In response to President Donald Trump’s forcing out of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his attacks on the media, hundreds of McHenry County residents protested Thursday night.
Protesters braved the cold in Crystal Lake and Woodstock to make their voices heard.
Only hours after losing the House of Representatives to Democrats, Sessions was forced out as attorney general Wednesday. Sessions faced more than a year of personal attacks from Trump, who inserted in his place a Republican Party loyalist with authority to oversee the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
The move potentially has ominous implications for Mueller’s probe given that the new acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker – who previously was Sessions’ chief of staff – has questioned the inquiry’s scope.
“Our whole goal for the election was for change, and so when we saw the firing of Jeff Sessions yesterday and the putting in place of Matthew Whitaker, that didn’t resonate with what we had just come through,” said Evelyn Malone, an organizer of advocacy groups MoveOn and Indivisible. “Enough is enough.”
Malone, who set up the event at 5650 Route 14, said she fears Trump is “determined to obstruct the remainder of the investigation.”
Some activists held signs calling for Trump’s impeachment and for Senate Republicans to protect the Russia probe. Some passing cars honked in support.
“People are very angry and worried that Trump is putting himself above the law,” said Ruth Scifo, vice chairwoman of the Democratic Party of McHenry County, during a protest on Woodstock’s historic Square. “He took a crony and installed him as interim attorney general.”
Scifo said Trump’s rhetoric and actions are why Democrats Lauren Underwood of Naperville and Sean Casten of Downers Grove beat the area’s two Republican representatives in Tuesday’s general election.
Rob Williams of Harvard took issue with Trump’s attack on CNN’s Jim Acosta, whose White House press credentials were suspended Wednesday after a brief confrontation with a White House aide during a news conference about immigration and the Russia probe.
“It’s outrageous,” Williams said. “Jim Acosta is my hero now.”
Malone said she believes Trump wants to intimidate the media to avoid tough questions.
“It’s all about control, but I don’t think it’s going to work,” she said. “I don’t think it’s going to work in America.”
• The Associated Press contributed to this report.