Hundreds take to Claremont streets in support of Mueller investigation

Hundreds of protestors took to the Claremont streets Thursday evening to send a message to Washington—protect the special counsel investigation against President Donald Trump.

The intersection of Foothill and Indian Hill Boulevards was alive with people, signs and protest chants, as cars honked in solidarity.

For 87-year-old Georgeann Andrus, the recent resignation of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as well as the appointment of Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general, presents a disturbing development in the ongoing investigation by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

It is widely feared that Mr. Sessions’ removal has cleared a path for Mr. Trump to derail the investigation or fire Mr. Mueller.

“He’s heading us into a constitutional crisis,” Ms. Andrus said of the president. “I’m just really unhappy he would pull the rug from under that.”

Ms. Andrus and a friend, Ana Blaiklock, were at the southwest corner of the intersection, holding up a sign reading “Hands off Mueller” and cheering whenever a driver honked their horn in support.

When asked what message she hoped to send to Washington, Ms. Andrus didn’t miss a beat.

“Well, to let these investigations continue,” she said. “And to come up with answers and to give everyone the constitutional privilege that they have and not to have them take that away from us.”

Upland resident Kyle Clayton, 30, was at the center median on Foothill Boulevard, holding up a sign reading “Protect truth, protect Mueller.” He said he came out Thursday night because the special counsel was under attack by Mr. Trump.

“If [Trump is] innocent as he claims to be, then I would assume he has nothing to fear,” Mr. Clayton said. “But because he is taking active steps to derail the investigation and delegitimize it by appointing an acting attorney general that would effectively neuter the investigation, than we can only assume he’s trying to obstruct justice.”

The protest was one of hundreds across the country organized by MoveOn.org, a political activism group that has spearheaded numerous rallies and protests over the years, including here in Claremont.

Protestor Karen May told the COURIER that plans to protest the removal of Mr. Sessions had been in place for months, and once it finally happened, an alert was sent out urging people to take to the streets.

Numerous chants were recited throughout the protest, which began right at 5 p.m. Some were in support of Mr. Mueller (“2-4-6-8 let Mueller investigate”), and some even called out Senator Lindsay Graham for past comments he made against the firing of Mr. Sessions (“Ho ho hey hey, Lindsay where’s the hell to pay?”).

Mr. Clayton said has been to “two or three” recent protests at the same intersection.

“This is the biggest one that I’ve seen,” he said amid the chanting and supportive honking.

Norman Reichwald, 50, and his son Nathan Reichwald, 20, were leading chants while holding signs that read “Trump is not above the law” and “An impeachable source.”

“I think in Washington, there’s people in our government that need to look at themselves, look at what they are doing to our country and they need to do the right thing,” the younger Mr. Reichwald said.

He estimated that around 600 people showed up to Thursday night’s demonstration.

For the elder Mr. Reichwald, Thursday night represented only the third time in his life he has attended a protest.

“The first one was to resist Nazis in America, the second one was to resist building of internment camps in America,” he said. “These are things I never thought I would have to protest in America, but here we are. That’s why I’m here tonight.”

Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com

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