People standing outside in winter coats at dusk one white man with brown hair, facial hair and glasses with a sign that reads Recuse and a white woman next to him

Hundreds of protestors lined the streets of Downtown Columbus during the evening rush hour on November 8 to urge Ohio Senator Rob Portman to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Mueller’s investigation of President Donald Trump and possible interference by the Russians in the 2016 Presidential Election.

The protest, one of many nationwide, was held one day after President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, following the 2018 Midterm Elections. 

In a New York Times opinion editorial, George Conway, the husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, stated that it was “unconstitutional (for Trump) to fire Jeff Sessions.”

The protest began with a rally at Bicentennial Park, as speakers urged the protestors to contact their U.S. House Representatives and Senators, to protect Mueller’s investigation following Trump’s appointment of Sessions’ deputy, Matthew Whitaker as Attorney General.

“A lot of this (protest) is what we should and should not take for granted,” said Mia Lewis, an organizer from Indivisible: District 12 Ohio, addressing the rally. “What makes this country great is our laws, our government, and our checks and balances.  We are a nation of laws, not a Nation of Man.”

Lewis added that this country is headed into “uncharted territory” if Trump succeeds in firing Mueller.

“Instead of the United States of America, (this country) will be ‘The United States of Trump’,” Lewis said.

“One of the ways that democracy ends, is if the press is not allowed to do their job anymore,” Lewis added. “We are here, not because we want to break laws.  We want to protect, defend, and support the laws of this Nation. They are not perfect, but there is a mechanism of changing and improving them.”

Catherine Turcer, Executive Director of Common Cause Ohio, spoke about the power of democracy at the rally.

“I believe in the power and the purpose of the Democracy,” Turcer said. “I believe that this is a government by the people, for the people, and of the people.”

Turcer added, “Democracy is not just for Election Day. Democracy is something that is needed every day of the year, and boy is it needed today.”

Capital University Law Professor Dan Kobil addressed the rally, where he explained that the law, as stated from the Constitution, regarding Whitaker’s appointment.

“Article 2 of the Constitution was intended to give the President only certain powers.  He cannot appoint without advise and consent from the U.S. Senate” Kobil said.  Kobil cited Trump’s attempt to repeal portions of the 14th Amendment via an Executive Order, as an example of Trump trying to evade the law.

Kobil believes that whatever steps that Whitaker will take will not, and should not stand.  “Whitaker’s actions, without a proper Confirmation (from the Senate) will be illegal, invalid, and unconstitutional.  We need to stand up to the Constitution,” Kobil said at the end of his speech.

There was heavy police protection along the protest route, as it got dark, and outside of the building where Senator Portman’s office is located.

The protest concluded with “We Shall Overcome”.

There were similar rallies held nationwide, including a protest in Westerville, outside of City Hall.