes seem circus-like, but critics say the president's hot temper illustrates his deeper disdain for Washington norms - and allegedly for the law.

Trump Jr. would be the closest figure to the president yet to be roped into the probe - which has already claimed four former advisers to the US President.

Whitaker is expected to assume oversight of Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

Sen. Chuck Schumer of NY said in a statement that Whitaker should recuse himself from the Russian Federation probe in light of "his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation".

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"Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russian Federation 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing", Whitaker wrote.

"Trump's actions are being compared with those of U.S. President Richard Nixon in one of the most controversial episodes of the Watergate scandal, the Saturday Night Massacre", said organizers. He became Jeff Sessions's chief of staff past year after he began speaking out against Mueller's probe.

The group Nobody Is Above The Law said on its website that the protests are planned in cities across the U.S.at 5 p.m. local time Thursday, and added that Trump "crossed a red line".

In Washington, DC, protesters called on Democrat and Republican legislators to put partisan divisions aside to avoid the possibility of a constitutional crisis. "We're mobilizing immediately to demand accountability, because Trump is not above the law".

"We are in the lowest of the low times", Samuelian said.

Although Trump maintained that the mid-term results were a vindication of his policies and claimed (correctly) that Republicans had lost less seats (around 35) in the House defeat than previous Democratic Presidents such as Obama and Clinton (who lost 50-60), the rage with which he went about attacking others, including Republicans who had parted ways with him, suggested he had taken the verdict badly.

Sessions has long faced criticism from Trump for recusing himself from Mueller's investigation of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Even after he arrived at the Justice Department, Whitaker expressed frustration about the length of Mueller's probe and doubts about the scope of his authority.

Trump said at the news conference that he wanted the Mueller probe to end, calling it "very unfair".

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