News

Nearly 800 rally to keep Mueller investigation open

Palo Altans join national protest, claim Trump's moving to control special probe

Marty and Casey Schaefer were among an estimated 800 protesters who rallied at Palo Alto City Hall to protect special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election on Nov. 8, 2018. Photo by Sue Dremann.

An estimated 800 people rallied outside U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo's Palo Alto office and at City Hall on Thursday night to protest the forced resignation of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the installment of Matthew Whitaker, a close ally of President Donald Trump.

The protesters said they are against limiting the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election by special counsel Robert Mueller. They view Whitaker's appointment as interim Attorney General as an attempt at obstruction of justice by the president.

About 600 people overflowed into the street at Eshoo's Emerson Street office at 5 p.m. They marched up to City Hall at 250 Hamilton Ave. where others joined them at around 6 p.m.

The demonstration was part of a national protest movement called "Nobody Is Above The Law — Mueller Protection Rapid Response" planned in 800 cities by MoveOn.org. The event in Palo Alto was organized by environmental activist Steve Eittreim, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center Executive Director Paul George and Ruth Robertson of the Raging Grannies.

Eittreim said the event was planned months ago and was meant to step up quickly if Mueller's investigation appeared to be in jeopardy.

"We thought this would be the right time in case he is fired," Eittreim said. The protesters are hoping to reach Congress and to spur people throughout the nation to take action.

George told the crowd that the country is in the throes of a Constitutional crisis. He urged people to contact Congress to pass HR 5476, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act. The bill would protect independent investigations and judicial review of the removal of a special counsel, and was introduced in April, but Republicans have said in the past that it isn't necessary.

Retired Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge LaDoris Cordell read a passage from a speech by abolitionist Frederick Douglass during the rally.

"We have three weapons: our voices, our pens -- the media -- and our vote. We must use these weapons until we are no longer headed by a bad man," she said.

Katelyn Bianchini said she is worried about the state of voting in the country, and it's important to get to the bottom of who might be behind interfering with the vote.

"It's extremely important to me that we maintain the laws and values of the country because we are in uncharted territory, and it's time to steer the ship right again. I'm worried about the integrity of our voting rights if foreign powers are rigging our elections. We are losing our collective voices. This investigation is important to uncover foul play when it comes to our election process,” she said.

Gerald Gras, who brought his Corporate America flag, said he began protesting during the Vietnam War. For a time, he had not demonstrated, but now there's a real threat to U.S. democracy. The erosion has been going on for decades, he said.

"I've been reading books about the end of democracy for the past 20 years. It's one thing when you intellectually know; it's another thing when you see it,” he said.

He doesn't know if the protests will work, or what actions to take that would be effective, but from his decades of experience, he has reached one conclusion: Action is necessary.

"It's when people give up acting, then you're in trouble," he said.

A staff member for Eshoo issued distributed a letter to the protesters about the Mueller investigation.

"With mounting civil and criminal evidence against the President and his inner circle, the likelihood of the President interfering in the Special Counsel's investigation to prevent more evidence from coming to light increases everyday."

Eshoo also called for the passage of HR 5476.

"I'm a cosponsor of this legislation and will continue to do everything I can to see that this critically important legislation becomes law so that the American people can get the full truth of Russia's interference in our national election and any crimes the President may have committed."

Palo Alto High School and Foothill College students have scheduled another rally for Friday morning at 11:30 a.m. at the corner of Embarcadero Road and El Camino Real near Town & Country Village Shopping Center.

Related content:

Portola Valley: Residents protest appointment of acting attorney general

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Comments

19 people like this
Posted by Eternal Vigilance
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2018 at 12:50 am

Is the Mueller probe likely to be any more thorough than what we witnessed with what the justice department did with Kavanaugh? Mueller is a Republican, and so is, frankly, much of the justice department. I mean, we keep hearing that he's impartial, but is that even possible on the right anymore these days?

How helpful is judicial review going to be going forward, when Republicans have worked as hard at stacking the courts with partisans as they have gerrymandering states to stack Congress? We've had Republican-controlled federal administrations going on many years now when they didn't even win the popular vote. "Permanent Republican Majority" was a movement that overtly rejected democracy for power and plutocracy at any cost, the lies have been a feature of that since day one, this potus just does it better than the previous.

Whatever Democrats were doing leading up to this election, they need to keep doing today and the next day, and not get complacent the way they did after Obama was elected. Ultimately, getting the public to appreciate the value of democracy/freedom/autonomy over plutocracy/oligarchy/monarchy - both of which can support good economies but only the former for everyone - is necessary to fight back against the Permanent Republican Majority anti-democracy movement.

Only Congress is supposed to be able to declare war. Reclaiming that Constitutional power is probably the most urgent thing to be doing. Shoring up the absentee ballot system is probably next, since it's really not that hard for a handful of people to steal a lot of people's absentee ballots. Overcoming the signature issue is not a hurdle. That's one reason to hack into local election board as the Ru$$ians did, ecause you know who is registered and isn't voting, and can steal their absentee ballots without any good mechanisms to detect large-scale efforts, and once the fix is in, it's in. This is especially easy to do in rural areas because of so many PO Boxes.

Since many elections are close and only certain states are swing states, it's theoretically possible to change a national election. People like to say that there is no evidence of election fraud, but that's not really true - there's no evidence that individuals are voting more than once to any appreciable degree. That's very different than absentee ballot theft. Most experts actually caution that where we are vulnerable nationally is in the absentee ballot system, and I just don't see any efforts to make sure we aren't, or to catch the most possible previous intrusions.


22 people like this
Posted by Really LiveHere
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 9, 2018 at 5:59 am

Mueller is actually getting guilty pleas and convictions. To get that, you have to be pretty thorough.

Whittaker, the guy who is now overseeing him, is a complete nut who wants to overturn Marbury vs Madison -- the case from the founding days of the republic where the courts determined that they had authority to resolve disputes about what the constitution say: Web Link

His appointment is likely unconstitutional: Web Link

The only reason he was chosen is that he has a long history of saying that he wants to keep Mueller from performing his duties:
Web Link


18 people like this
Posted by Mueller is a Republican appointed by Republicans
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Nov 9, 2018 at 7:58 am

"Is the Mueller probe likely to be any more thorough than what we witnessed with what the justice department did with Kavanaugh?"

Trump and the GOP senate did not allow the FBI to do a thorough investigation upon the discovery of new evidence - no subpoenas, etc..

Mueller has enough indictments and guilty pleas to fill a football team.

Now that the GOP saw the electoral carnage of their party in 2018, they'll prefer to look at 2020 with Mike Pence, rather than a politically damaged 'short fingered vulgarian'.

They got what they needed from Trump.


8 people like this
Posted by Ironic As Hell
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 9, 2018 at 8:58 am

Ironic...People protesting the removal of Jeff Sessions. It's not like he was an all-around 'good guy' given his stand on other issues.

A classic..."Good people don't smoke marijuana."


6 people like this
Posted by Pol
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2018 at 9:28 am

There's no substitute for winning elections.


24 people like this
Posted by Eternal
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2018 at 10:37 am

The Republicans are using Trump same as they are using Evangelicals. The latter they can clearly get use of for any foreseeable future because it's clear they are easily manipulated and they'll keep following and even aggressively defending Republican ideology like it is their religion even when the political ideology is anti-thetical and destructive to the tenets of their faith and the teachings of the faith leader (Jesus). They have completely lost any sense of what hypocrisy is and how the faith strongly warns against it. But in the former case, 45, he doesn't seem to understand his peril because he can't just get rid of Pence.

I think APRM (anti-democracy permanent republican majority) politicians are in a pretty good position. Their optimal scenario is that dems get rid of Trump for them in favor of Pence before the next election, and if not before, then after. Either way, they win. The loser is, of course, democracy, and the republican party that used to care about things like the power of a marketplace of ideas. (So sad that they've become all about corruption and corrupt practices, making a mockery of what the party used to stand for.)


8 people like this
Posted by sniff the mess SNIFF
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 9, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Ironic, yes. The recusal of otherwise odious Jefferson Beaulrigard Sessions III at least kept Trump from obstructing the investigation.


12 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 9, 2018 at 1:38 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Re using evangelicals, Trump has already said that Pence will be his running mate in 2020, a major I call anti-impeachment insurance.


18 people like this
Posted by Using Fear As an Ally
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 9, 2018 at 1:48 pm

> ...they are easily manipulated and they'll keep following and even aggressively defending Republican ideology like it is their religion even when the political ideology is anti-thetical and destructive to the tenets of their faith and the teachings of the faith leader (Jesus).

Evangelists are more Old Testament than New Testament. They just haven't figured that one out yet.

>>...using evangelicals, Trump has already said that Pence will be his running mate in 2020 a major I call anti-impeachment insurance.

If the POTUS is re-elected for another term, Pence will eventually seek the presidency and probably win. Catering to fear is the best way to seize a key leadership role in just about anything...business, politics, sports etc.


22 people like this
Posted by Army Vet
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 9, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Two years of on an investigating has given us nothing but calls to not stop investigating? Quite frankly I'd rather see the government go after Google and Apple to make them pay their fair share of taxes.


12 people like this
Posted by R.Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 9, 2018 at 5:37 pm

R.Davis is a registered user.

QUOTE: Evangelists are more Old Testament than New Testament. They just haven't figured that one out yet.

A fine line between Evangelists and Conservative Christians. The so-called 'Evangelical Vote' is generally perceived to be representative of Christian Conservative mentality/political leanings.

The Old Testament teachings tend to be a lot more wrathful and angry than the New Testament doctrines. Then again, maybe the Conservative Christians are sticking with only one book...Revelations.


18 people like this
Posted by Disgusted
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 9, 2018 at 6:20 pm

Nice to be so wealthy that you have nothing better to do than protest.

Too bad we don't see more people out there protesting outrageous taxation in this one party run state.

Prop 30, a tax that was allegedly for the schools but is used on anything for which the Dems want, the automobile registration being doubled (almost tripled) and oh yes, and the gas tax.

[Portion removed.]


16 people like this
Posted by Army Vet
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 10, 2018 at 7:08 am

I can only imagine how many indictments there would be by now if the same standards and thorough investigation were applied to Silicon Valley. How many Paul Manafort's are out there committing white collar crime, or Kavanaugh types with actual trails of real evidence behind them, or Chinese "immigrants" stealing trade secrets? Mueller needs to cast his net even wider. And the fashion protesters need to open their eyes and go find a real cause.


4 people like this
Posted by Mueller is a Republican appointed by Republicans
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Nov 10, 2018 at 10:33 am

>> And the fashion protesters need to open their eyes and go find a real cause.

More real than The Constitution? Doth we forget our oath?

Armistice Day/Veterans Day weekend - an odd time to forget The Constitution. Our President is in Paris and went to visit a military cemetery to honor veterans today, with the French and German leaders.


14 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 10, 2018 at 10:38 am

Online Name is a registered user.

@Army Vet, no reason not to investigate /prosecute both. Your point about Silicon Valley giants off-shoring funds to avoid taxes has been in the news a lot lately. High time they started paying their fair share, too.

Maybe with 2 Googlers (past & present on the CC, we'll see some action.


12 people like this
Posted by Idle hands...Idle Minds
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 10, 2018 at 2:02 pm

>Nice to be so wealthy that you have nothing better to do than protest.

Some are paid to do so. We live in an era of professional protesters, petition collectors and activists. Most don't even know what they are promoting or protesting against.


2 people like this
Posted by missingkid
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 10, 2018 at 2:06 pm

This kid went missing his name is Nathaniel and he disappeared on Friday November 9. Last wearing a pink sweater. He is Filipino with gelled hair and a distinct birthmark on his face the size of a chocolate bar. Olive skin Filipino. If anyone has seen him, call the police.


8 people like this
Posted by Idle hands...Idle Minds
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 10, 2018 at 2:27 pm

> Ironic...People protesting the removal of Jeff Sessions. It's not like he was an all-around 'good guy' given his stand on other issues.

It's good to see him finally go but the protesters are clueless...like sheep, most of whom have no sense of direction.


15 people like this
Posted by sniff the mess SNIFF
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 10, 2018 at 2:52 pm

@idle mind

Your mind may be idle sitting there, but active, intelligent protesters are anything but idle.

Paid protesters? What planet are you on? Planet brietbart? How's the Koolaid?


10 people like this
Posted by Idle hands...Idle Minds
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

> Paid protesters? What planet are you on? Planet brietbart? How's the Koolaid?

At various gatherings and protests, some active participants are professional agitators and they come from both sides, right or left.

The paid ones usually have no principles...they're just in it for the money.


14 people like this
Posted by sniff the mess SNIFF
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 10, 2018 at 5:16 pm

"At various gatherings and protests, some active participants are professional agitators"

”Some are paid to do so"

Proof?

How much do they make?


15 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 10, 2018 at 7:16 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

" Our President is in Paris and went to visit a military cemetery to honor veterans today, with the French and German leaders."

No he didn't. He didn't go because it was raining.

Web Link

Churchill's grandson slams Trump for skipping cemetery visit because of weather

Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 10, 2018 at 8:11 pm

"Catering to fear is the best way to seize a key leadership role in just about anything...business, politics, sports etc."

It works every time with our noisy but basically timid Moronic Minority, but the American Majority can easily outvote it any time it wants to. Like it did in 2016 and 2018.


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