Protest in support of Mueller investigation hits home in Placer County
A national protest Thursday night hit home in Roseville as droves of protesters flooded downtown into Vernon Street Square.
Thursday’s national protest was in response to President Donald Trump hiring Matthew Whitaker as the new attorney general to oversee the special counsel's Trump-Russia investigation, according to “Nobody is above the law” group representatives. That group is under the umbrella of MoveOn.org.
MoveOn.org representatives say that the administration is “crossing a red line set to protect the investigation by replacing Rod Rosenstein with just named Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker as special counsel Robert Mueller's boss on the investigation.”
The group protests Whitaker in place of Rosenstein because Whitaker spoke out against the independent Mueller investigation as a CNN correspondent.
"Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing," Whitaker wrote in an Aug. 6, 2017 op-ed.
The investigation, headed by the U.S. Department of Justice since May 2017, has been looking into whether Trump obstructed justice by coordinating with the Russian government during his presidential campaign.
Trump has undercut the investigation’s independence, according to MoveOn.org representatives. Protest organizers said Whitaker has publicly outlined strategies to stifle the investigation and cannot be allowed to remain in charge of it.
“Our hundreds of response events are being launched to demonstrate the public demand for action to correct this injustice,” protest organizers said in a press release Wednesday.
Gold Country Media was at two of those protests in Roseville Thursday night and talked to protesters who came out to support Mueller and his independent investigation.
“I feel that if you are not protesting, you’re abetting,” said Roseville resident Ann Wasgatt. “We need to know what's going on. It’s a big cover-up and that just doesn't go.”
Carly Brambila from Citrus Heights “is fed up with the lies and mistrust.”
“We are protesting the president hiring Whitaker because I feel he is a Trump loyalist and he should recuse himself,” Brambila said. “We are protesting to protect the rule of law.”
Roseville resident Ben Smith said the the administration’s new hire is a blatant obstruction of justice.
“This man (Whitaker) has been very outspoken against the Mueller investigation,” Smith said. “For that, he really should recuse himself since he wrote many op-ed’s speaking out against the independent investigation of the president.”
Another protest was happening simultaneously three miles away at the intersection of Freedom Way and Blue Oaks Boulevard, directly outside the FBI building in Roseville.
“This is a wrongful act that affects all of us Americans,” said Folsom resident Calvin Born. “This new attorney general ought to recuse himself because he clearly has a conflict of interest.”
Folsom resident Ian Fitzgerald was protesting because it is a violation against justice.
“There has been a clear obstruction of justice,” Fitzgerald said. “Donald Trump’s pressuring of the resignation of the (now former) Attorney General Jeff Sessions who had recused himself is putting all of us in jeopardy by putting the independent investigation in jeopardy.”