U.S. progressive group MoveOn has announced that it will be organizing hundreds of protests Thursday afternoon to demand that President Donald Trump do nothing to hinder Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.
The protests, which will be operating under the banner “Nobody is Above the Law,” called for protestors to gather in cities at 5 p.m. to protest Trump’s appointment of vocal Mueller critic Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General. This appointment follows Jeff Sessions’ resignation from the position. Sessions recused himself from overseeing the investigation when it began in 2017 to ensure that it remained free from executive and legislative influence, a move that drew the ire of Trump.
With Whitaker’s appointment, MoveOn states on its website that “Donald Trump has installed a crony to oversee the special counsel’s Trump-Russia investigation,” and that the new AG must recuse himself to allow Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has been overseeing the investigation since Sessions’ recusal, to continue in his role.
The move to fire Sessions is reminiscent of the “Saturday Night Massacre,” a series of events that occurred during the Watergate scandal. President Richard Nixon, who was under investigation for spying on Democratic opponents, ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson refused, and resigned from the position, and so did the Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. Eventually, Nixon found someone who wouldn’t resign, and dismissed Cox. The dismissal was found to be illegal, contributing to Nixon’s impeachment.
Make no mistake: This move is a conscious effort by Trump to end the investigation into his campaign’s collusion with Russia. It is especially damning following reports that his son, Donald Trump Jr., is facing an indictment for perjuring himself.
Find more information regarding the protests here.