The attorneys general from OR and Washington have joined 16 of their Democratic colleagues in calling for Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into contacts between President Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation.
In a tweet, the President announced that Sessions' Chief of Staff would take his place in the interim. But it's unclear how this requirement operates in regard to the attorney general, who has no identifiable supervisor other than the president.
But speaking to reporters before taking off for Paris, Trump brushed off those concerns.
"All the time I'm watching many different people go on many different shows saying many different things".
Some protesters said they fear Trump is close to causing a constitutional crisis.
He also said he doesn't know Whitaker personally but asserted he "has a great reputation". Some of the criticism Trump has faced for his choice of replacement has been bipartisan - notably, from George Conway.
LOYALIST: Former Sessions chief of staff Matt Whitaker has taken over oversight of the Russian Federation probe.
"Constitutionally, Matthew Whitaker is a nobody". Whitaker, who was serving as chief of staff for Sessions, was not serving a post that required Senate confirmation.
Mueller's probe looks to establish whether Trump or his campaign actively colluded with them to steal the White House. "I really don't know the guy". Also, some of the leads developed by Mueller already have been turned over to other Justice Department units, including the USA attorney in Manhattan.
Amy Wicks, a former Ogden City Council member who helped organize the protest, said Sessions being pushed out "was clearly meant to undermine" the special counsel's investigation. Organizers say the naming of Whitaker as acting attorney general is a "deliberate attempt to obstruct the special counsel's investigation".
"It is time for Rosenstein.to order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation to the four corners of the order appointing him special counsel", Whitaker wrote.
The decree followed a lengthy investigation by the Justice Department during the Obama administration that concluded Baltimore Police were routinely violating people's constitutional rights. "This would not only be out of character for a respected figure like Mueller but also could be damaging to the President of the United States and his family - and by extension, to the country".
Whitaker's elevation to become the nation's top law enforcement official followed the ouster Wednesday of Jeff Sessions as attorney general.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
He admitted a year ago he had met with Russian officials promising "dirt" on Trump's presidential rival Hillary Clinton.
"When this happened yesterday, people started mobilizing very quickly", said Margaret Foley, the communications director for Nasty Women Get Shit Done PDX.
"The president wanted to take action as quickly as possible in the Mueller investigation", said Sen. "There is no better public servant than Robert Mueller".
Trevor Potter, a former Republican commissioner on the Federal Election Commission who now leads the Campaign Legal Center, which advocates for more transparency in elections, said the question of whether Whitaker should recuse himself depends on Clovis' status in the Mueller investigation.
Paul Rosenzweig, a fellow at the non-partisan R Street Institute which specializes in public policy, said he believed Whitaker's friendship with Clovis is "probably not a problem" but that Whitaker should ask the DOJ's Professional Responsibility and Accountability Office whether he has a conflict. "Trump firing Sessions is crossing the red line, and I think our democracy is at risk".
Special Counsel Robert Mueller (2nd L) leaves after a closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee June 21, 2017 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. But U.S. District Judge James Bredar moved ahead despite their opposition.