Leftists Rally at White House to Protest Trump, Protect Mueller

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Whitaker, who served as Sessions' chief of staff, has repeatedly accused the Mueller investigation of overreach and said a year ago that if funding could be cut off, "his investigation grinds to nearly a halt".

Trump asserted that again on Wednesday in a press conference at the White House in which he suggested the only reason he hasn't already ousted Mueller is because it might make him look bad.

Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler, who will likely become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee - which has congressional oversight over the Mueller probe - immediately responded to Sessions' resignation by demanding an explanation for the change.

The decision infuriated Trump, who repeatedly lamented that he would have never selected Sessions if he had known the attorney general would recuse.

In attacks delivered on Twitter, in person and in interviews, Trump called Sessions weak and beleaguered, complained that he wasn't more aggressively pursuing allegations of corruption against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and called it "disgraceful" that Sessions wasn't more serious in scrutinizing the origins of the Russian Federation investigation for possible law enforcement bias - even though the attorney general did ask the Justice Department's inspector general to look into those claims.

In April, Pingree co-sponsored House legislation to protect the Mueller investigation by making it more hard for a president to remove a special counsel. "I just know what I've read and that he was critical in the past of the special counsel's investigations, which obviously raises concerns", King said.

A spokesman for Mueller's office declined to comment on Sessions' departure.

Trump tweeted: "In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats".

King, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, pointed to the passage of a bill supporting Mueller's investigation as the most important action in the wake of the Sessions dismissal, but didn't offer any more specifics about what should be done.

Whitaker is a former US district attorney and Division I football player who has been a longtime supporter of Trump and his allies. Whitaker was previously Sessions' chief of staff.

Trump's nomination of a permanent replacement for Sessions will require confirmation by the US Senate, which remains in Republican control following Tuesday's midterm elections.

He served as the US attorney for the Southern District of Iowa from 2004-2009, and was well respected in Republican circles in the state, according to the Des Moines Register. He later lost in the 2014 Senate race as well. Sessions, having been a part of Trump's campaign, was recused from the matter that involves many members of the president's inner circle.

Clovis was also listed an unnamed "campaign supervisor" in the indictment of former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, according to The Washington Post. Mueller's team also has been pressing for an interview with Trump.

- Can the probe's report on Trump be stifled?

Experts say, however, that any investigation into the role foreign countries play in domestic politics must delve down financial rabbit holes. Federal prosecutors have said in court papers that the case involves numerous "uncharged" third parties and have argued against disclosing search warrants and other documents that would "certainly result in a very public guessing game" about their identities.

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