"Many experts view Trump's firing yesterday of Attorney Jeff Sessions as a potential obstruction of justice attempt", said organizers of the protest, including Democrats Abroad Vancouver. He looked close to tears as he was applauded by the staff on his way out of the justice department building on Wednesday night.
Kathleen Clark, a professor of legal ethics at Washington University in St. Louis, said Whitaker's previous comments about the Mueller probe raise questions about his impartiality and warrant his recusal. "Clearly, Attorney General Sessions doesn't have the confidence of the president".
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein previously oversaw the probe.
Neil Cavuto countered that none of the three men are implicated in anything linking Trump and Russian Federation, as Mueller's original mandate appeared to intend. Whitaker also said the probe should not extend to the finances of Trump, his family or their business. The president may also decide to instruct Mr Whitaker to fire the entire Mueller team - something Mr Trump says he has the power to do.
In the House of Representatives, the senior Democrat on the Intelligence Committee - which Democrats will control from January - sounded the alarm.
Gonzales resigned as attorney general under a cloud of controversy and amid accusations that the Justice Department has been used for political purposes.
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Before joining the Justice Department, Whitaker was openly critical of the Mueller investigation.
The protesters began marching down Dearborn Street around 5:30 p.m., chanting "Hey hey ho ho, Trump and Pence have got to go". The Nobody Is Above the Law network demands that Whitaker immediately commit not to assume supervision of the investigation. "This rule of law crisis has been a slow-motion train wreck for a long time", Tribe said.
Whitaker himself meanwhile offered little clue about his intentions in a bland statement to reporters thanking Trump for his appointment, praising his former boss as a "dedicated public servant" and adding he would work to leading a department that conformed to the "highest ethical standards". "Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein must be allowed to protect the Special Counsel and insulate the investigation from interference by the White House".
Sessions recused himself from overseeing a probe in March 2017, shortly after taking office. Just recently, he told an interviewer that Sessions "never had control" of the justice department.
The president lambasted Sessions for recusing himself from decisions about the federal probe into Russian meddling, an inquiry the president has regularly lambasted as "fake news" and a "witch hunt". Several hundred people gathered in South Straub Park.
In a belligerent response to his Republican Party's loss of the House of Representatives in Tuesday's midterm poll - a virtual no-confidence motion against his Presidency from the broader electorate - Trump sacked a pliant cabinet member who he has been angry with for allowing the probe into alleged Russian Federation collusion.