In response to President Donald Trump's firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the appointment on Wednesday of Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, as acting attorney general, protests have been scheduled around the country and abroad, including an event set for 6 p.m. tonight (Thursday, Nov. 8) at the Town Center in Portola Valley, 765 Portola Road.
Many are concerned that Whitaker, unlike Sessions, will not recuse himself from involvement in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian agents to gain advantage in and win the 2016 election.
Whitaker now supervises and has the power to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who, since Sessions recused himself, has been overseeing Mueller's investigation. Over the past two years, the president has repeatedly expressed his unhappiness with Sessions and his decision to recuse himself.
Whitaker, speaking as a commentator on CNN in 2017, warned that Mueller's examination of Trump's finances could create the impression that the investigation is a "political fishing expedition," according to the Washington Post.
Whitaker has not been confirmed by the Senate and so he can serve as acting AG for only 210 days, the Post said.
The Portola Valley protest is one of 106 scheduled for California cities and towns, including in Palo Alto, Los Altos, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Jose and Pacifica. Click here for more information.
The protests are being organized by a network called Nobody Is Above the Law, which demands that "Whitaker immediately commit not to assume supervision of the investigation," according to the group's website.
In making its case for the protests, the network accuses Trump of having crossed "a red line" with Whitaker's appointment, adding that Whitaker "has publicly outlined strategies to stifle the investigation and cannot be allowed to remain in charge of it."