Whitaker appointment brings praise and protest in Iowa

Fears for Russia probe as Trump fires Jeff Sessions

Hundreds of protests are expected across the country today in an effort to protect special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russia's interference with the 2016 election.

Crowds also turned out at the White House and in Greensboro, North Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Las Vegas and many other places.

Jeff Sessions, the former attorney general, recused himself from overseeing an investigation into the president's campaign and possible collusion with Russian Federation in March 2017. Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, has been named acting attorney general.

Former presidential candidate and newly-elected senator of Utah, Mitt Romney, tweeted, "I want to thank Jeff Sessions for his service to our country as Attorney General".

Few if any House Democrats were publicly using the "I" word after the Republicans' devastating political losses in what the Founding Fathers called "the people's house".

Since stepping into his new role on Wednesday, Whitaker has faced questions - principally from Democrats - about whether he should recuse from the Russian Federation investigation, given that he has written opinion pieces in the past about the investigation, and is a friend and political ally of a witness.

"We're here because Trump replaced Sessions and installed someone who will do his bidding, who has voiced his hostility to the Bob Mueller investigation", said Mary Melancon, 75, of Tampa. During that time, Mueller secured indictments or guilty pleas from more than 30 people, including Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn - all steps that were taken with Rosenstein's approval.

"Among other things, this wave election in ME was a massive repudiation of the authoritarianism of Donald Trump", said Dini Merz, one of the leaders of Mainers for Accountable Leadership.

"Obey your conscience, do what is right, do what is constitutional", he said, adding: "This administration believes it is above the law and it is willing to go against the constitution".

More news: Melbourne attack: Man arrested after fire and stabbings

A former US attorney and conservative commentator, Whitaker previous year wrote an opinion piece for CNN arguing that Mueller would be going too far if he investigated the Trump family's finances. Trump, who denies any collusion, has long complained about the probe, calling it a witch-hunt.

"Neither the House nor the Senate before was doing much to monitor and oversee and control outrageous statements and actions", Hamilton said.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

Mr Trump's threat to adopt a "warlike posture" in response to any probes of his presidency or personal finances angered rank-and-file Democrats, some of whom argued they should get "very aggressive". When Sessions's previous chief of staff, Jody Hunt, was departing, Sessions brought Whitaker in for an interview and came to like him, the person said. According to the department's most recent report, $10 million was spent from October 1, 2017, through March 31.

If Sen. Graham is appointed chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he says he'll make sure President Trump's appointee gets confirmed as soon as possible.

David Bosel, a retired political scientist, described Trump's attempts to scupper the Mueller investigation as "dictatorial" and accused most Republicans in Congress of helping Trump tilt the United States towards "fascism".

Ethics officials at the Justice Department are likely to review his past work to see if he has any financial or personal conflicts.

However, some lawmakers might use upcoming debates over government spending to advance legislation to protect Mueller's investigation.

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