Protests Called Against Trump’s Acting Attorney General

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The switch, announced on Trump's Twitter feed, provoked instant consternation across Washington, where politicians from both sides of the aisle have long warned that political interference in Mueller's work can not be tolerated. Protest organizers-a coalition that includes MoveOn, Rise and Resist, and PEN America-will demand that the House Judiciary Committee immediately begin hearings into the president for obstruction, and that the Senate establish a "Watergate-type Select Committee" to investigate Trump's ties with Russian Federation.

Among his other qualifications for the job, interim replacement Matt Whitaker has said that the probe has "gone too far", and could be easily obstructed if only the Justice Department were controlled by a partisan loyalist willing to choke funds and seal records at the president's direction.

In that scenario, Mueller's budget could be reduced "so low that his investigation grinds to nearly a halt", Whitaker said during an interview with CNN in July 2017 before he joined the Justice Department.

The appointment generated immediate controversy given Mr Whitaker's previous public comments criticising the probe.

Nobody Is Above The Law said it had been preparing "rapid response" protests, just in case of a major development in the investigation.

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

Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler, who is in line to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in January, said it is "wholly inappropriate" for Whitaker to take over the Mueller probe and that Rosenstein should continue overseeing it.

"Committees will also be investigating Attorney General Sessions' departure".

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

He managed a Senate campaign for Sam Clovis in Iowa, who later was nominated to join the Trump administration, ran Iowa for Trump, and was interviewed by Mueller's investigators.

Sessions, 71, has a long political history in Alabama. "The notification to Congress is mostly about transparency".

Trump repeatedly lamented that he would have never selected Sessions if he had known the attorney general would recuse himself.

Before Trump gave a news conference on Wednesday, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called Sessions and told him that Trump wanted him out, the official said.

In 2017 he even used Trump's words, warning against Mueller engaging in a "witch hunt".

The deputy attorney general appointed Mr Mueller to lead the inquiry after Mr Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey in 2017.

Sessions, who likely suspected his ouster was imminent, was spotted by reporters giving some of his grandchildren a tour of the White House over the weekend. He did not respond when asked why he was there.

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