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November 17, 2018

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Everyone must be held accountable’: Las Vegas progressive groups rally to protect Mueller investigation

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Steve Marcus

A protester holds up a sign in front of the Lloyd D. George Federal Building in downtown Las Vegas Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Following the firing of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, activists are asking that the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections is protected.

"Nobody is Above the Law" Protest

Activists protest in front of the Lloyd D. George Federal Building in downtown Las Vegas Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Following the firing of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, activists are asking that the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections is protected. Launch slideshow »

The protesters in Las Vegas honked their car horns and passionately hoisted signs in the air, joining a nationwide movement today with a common message: President Donald Trump is not above the law.

One day after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' sudden firing, which is seen as jeopardizing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 election, a group of about 200 Las Vegans took to the streets in downtown to show their displeasure.

“We’re going to fight,” said Kenia Leon, statewide organizer for Nevada Indivisible who emceed the rally in front of the Las Vegas Federal Courthouse. “This is what democracy looks like.”

Rallygoers, the vast majority of whom represented progressive organizations Indivisible and MoveOn, argued Trump’s firing of Sessions and the promotion of Matthew Whitaker to acting attorney general was concerning. Whitaker has previously expressed skepticism about the Russia probe and has faced much criticism since Wednesday’s announcement.

Thousands of protesters joined today across the nation in other rallies, which were titled “Nobody is Above the Law.” MoveOn is one of about 50 progressive social groups that have spent months preparing to respond to any Trump move to stop the Mueller investigation.

In Las Vegas, Barry Oneida, 52, held an American flag turned upside down on a small flagpole as he shouted “Lock Him Up” to vehicles driving past the courthouse. He called the appointment of Whitaker "disgusting" and said "everyone must be held accountable."

Oneida led the group in a chant, "Donald, Donald, you can’t hide. We can see your fascist side."

The ongoing Russia investigation, which began in May 2017, has resulted in dozens of indictments for top Russian officials and organizations. Mueller has already concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to aide Trump in getting elected but has not publicly disclosed a link between the president’s campaign and Russian officials.

Whitaker came out as an early opponent of the investigation and has called for it to be scaled down. In an opinion piece Whitaker wrote for CNN, he said the special counsel would be "dangerously close to crossing" a red line when he began looking into the president’s finances.