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

Jeff Sessions sent a letter of resignation to Donald Trump

Jeff Sessions sent a letter of resignation to Donald Trump

In downtown San Diego, several hundred protesters gathered Thursday night outside the federal courthouse, many with signs demanding that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's investigation and protect the special counsel's independence.

"I didn't speak to Matt Whitaker about it, I don't know Matt Whitaker", Trump told reporters Friday.

"Based on my experience with Matt", said John Richter, a former US Attorney in Oklahoma and high-ranking Bush administration Justice Department official, "I think he will act consistently with the best traditions of the department and call things as he sees them". Schumer and Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who is likely to become House speaker next year, called on Whitaker to recuse himself, with Schumer citing "his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation".

Sessions, once one of Trump's most loyal and trusted advisers before infuriating Trump over his recusal from the Russian Federation investigation, resigned as attorney general Wednesday - just one day after the midterm elections.

During a brief stint previous year as a conservative legal commentator on CNN, Whitaker often appeared as a Trump defender, saying he saw no evidence the president colluded with Russians during the 2016 campaign or obstructed justice.

"The [midterm] election results had barely come in, and Donald Trump railroaded his attorney general into resigning" Wyden said.

"Whitaker is in no position to oversee this investigation and must immediately recuse himself", Landolti said.

"When you no longer have Sessions as the attorney general and you have a new attorney general, Robert Mueller has a new boss", she said into a megaphone.

Whitaker, a former U.S. Attorney who had been Sessions' chief of staff, was publicly critical of Mueller and the investigation before joining the Justice Department.

The rest reflects spending by Justice Department components in support of his investigation.

Mueller has tended to make major announcements over the Russian Federation probe on Fridays.

Many in the crowd wore shirts supporting Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, who trailed Republican Ron DeSantis in the vote totals but closed the gap enough to trigger an automatic recount.

Jerry Role, a retired Department of Justice staffer told Al Jazeera that Trump's actions this week threatened the integrity of USA democracy.

But it's unclear how this requirement operates in regard to the attorney general, who has no identifiable supervisor other than the president. Trump said this week a permanent replacement will be nominated at "a later date".

"Firing Sessions was Trump's way of appointing a loyalist to control the investigation", said Jacob Beard, a 33-year-old software technician from Manhattan. One associate, Jerome Corsi, said in a video recording Monday that he's "been involved in a really constant basis" for two months with Mueller's investigation. Also, some of the leads developed by Mueller already have been turned over to other Justice Department units, including the US attorney in Manhattan.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in a separate statement, said US Congress must take action right away to protect Mueller's investigation against Trump's attempt to undermine it by firing Sessions. Conway is the husband of the top White House aide Kellyanne Conway.

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