As the crowd dissipated and police reopened Second Avenue to traffic around 7:30 p.m., a protester wearing a Trump mask and a cartoonish prisoner costume danced along the sidewalk with a sign that read, "Lock him up".
Overseeing it all is Whitaker, a former college football player and United States attorney from Iowa who was brought into the Justice Department past year to serve as Sessions' chief of staff. In New York's Times Square, demonstrators chanted slogans including "Hands off Mueller" and "Nobody's above the law" before marching downtown.
They joined protests in cities across the U.S. Crowds also turned out in Chicago; Greensboro, North Carolina; Chattanooga, Tennessee, and many other places.
The president's decision to replace Sessions with an even more devoted loyalist, Matthew Whitaker, in an acting capacity has drawn outrage from critics, including senior Democrats, who won control of the House of Representatives in Tuesday's midterms.
That job gives Whitaker the power to oversee the Russian Federation probe.
There have been plenty of Democrats who have called for Whitaker to recuse himself from the Russian Federation investigation, as Sessions did.
In a letter saying a constitutional crisis was looming, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee demanded action from the committee's Republican Chairman Bob Goodlatte, as well as bipartisan legislation to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from any effort to stymie the probe. Justice Department officials said that under normal circumstances, the deputy attorney general would likely play an active, hands-on role in overseeing such a high profile probe, and they had no reason to believe that Rosenstein would now be cut out.
The local protest was spearheaded by Capital Area Indivisible, an Augusta-area group that is the local chapter organization that resists the agendas of Republicans and President Donald Trump, and Suit Up Maine, a progressive advocacy group.
The Mueller investigation has so far produced 32 criminal charges and four guilty pleas from Trump associates. "We need to hold this president accountable, and we need to do everything in our power to stop any interference with this Mueller investigation".
Warner said it would be a "bright" red line crossed if Whitaker fires or hampers Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He has said that Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted for her email scandal as secretary of state and that Trump made the right call in firing FBI Director James Comey.
"You would always take that meeting".
I would like to get into two of the things that you reported today. He insisted the Justice Department should be investigating Democrats.
Christie is reportedly a personal friend of Trump's and endorsed him after dropping out of the 2016 presidential campaign himself. They were aimed at protesting the ouster of Sessions, whose recusal allowed Mueller to operate unimpeded, and as a warning that Whitaker should not interfere with the investigation.
The Augusta protest brought out newly elected Kennebec County District Attorney Megan Maloney, who accused Trump of "sidestepping the law" in an apparent attempt to halt the investigation.
On August 6, 2017, Whitaker also tweeted an op-ed newspaper piece from a former Philadelphia prosecutor carrying the headline: "Note to Trump's Lawyer: Do not cooperate with Mueller lynch mob".