Salt Lake protesters rally to preserve Mueller investigation


SALT LAKE CITY — One day after President Donald Trump installed Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, Salt Lake protesters rallied to express their frustration with the news.

It was one of hundreds of demonstrations that took place Thursday around the country calling for Whitaker to recuse himself from the investigation.

In the cold during rush hour, at least two hundred protesters showed up in front of the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building, many holding signs and joining in on patriotic songs.

“I think it’s important that our justice system gets to run without interference from anybody. … And I feel like the only reason that they would try to corner Mueller into silence or have him removed is because there’s something to hide,” Rhonda Devereaux, who took time off from her farm work to attend the rally, told the Deseret News.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

Protesters rally in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, following the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. At front are Stephen Trimble and Nancy Olson.

Organizers of the protest say installing Whitaker, who will oversee special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation, is a conflict of interest as Whitaker has been an ally to the president. They fear Whitaker will hinder the investigation.

“This is someone who has said publicly how he would essentially kill the investigation, and in my mind that’s a serious threat to our entire system of government,” protester Marshall Lent said. He held a sign that read “Rule of law, justice for all” on one side, and “Whitaker must recuse” on the other.

For many on Thursday, it was their first time participating in a political rally.

“This was the first time that I’ve ever been to the point where I felt like I needed to come out and do something. That’s how scary it is. … I just feel like, not to be dramatic, but our democracy could be slipping away,” David Persche said.

His son, Jaxson Persche, said, “Even as a Republican, this isn’t right.”

“I just don’t want to look back and feel like I didn’t do anything,” David Persche said.

Similarly, the Barraza brothers had never attended a political rally — until Thursday.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

Protesters rally in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, following the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“I feel like democracy’s at risk of breaking down. And without democracy, we have no voice as a people. And we can’t lose that,” said Isaac Barraza, who took a break from homework to attend the rally.

“If he’s going to try and overrule anything that Mueller’s investigating just because it’s going to potentially hurt him … that’s not how justice is supposed to prevail. This matters. It’s definitely important. To us, and it should be important to everyone else,” Isaac Barraza said.

His brother, Josh Barraza, agreed. “Hopes and prayers don’t do it, you’ve got to come out and act on it,” he said.

Ransom Smith said he served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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