Politics & Government

Crowd gathers in Rock Hill to protest Trump’s firing of Sessions

A crowd protested Trump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in front of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Rock Hill office Thursday night.
A crowd protested Trump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in front of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Rock Hill office Thursday night. hgsmoot@heraldonline.com

About 40 people gathered Thursday night at Fountain Park in downtown Rock Hill and marched to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Rock Hill office to protest the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The protest was part of the nationally organized “Nobody is Above the Law” movement, which vowed to hold protests nationwide if President Donald Trump took any steps that could jeopardize special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Wednesday, Trump replaced Sessions, who had recused himself from overseeing Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, with acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who previously called Mueller’s appointment “ridiculous,” according to CNN.

Trump had harshly criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, and said many times he wanted Sessions to put an end to the Mueller probe.

Protests like the one in Rock Hill were scheduled to take place across the U.S., according to the movement’s website.

Joy Robinson said the Rock Hill’s protest was put together in less than a day.

“We care about our democracy,” Robinson said. “We care about the rule of law.”

Wes Boone carried a sign quoting Graham’s words from July 2017: “If Jeff Sessions is fired, there will be holy hell to pay.”

Graham at the time said: “Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency.”

But since then, Graham has become a strong Trump supporter. Graham met with Trump in the Oval Office on Thursday. Instead of “holy hell,” Graham defended the president.

“I’m confident the White House is looking for someone who the president and country can have confidence in, and be confirmed by the Senate,” Graham said in a statement. “In my role as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I look forward to meeting with acting Attorney General Whitaker soon and have confidence he will do a professional job in this position.”

Boone said Graham’s defense of Trump is “a far cry” from his 2017 promises.

Boone said the protestors want to see the Mueller probe protected, and its final conclusions released to the public.

“If he’s innocent than fine, let it run its course,” he said.

Vickie Holt, who ran for the District 48 state House of Representatives seat in Tuesday’s election, was at Thursday night’s rally.

“Most of us here want some accountability from Sen. Graham,” Holt said.

She said Graham’s newest remarks on the Sessions replacement is “a tap dance that’s getting old.” She said she wants a firm response from Graham.

“As constituents of Sen. Graham, I do believe we have the right to get a solid answer from him,” she said.

Denise Jenkins said she wants Senate Republicans to “grow a spine.”

“We just need a reprieve from Trump,” Jenkins said. “He’s doing whatever he wants to do, regardless of the law.”

Hannah Smoot: 803-329-4068, @hgsmoot
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