St. George joins nationwide protests to protect Russia investigation

Protesters gather along St. George Boulevard as a part of national demonstrations held in cities across the United States calling for the protection of Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential ties between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign in the wake of Trump appointing Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, St. George, Utah, Nov. 8, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Over 130 people standing along St. George Boulevard in front of U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart’s St. George office Thursday evening joined protesters across the nation calling for the protection of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential ties between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Then-Iowa Republican senatorial candidate and former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker prior to a live televised debate in Johnston, Iowa, April 24, 2014. Whitaker was named this week as acting U.S. attorney general. | Associated Press file photo by Charlie Neibergall, St. George News

Organized by Washington City resident Salem Stanley, the group was small at first, as people began to gather shortly before 5 p.m., but gradually grew to between 130-150 people at its peak.

Many signs echoed the sentiment that “Trump is not above the law” and that Congress should “Protect the Probe” while others demanded acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker recuse himself from the investigation. Whitaker has criticized Mueller’s probe.

Trump asked for Jeff Sessions’ resignation then replaced him with Whitaker, who had been Sessions’ chief of staff.

Crowds also turned out in Salt Lake City, Chicago and many other places. Organizers say the naming of Whitaker is a “deliberate attempt to obstruct the special counsel’s investigation.”

Read more: Jeff Sessions forced out as attorney general by Trump

“We want Whitaker to recuse himself immediately and we want the investigation to just happen,” Stanley said. “We’re not looking for a specific outcome of the investigation. We just want it to happen and have integrity.”

The reason for holding the protest in front of Stewart’s St. George office was seen as a way to send a message to the state’s congressional representatives to hold Trump accountable, Stanley said.

“(Trump) should be held accountable and he’s not above the law,” Stanley said.

Whitaker, 49, has been described by some of his detractors as a Trump loyalist.

Critics worry that Whitaker may be unlikely or unwilling to defend the Department of Justice’s independence against political interference by the White House, given his history of partisanship and loyalty to Trump.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that Whitaker should recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation given his previous public comments that appeared to exhibit hostility toward the inquiry.

According to the Associated Press, Whitaker has said Mueller’s Russia investigation risks “going too far” and supported limits on the prosecutor’s power.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has been overseeing the investigation because of Sessions’ recusal.

The probe includes questions about a 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving the president’s son Donald Trump Jr., and a Kremlin-connected lawyer offering damaging information about Hillary Clinton who ran against Trump.

The ongoing investigation has produced guilty pleas from four former Trump aides, according to the Associated Press.

During an appearance on CNN in July 2017, Whitaker laid out a hypothetical scenario in which Sessions were replaced and someone new would assume oversight of Mueller’s probe. The scenario didn’t see Mueller fired, Whitaker said. Instead, funding for the probe was reduced to the point the “investigation grinds almost to a halt.”

Stanley mentioned this being a possibility should Whitaker not recuse himself.

“We just want to make sure Robert Mueller and the investigation are protected,” Stanley said, adding he and others may continue with additional rounds of protests until Congress to either passes legislation protecting the investigation or Whitaker recuses himself.

Attending the protest was Chuck Goode, chairman of the Washington County Democratic Party, who said Trump’s recent actions of getting Sessions to resign and appointing Whitaker were suspect.

“These steps are breaking the law and Trump is not above the law,” Goode said.

Cody Ham, a flight attendant who lives in St. George part time, said it was important to join the protest.

“I think it’s important to come out, and show (that) even in rural St. George, no one is above the laws, not even Trump, and it’s important that Whitaker recuse himself,” Ham said.

As the demonstration picked up steam and more people arrived, various passersby honked their horns in support. At least two passing motorists weren’t so supportive as one driver a pickup truck blasted a thick cloud of exhaust into a part of the crowd early on, and another showed their disapproval through an obscene gesture from a car window.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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61 Comments

  • Not_So_Much November 9, 2018 at 7:38 am

    OK, then. I’m just wondering does a demonstration like this ,complete with a sound system, need a permit? If so did this group have one? If not, I wonder what the turnout would be in support of the President if one was called? Could such a show of support happen on a Saturday when the hotels rooms are full? Just wondering.

    I’m surprised Mitt wasn’t speaking there, or was he at another one?

    • Rice November 9, 2018 at 9:17 am

      Just wondering if Obama fired the guy overseeing an investigation into him if you’d have the same sentiments about the president then? As a young person growing up in St. George this type of hypocrisy is what has made me realize that I want to be informed and active in politics and not just hop on a wagon that feeds my cognitive bias.

    • Chris November 9, 2018 at 1:12 pm

      You do not need a permit to exercise your 1st Amendment rights.

  • Real Life November 9, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Meanwhile the rest of us were busy at work.

    • KR567 November 9, 2018 at 3:49 pm

      oh oh you created a disturbance in the force…..lol

  • Happy Commenter November 9, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Dramacrats…

    • Carpe Diem November 9, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      HA HA HA “Like” and I am stealing that one! HA HA HA HA

  • Salem November 9, 2018 at 8:50 am

    I am the organizer and would like to address these comments:

    @Not_So_Much I contacted the city and police department and was told we did not need a permit. I appreciate your concern. As the event was almost entirely made up of residents of Washington County, Hotel room availability doesn’t seem to have relevance to the article. This protest was not for or against the president. It was simply for the rule of law. If you believe everyone is subject to the same laws, you should have been there with us.

    @Real Life, I own 4 small companies in town and employ 15 people. I was fortunate to be able to stop working to host the event. We started at 5pm so I believe most of those who attended we able to finish their work before attending.

    @Happy Commenter, have you seen your president in action? Thats a bold statement that democrats seek drama.

    To all who read this, why is asking for equal protection under the law a partisan issue? I am not saying anyone is guilty or not, but the president is blatantly interfering with the investigation. If the investigation happens and he is innocent of all charges, I’ll accept the result. If he interferes, how is that fair? We can disagree on policy, but good heavens, this is about as far away from a partisan issue as there could be. We are simply asking for the investigation to happen without interference. Please tell me what is wrong with that request.

    • Rice November 9, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Are there any future protests planned? I imagine this is far from over and I was not able to make this one but would like to be involved.

    • Cogent Cat November 9, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      The president is not “blatantly’ interfering with the investigation. That is your leftist Trump Derangement Syndrome opinion. The investigation by Mueller has cost the country millions of dollars and overstepped it’s power by attacking and destroying people in the process. You are putting on a big show for your leftist Dems. Obvious even to an idiot.

      • bikeandfish November 9, 2018 at 1:50 pm

        Its not actually “cost the country millions of dollars”. The successful prosecution of multiple individuals has created a net profit on the books.

        The Mueller investigation has not “overstepped it’s power by attacking and destroying people in the process.”. They have received approval to prosecute individuals with evidence found. They have succeeded in several of those. Those individuals ruined their own lives by engaging in crimes.

    • Carpe Diem November 9, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      Salem, BRING IT.

      All this DRAMA and TDS suffering of yours just makes Trump look more like a hero. Now that the Dramacrats have control of the House, do you think they will try to have a message, a mandate, do things for the citizens? Or is it gonna be “Gotsta Get us some Trump!” TDS is truly as sad, sick disease and too many have it.

      • iceplant November 9, 2018 at 4:04 pm

        LOL @ “BRING IT”
        Buddy, you wouldn’t know what to do with it if it was gifted to you and wrapped in gold leaf.
        Tick tock tick tock, Carp. Only a matter of time now.

        • Carpe Diem November 9, 2018 at 6:42 pm

          So which sign were YOU hoisting today? “I’m With Stupid ->” probably.

    • Happy Commenter November 9, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      Not a bold statement at all, just perfectly descriptive. DRAMACRATS ! How many unicorns have you caught since you became a dramacrat?

      • Carpe Diem November 9, 2018 at 6:43 pm

        HA HA HA Obama was their Unicorn, but he got out of the barn now.

    • dodgers November 9, 2018 at 9:00 pm

      Curious minds want to know:
      What is the specific Russian “collusion” that Mueller is investigating?
      What is the specific crime that was committed?
      What evidence/proof exists that these specific crimes took place?
      Let’s first identify the specific crimes, the specific laws that were broken.

      What evidence of these specific crimes does Mueller have after a year and a half?
      Why isn’t Mueller investigating Fusion GPS or the Steel dossier, including it’s sources?

      I suspect that if you asked these questions to the 100-150 protesters, you’d get a hundred different answers, and a lot of silence.

  • chris keele November 9, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Well lets see, it’s been almost two years since Mueller started this waste of taxpayer money, and has not accomplished what they alleged about President Trump at all, guess they just can’t seem to understand that their side lost the election, and now after the mid term elections, they are so upset with the failure of the blue wave ” to materialize, I guess this is all they can think of to do. It looks like the 1960 hippies reborn. how ridiculous they look.

    • Rice November 9, 2018 at 9:48 am

      The Ken Starr investigation lasted 4 years, proved nothing, and costed the tax payers millions. The Mueller investigation has already made 26 indictments and gotten 6 guilty pleas and has actually made more money than it has spent.

    • theone November 9, 2018 at 9:52 am

      I just have to ask, how do you know there has been nothing accomplished in the investigation? Do you have access to their findings? You do know it took over two years to investigate Nixon?
      I agree it wasn’t as big a blue wave as needed, but it was enough to keep Republicans in check. Have a nice day chris the all knowing.

    • bikeandfish November 9, 2018 at 10:17 am

      The Mueller investigation has actual made a net profit given the successful indictments.

      Mueller is doing the simple job of investigating the facts as they come in. Some on the left definitely made premature claims of certainty but not Mueller.

    • Chris November 9, 2018 at 1:14 pm

      Of course, Republicans have never wasted taxpayer money investigating their political opponents! Don’t read much do you?

  • ladybugavenger November 9, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Russia did not influence my vote.
    I already knew I would not vote for Hillary.
    If Trump was in jail, I still would not vote for Hillary.

    • tcrider November 9, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      you should probably buy
      one of those trump teddy bears they
      sell on tv

      • ladybugavenger November 9, 2018 at 3:00 pm

        I’d like the toilet bowl brush for my birthday present. My address is: Ladybugavenger
        c/o St George News

        • KR567 November 9, 2018 at 3:47 pm

          Ok sending you a toilet brush

        • mesaman November 9, 2018 at 8:13 pm

          The one with the Achmed O’Bama haircut?

    • Carpe Diem November 9, 2018 at 3:41 pm

      Hillary wrote an entire book about “What Happened”. Trump explained it in one sentence during the short press conference at the helipad this morning.

      • iceplant November 9, 2018 at 4:06 pm

        And yet you still don’t “get it.”

        • Carpe Diem November 9, 2018 at 6:41 pm

          Yeah, the Dramacrats and the idiots on the Bard getting exercise are the ones who don’t “get it”. Trump is going in for 8 years, it’s gonna be long, especially for YOU.

          • mesaman November 9, 2018 at 8:14 pm

            The put 99 percent of St George’s dramacrats on the street doing what they do best.

      • Red2Blue310 November 10, 2018 at 9:12 am

        Whitaker is not only Americas top law enforcement officer, along with being a phony Trumper, is also a known crook, like Trump, defrauded people and was fined $26 million for his scam. Sound familiar: Trump University.

        • Happy Commenter November 10, 2018 at 3:04 pm

          oooooo, Lets see the proof know it all!

  • youcandoit November 9, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I love our President Trump. He is not only helping American citizens he’s helping the world to be great again. Also what about Mueller’s alleged rape victims?
    https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201811011069421751-mueller-trump-midterms/

    • bikeandfish November 9, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      Bot? Citing Russian owned news site Sputnik (ie propaganda) is highly suspect and not a viable source.

    • Chris November 9, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      So, you get your information from Russia? Wow!

      • AnnieMated November 9, 2018 at 3:29 pm

        youcandoit has commented before. I don’t think he’s a bot; just a typical right winger who believes anything and anyone so long what they say concurs with his viewpoint, facts be damned.

        • bikeandfish November 9, 2018 at 6:19 pm

          Thx for clarifying. Fit the bill for a bot but would be shocked if they targeted this site with more than spam.

  • Kilroywashere November 9, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Let’s put this in perspective. Kudos to the protesters and getting in the news. That is what America is about. Not Antifa activists going to Tucker Carlson’s house and trying to break and enter, threatening pipe bombs, as well as terrorizing his wife. In regards to special council Mueller, I am sure that his investigation will be permitted to run its course DESPITE THE FACT IT IS BASED ON A FAKE DOSSIER that was financed by Anti Trump constituents both inside and outside the US government under the Obama administration. The FISA court was decieved and let’s not forget internal surveillance or what can be construed as spying on the Trump campaign throughout 2015 – 2016. In regards to Russian influence affecting the outcome, I would argue it was negligible and minute relative to other countries like Israel, China, or for that matter the EU interests. Due to Citizens United, funneling money into political campaigns is easy. Soros, Koch Bros, Tech billionaires, Murdoch, and many more unnamed and unknown ultra wealthy people have influence beyond Russia to determine political outcomes. But in the end it wasn’t about $. Rather Hillary Clinton was a horrific candidate, and even undermined her own Democratic nomination process as good old Bernie knows well. So hey, enjoy the good weather, protest, carry signs, play music, and express your freedom of speech. But if you REALLY want to do something, political campaign reform and reversing SCOTUS Citizens United is what is at the core of our dysfunctional government. Until then we are simply a plutocracy and it is a battle of billionaires and the corporate interests they own. Dont forget mainstream media is owned by <5 corporations. God bless SG News. The Truth is out there

    • bikeandfish November 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      The FISA application was transparent in sources and claims.

      The Steele dossier is real (in response to your claim its “BASED ON A FAKE DOSSIER “) and was actually chartered by the conservatives, specifically the Washington Free Beacon, before representatives for the Clinton campaign continued the financing. Even after both parties stopped funding it Steele continued the research independently. But it definitely started as oppositional research by conservatives against Trump.

      It actually contains both validated and unvalidated claims.

      Citizens don’t know the full extent of Mueller’s research so we don’t know (A) if there was collusion and (B) if so what scale it was (to your comparison to other country’s influences).

      • Kilroywashere November 9, 2018 at 6:34 pm

        Sorry B&F , Rachel Maddow should not be your source of info or CNN for that matter. The DOSSIER is an absolute fake. Do your homework. Seriously. Do your homework. I’m not going to do it for you and get into details. But you are dead wrong. I bet you have never gone to Wikileaks and looked at source documents. I bet you get all your news and info from two sources. On that note let the investigation reach its conclusion and we shall see where it all goes. According to you the outcome should conclude direct Russian collusion on the part of Preaident Trump. If that does not occur,then Linus, the Great Pumpkin came and went. Anything less then that is irrelevant.

        • bikeandfish November 9, 2018 at 9:08 pm

          Odd response.

          I pointed out the Steele dossier is Real after you called it Fake. That is an accurate assessment. Not only does it exist (ie real, not fake) but portions of Steele’s documents have been verified through the years.

          There are unvalidated claims, like the urine fetish allegations. That is part of the alleged “fake” components. One could argue “most” are unsubstantiated rumors but I haven’t seen it quantified with confidence.

          But the entire thing not only exists but is a pretty common outcome of opposition research. Such investigations often contain unsubstantiated allegations. Hence the claims of having “dirt”.

          Don’t have cable so I don’t watch Maddow. Odd assumption on your part again.

          No one knows if WikiLeaks is actual “source” documents. When documents are hacked they are often manipulated. Its a fair assumption considering many of the hacked election documents were filtered through Russian hackers. But I’m not sure why you brought them up as it was Buzzfeed who released the documents.

          And I’ve done my research. My timeline and details are 100% correct and have been public record for a long time. On top of it the FBI investigation began because of Papadopoulos, not the dossier.

          Does the dossier have anything of value? Doubtful from what has been released (documents) and the lack of indictments from Mueller. Maybe if Trump and folks like you were more articulate, detailed and dispassionate we might not have these misunderstandings. There is a major difference between highlighting the dossier’s allegations are mostly unverified and Trump denies their validity than you and him repeating useless statements like “fake dossier”.

          But as you highlighted we simply won’t know about Mueller’s findings until he goes public.

          Wikipedia is the best source with citations on the entire issue:

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump–Russia_dossier

          • Happy Commenter November 10, 2018 at 3:07 pm

            Your quote “I pointed out the Steele dossier is Real after you called it Fake” Well , it is fake! You’re quite the fount of misinformation, again!

          • Kilroywashere November 10, 2018 at 10:08 pm

            Oh come on B&F. Wikipedia? Then you get into semantics. Uhg, you’re going frozen veggie on me. Duh, the dossier does physically exist. The info contained in the dossier is pure fiction. Get back to the main point that TRUMPS all. The reason the Democrats lost is Hillary. You dont need a fake Dossier to examine her past. Or the DEAD Bodies left in the wake of her and her husband. Or the fact she clearly undermined the Democratic primaries. She’s best buddies with the Rothschilds- look that up on Wikileaks. I found a great book at Desseret Industries for $2 on the history of the Rothschilds. Choose your billionaire B&F. I ll take Trump. Get the big picture.

  • Angela November 9, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    I am so glad to see this in St. George. Salem, thank you so much for organizing it. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to be a part of it.

  • chris keele November 9, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    The Mueller witch hunt has cost the taxpayer 17 million as of June 2018, how could anyone in their right mind make the claim it has ” actually made more money than it has spent ” this is laughable if it weren’t so ridiculous. A progressive talking point no doubt, parroted by some here in the comments earlier.

    • bikeandfish November 9, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Are you being ironic? Trump says jump and y’all jump. $17 million isn’t a high number for these investigations (see below).

      Yes, Mueller’s investigation cost about $17 million as of early this summer.

      The prosecution and team managed a deal with Manafort in which he forfeited $42-46 million in assets.

      https://www.newsweek.com/paul-manafort-forfeit-millions-dollars-worth-properties-1122818

      $42M – $17M = Net profit to tax payers of $25 Million.

      Basic math buddy.

      And they have successfully prosecutted multiple people and have evidence enough for indictments. Not many special investigations can say that.

      Historic comparisons:

      Whitewater Investigation: $73 million (actual, not djusted for inflation)

      All of the special investigations into Bill Clinton, including Whitewater: $143 million (not adjusted)

      Hillary Benghazi: $7 million, no indictments

      https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/31/mueller-russia-probe-cost-spending-616112

      You might benefit from researching the facts instead of parroting Trump’s lies.

    • Rice November 9, 2018 at 3:02 pm

      When Manafort plead guilty the FBI seized 42 million in assets, which is far more than the investigation has cost.

      • Carpe Diem November 9, 2018 at 3:35 pm

        And…. Mueller stands there looking stupid, a year and a half and the only Russian Collusion to be found is from the Clinton / Podesta / Fusion GPS camp.

        The media, Dramacrats, and Mueller have been barking up the wrong Uranium tree. Clinton is so nuclear she glows Russia in the dark.

        https://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/check-it-out-the-new-york-times-just-exposed-the-hillary-clinton-russia-nexus/

        • iceplant November 9, 2018 at 4:08 pm

          So much phony drama in your words. You MUST be listening to Limbaugh and Hannity. Holy crap. HAHAHA!!

          • Carpe Diem November 9, 2018 at 6:39 pm

            Proof is in the pudding. A year and a half prosecution, NO Trump collusion… the only thing pointing to it would be the Clintons.

            Read it and weep!

          • iceplant November 10, 2018 at 1:05 pm

            Read what and weep? You provide nothing significant as far as facts are concerned. Try harder.

            On another note: I’m getting sick and tired of you editors censoring my comments when I’ve said nothing untruthful or insulting. Post my rebuttals to Carpe or DON’T post his insane comments. Capice?

          • Paul Dail Paul Dail November 10, 2018 at 1:31 pm

            Iceplant, it’s our choice as to which comments we’re going to post or delete. Without knowing which comment you might be referring to, if you had a comment deleted, the best possibility is that you were being insulting. There’s a difference between insane and insulting, and if you’re going to make the choice to respond to the former, try to refrain from speaking in the latter.

            Paul Dail
            Editor in chief

        • Red2Blue310 November 10, 2018 at 9:18 am

          Karma diem, fake.

  • utahdiablo November 9, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Now you can go home and smoke some of that Legalized MJ…it will all be better soon, after the 2020 Trump re-election

  • stevenxfiles November 9, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Brothers and sisters! Many did not agree with the Obama administration either but did you see a bunch of cry babies out in the streets demonstrating all the time? No. If you don’t like the current administration then I have great news for you… In 2 years you can vote to change it! Take a breath now. Feel better? Great, let’s all get along again. Peace!

    • iceplant November 10, 2018 at 6:08 am

      The crybabies were in Congress. Thanks for playing, chief.
      Nobody takes a breath until the animal in the white house is gone.

      • Happy Commenter November 10, 2018 at 3:09 pm

        The crybabies are the dramacrats

  • Utahguns November 10, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Trump has only two more years…

    Until there’s four more years.
    And then four years of Pence…
    …when there will be four more years after that.

    That’s what the future holds.

  • commonsense November 11, 2018 at 12:24 am

    Two years and forty million dollars and Mueller has produced nothing. I say …* or get off the pot.
    Russia tried to interfere by giving Hillary millions of dollars to buy favors. They got no return on investment except a big chunk of our uranium back when she was SOS.

    * Ed. ellipsis added.

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