Protesters in cities across the country marched Thursday evening to decry President Donald Trump’s decision to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In Kansas City, protesters said they fear Session’s replacement will quash Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Steady, wet snow didn’t stop about 125 people from gathering across from the Federal Courthouse downtown to sound an alarm over Sessions' forced resignation and Trump's installation of Matt Whitaker as interim attorney general. Whitaker has ties to a witness in the investigation and has spoken publicly against it.
Elise Delvecchio from Kansas City said Trump’s move threatens American democracy.
“If a man can come to power or a woman and just at a whim circumvent the process of law, that’s a real problem,” Delvecchio said while marching downtown. “Then we don’t have a democracy anymore. We don’t have a representational government anymore in that case.”
Many of the protesters were old enough to remember President Richard Nixon firing Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor investigating him in the Watergate scandal.
Eric Phillips, who lives in Raymore, said he took oaths when he joined the Marine Corps and the Army to protect the Constitution against threats, both foreign and domestic.
“Right now we have a domestic enemy of the Constitution of the United States of America crapping all over it,” Phillips said in an address to other protesters. “So I’m here, and I’m glad to see the rest of you here as well.”
Progressive organizations planned similar protests in hundreds of cities around the country.
Frank Morris is an NPR correspondent and senior editor based at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri. Follow him on Twitter: @frank newsman.