Protesters in downtown Rockford decry Trump's move to replace Sessions

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan is one of the speakers., 21 holds the flag behind her.) People hold a protest to protect the Mueller investigation on Boston Common across from the State House

Protesters in downtown Rockford decry Trump's move to replace Sessions

Following Attorney General Jeff Sessions' resignation, requested by the president earlier this week, there has been a lot of concern from the left about his replacement, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

Several senior officials told CNN they were surprised by the criticism, and believe it could potentially jeopardize Whitaker's chances of remaining in the post if it continues to dominate headlines.

Trump told associates that he felt that Whitaker would be "loyal" and would not have recused himself from the Russian Federation probe as Sessions had done, according to two Republicans close to the White House not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations. He also called the appointment of Mueller as special counsel - a position meant to be safe from political influence - "ridiculous".

The local protest was spearheaded by Capital Area Indivisible, an Augusta-area group that is the local chapter organization that resists the agendas of Republicans and President Donald Trump, and Suit Up Maine, a progressive advocacy group.

Rosenstein has been overseeing the Mueller probe after Sessions recused himself from the investigation, but a Department of Justice spokeswoman said Whitaker would be "in charge of all matters under the purview" of the DOJ.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been named as a possible candidate for the vacant position of U.S. attorney general now that Jeff Sessions has been removed from the job.

The protests come a day after Trump effectively fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a move many see as clearing the way for Trump to go after Mueller. He said it did not take a lawyer or former federal prosecutor to recognize that any inquiry into Trump's finances "falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else".

Mueller's probe has since reached plea deals with or indicted a number of Trump associates.

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Whitaker publicly criticized Mueller's investigation before he was hired as Sessions' chief of staff past year.

"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. "The president could, and has in our nation's history, said stop investigating this person or please investigate this other person".

Whitaker, a former United States attorney from Iowa and a Hawkeye, has been an outspoken critic of the probe.

"People ... across this country gathered today to say ..."

Donald Trump has installed a crony to oversee the special counsel's Trump-Russia investigation, crossing a red line set to protect the investigation.

Protesters held signs reading: "Putin/Trump Make Russia Great Again", "Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse", and "Only guilty men fear the truth". Protestors anxious Whitaker would use his new position to stifle the investigation before its conclusion. Whitaker accompanied the tweet with his own comment to his followers: "Worth a Read".

Mueller is investigating Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election and any collusion by Trump's campaign. "That's where the left seems to be combining those two issues".

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