Lake Oswego protesters hope to protect Mueller investigation
More than 150 people gathered in Lake Oswego's Millennium Plaza Park on Thursday night to play their part in a nationwide protest against President Trump's dismissal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and what that could mean for the ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Organized by Lake Oswego residents Lori Malone and Cay Borduin, the gathering featured remarks by state Rep. Andrea Salinas and sign-carrying protesters of all ages. Sage Clark and Oscar Mattersdorff came with their moms, wielding bright red placards that said, "No one is above the law."
"Protect Mueller," Andrea Sliger's giant sign said. "Truth Matters," read another.
There were lots of chants, too. When Malone prompted the crowd with "When democracy is under attack," they responded, "Stand up, fight back." And when the crowd chanted "Lock him up," Borduin responded, "We're liberals and we believe in the law. So try him and then lock him up."
As the evening turned to night, Borduin asked attendees to turn on their flashlights. "We're here to shine a light on the dark corners of the Trump administration," she said.
She also urged the crowd to stay involved and to demand transparency, truth and accountability from the Trump administration, a theme that Salinas echoed in her remarks.
"Right now," the Lake Oswego Democrat said, "all of those tenets are threatened under the leadership of the current president and his disregard for the foundation and adherence to the rule of law."
Salinas reeled off a list of instances in which said Trump had lied to the American people, including his argument that an investigation into Russian collusion was a witch hunt and his characterization of a caravan of asylum seekers as an imminent threat to national security.
"There is no topic too large or too small to escape the president's bending of the truth or outright lies," she said. "His narrative is an invention of his own imagination."
It's time, Salinas said, to hold Trump accountable.
"Write, call, email Oregon's congressional delegation. Let them know that we are demanding a restoration of the rule of law. Let them know that no one is above the law."
Similar rallies were planned Thursday across the country; in Oregon, organizers planned protests in Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, St. Helens, Sandy, Sherwood and Yamhill County. Borduin said the gatherings had been in the works for almost a year as organizers watched Trump threaten several times to fire Sessions and install a new attorney general who would throttle Mueller's investigation into possible obstruction of justice and alleged foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election.
On Wednesday, the president asked Sessions to resign and replaced him with Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, a Trump loyalist who has previously stated that the Mueller probe is "going too far" and should be limited to scope.
Those comments have prompted 18 state attorneys general — and Thursday night's crowd in Lake Oswego — to demand that Whitaker recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation.
"We can't stop trying to protect the Mueller investigation," Borduin said. "We won't stop."