The timing of Jeff Sessions’ forced resignation is purposeful: we’re tired. But now more than ever, we have to show Trump that our Resistance is relentless.
As a highly engaged Blue Wave activist, I woke up the morning after Election Day looking forward to a slight smidgen of normalcy. Kiss the kids. Drink some coffee. Have a normal work day.
No such luck.
This morning, Donald Trump finally forced the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – a resignation that has been in the making for months. The timing is not a coincidence. In fact, Trump is counting on an exhausted and (in some places) morally deflated activist base to give him a pass on his installation of a loyalist, Matthew Whitaker, as acting AG. This is what authoritarians do: wear you down and overwhelm you to the point of mental exhaustion until resignation settles in.
Sign up for your local rapid response protest here.
We can’t let that happen. The forced resignation and installation of Whitaker triggered a rapid response action plan developed by resistance organizations like MoveOn, Public Citizen and The Loyal Opposition. Protests are now a go for Thursday at 5pm, and represent one of our biggest opportunities to show Trump that he cannot manipulate us into submission. We will outlast him. In part, the energy we put into electing Democrats was generated through our deep disgust for this most un-American of presidencies. In part, we voted in protest.
So, now we get to protest in protest. Just like that! I know you’re tired, mentally and physically. We’ve all aged a decade in the last two years. But the President of the United States is yet again attempting to obstruct justice, and this time he’s in a strong position to seriously kneecap the Special Counsel probe into the Trump camp’s ties with Russia.
With a un-recused loyalist overseeing it, the Mueller investigation will be hampered – and that is Trump’s intent. Jeff Sessions’ replacement will be in a position to shut down specific lines of investigation (which could not be reported until the investigation concludes), and investigatory funds and resources could be squeezed.
Trump wants to get away with conspiring with a foreign adversary to influence and corrupt our democracy. That’s what this is about – including the timing and circumstances of Sessions’ departure. He’s counting on you not to show up to protest, because you’re tired. He’s also likely counting on the upcoming holidays and the inevitable GOP legislative firestorm in the lame duck session to divert peoples’ attention from his obstruction.
“The fox cannot supervise the hen house. Donald Trump’s handpicked lackey cannot oversee the Russia investigation, especially after he’s shown himself to be downright hostile to Special Counsel Mueller and his probe. Matthew Whitaker must recuse himself and step aside for someone actually interested in finding the truth. Trump must not be allowed to complete this cover-up.” — Zac Petkanas, Defend the Republic
Matthew Whitaker cannot be allowed to take the acting AG role. He has shown his position loud and clear on the Mueller investigation. Here is why we have to mobilize:
The Many, Many Reasons Why Matthew Whitaker Cannot Be Allowed To Oversee the Russia Investigation
- Whitaker is a Trump loyalist who defended the Trump Tower meeting with Russians, and expressed concern that the Mueller investigation could damage the president and his family. The New York Times noted that if Trump “were to choose Mr. Whitaker as a replacement over Mr. Rosenstein’s own deputy, Ed O’Callaghan, who would typically be next in line to be acting deputy attorney general, such a move would prove how much Mr. Trump has come to trust Mr. Whitaker.” [New York Times, 9/26/18]
- In an Aug. 2017 op-ed for CNN, Whitaker suggested that the Mueller investigation could turn into a fishing expedition that “could be damaging to the President of the United States and his family– and by extension, to the country.” [CNN, Matthew Whitaker Op-Ed, 8/06/17]
- As news broke that Don Jr. had attended Trump Tower meeting with Russians, Whitaker said on CNN “you would always take the meeting” and “you certainly want to have any advantage, any legal advantage you can” as a political candidate. [Mother Jones, 9/24/18]
- In an op-ed for The Hill, Whitaker downplayed the Trump Tower meeting while alleging that the DNC while alleging that a DNC staffer “met with Ukrainian government officials to get information in an effort to expose ties between Trump, his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Russia.” [The Hill, Whitaker op-ed, 8/30/17]
- In an August, 2017 appearance on CNN, Whitaker defended the president against the suggestion that his D.C. hotel was an unethical annex to the White House. Whitaker said, “The fact that it’s being used by folks, that’s on them to think that somehow the president is checking who is staying at his hotel on any given night or renting space.” When pressed by Don Lemon as to whether the president should divest, Whitaker said, “I think it’s going to be hard for him to divest all his things … The ethics laws and the conflict of interest rules do not apply to the president or vice president.” Watch it here, embedded in his very own tweet:
- Whitaker’s past statements — including use of the term “Witch Hunt” and talk of dwindling down Mueller’s resources — suggest he would interfere with the investigation: In his August 2017 op-ed for CNN, Whitaker wrote, “The President is absolutely correct. Mueller has come up to a red line in the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation that he is dangerously close to crossing.” [CNN, Matthew Whitaker Op-Ed, 8/06/17]
- In the same op-ed, Whitaker wrote. “It does not take a lawyer or even a former federal prosecutor like myself to conclude that investigating Donald Trump’s finances or his family’s finances falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else. That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel.”
- In August 2017, Whitaker tweeted a link to a CNN article reporting that the Special Counsel’s investigation was looking at Trump’s financial ties to Russia. Whitaker added his own commentary: “Beyond the SC’s delegation and very concerning- investigation of “crimes, some unconnected to the 2016 elections.” [Matthew Whitaker tweet, 8/03/17]:
- Whitaker Has Used the Term “Witch Hunt” in Discussing Mueller Investigation and retweeted an op-ed on the “Mueller Lynch Mob”, adding comment “Worth a Read”:
- Whitaker wrote, “If he were to continue to investigate the financial relationships without a broadened scope in his appointment, then this would raise serious concerns that the special counsel’s investigation was a mere witch hunt.” Whitaker also wrote that, “I can understand how a motivated prosecutor, in a broad investigation into the financial affairs of high-profile individuals, can become overzealous toward the targets of such probes– with calamitous results.” [CNN, Matthew Whitaker Op-Ed, 8/06/17]
- On Don Lemon’s show last summer, Whitaker said, “I think what ultimately the president is going to start doing is putting pressure on Rod Rosenstein, who is in charge of this investigation,” Whitaker said, “and really try to get Rod to maybe even cut the budget of Bob Mueller and do something a little more stage crafty than the blunt instrument of firing the attorney general and trying to replace him.” [Mother Jones, 9/24/18]
- In Oct. 2017, the Washington Post reported that in a July 2017 appearance on CNN, Whitaker mused about dwindling down Mueller’s resources. “So I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment,” Whitaker said, “and that attorney general doesn’t fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.” [Washington Post, 10/12/18]
- In August 2017, Whitaker tweeted a Fox News article on the Paul Manafort raid with his own commentary:
- In August 2017, Whitaker tweeted a link to an article from NPR that reported, “even if authorities uncover damaging information about Trump or anyone else in the White House, there are serious questions about whether that material will ever be made public, short of an indictment or impeachment.” Whitaker added his own commentary:
- In July 2017, Whitaker quoted a tweet from CNN’s Manu Raju that “Lindsey Graham also says he is drafting legislation to insulate the special counsel from WH pressure.” Whitaker added his thoughts:
Get the idea? This man is not fit to handle oversight of the Mueller probe. His biases are perfectly clear.
So get a good sleep, put on your boots and resist Trump’s obstruction of justice on Thursday at 5pm. We need a strong showing. For America.