Hundreds demonstrate in NYC to protect Russia investigation

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Candace McCowan reports from Union Square on the protests. ((AP Photo/Mary Altaffer))

A protest in Manhattan drew several hundred people calling for the protection of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential coordination between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign.

The protesters gathered in Times Square on Thursday night and chanted slogans including "Hands off Mueller" and "Nobody's above the law" before marching downtown. They held signs saying "Truth Must Triumph" and "Repeal, Replace Trump."

Similar rallies were being held across the country, including Chicago, Seattle, and White Plains. Organizers say the naming of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is a "deliberate attempt to obstruct the special counsel's investigation."

Trump asked for Jeff Sessions' resignation and then replaced him with Whitaker, his chief of staff. Whitaker has criticized Mueller's probe.

"Whitaker has stated publicly more than once that he feels the Mueller investigation should be terminated and it shows bias," said one of the protesters.

Congressional Democrats have already called on Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the investigation.

"Nothing is more important than the trust and integrity of our judicial system," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who was at the rally and says she worries about what Whitaker will do to the Mueller probe.

"These are the statements coming out of the mouth of the leadership," said Maloney. "They want to shut it down, they want to cut off the funding, they want to stop it any way they can. They've said it over and over again, and we are here to say that the integrity and independence of this investigation must be upheld."

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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