Tampa Bay rallies held to protect Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe

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Congress now has a "hell of a lot" more resources now than it did Monday if the Trump administration and newly named acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker move to end special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, Rep. Eric Swalwell said Thursday.

Matthew Whitaker, 49, a Republican lawyer said to be a Trump loyalist, assumed oversight of the inquiry after the president promoted him from chief of staff to Jeff Sessions, who was sacked as attorney-general on Wednesday.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has endured more than a year of criticism from Donald Trump over the Mueller inquiry.

People in North Alabama will join others nationwide on Thursday to protest former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' forced resignation.

"There is no case for obstruction of justice because the president has all the power of the executive and delegates that to people like the Federal Bureau of Investigation director and the attorney general", Whitaker argued.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel after Sessions recused himself and after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey.

Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who is expected to chair the House judiciary committee starting in January, said removing Sessions fit Trump's pattern of interfering in the work of the justice department and Mueller.

According to the Washington Post, Whitaker has no intention of recusing himself, putting the two sides on collision course should the acting attorney general interfere with the Mueller probe.

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In the letter, the group of state attorneys general note that Rosenstein appears to have adequately overseen the Russian Federation probe and "should continue to do so, as Mr. Mueller's work must proceed free from interference or supervision that would appear to many Americans to be biased". Last year Sessions recused himself from overseeing the Mueller probe, which has been a constant source of anger from the president.

"The (Democrats') first step would be to protect the investigation, they would do that by making sure all documents were secured by ensuring Mueller's investigative team was not broken up", he said, adding: "On Capitol Hill, the Democrats are quite likely to call for a floor vote immediately to countermand and reverse the firing".

Democrats also raised concerns about the appointment of Whitaker, 49, who will now oversee Mueller's probe.

"I'm concerned that Whitaker is going to try to find a way to sabotage the investigation", she said.

Trump's relationship with Sessions frayed just weeks into his tenure, when he stepped aside from the Russian Federation investigation. A person familiar with the matter said he got on the White House's radar via conservative circles in Iowa, his TV appearances and his connections with the Federalist Society and other conservative groups.

One reason Sessions endured months of taunting from Trump is that he believed he was protecting the integrity of the Justice Department and was trying to prevent the president from bringing in someone who would politicize it, according to a US official who has worked with Sessions and frequently talked with him.

The president can not directly fire the special counsel.

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