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Protestors Stand Against Derailling Muller’ Probe, Warns Trump

Whitaker appeared on CNN where he said the attorney general has the power to cut Mueller's budget

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Protesters gather in front of the White House in Washington, Nov. 8, 2018, as part of a nationwide "Protect Mueller" campaign.. VOA

Protesters gathered Thursday in cities from New York to California in a warning to the White House and Trump not to derail Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Progressive groups hastily organized the marches after President Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday and named Matt Whitaker as his acting replacement. Whitaker will oversee the Mueller investigation.

Whitaker has made it known that he is hostile to the probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians and the president obstructed justice.

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Several hundred demonstrators, some carrying signs of “Trump is not above the law” and “You can’t fire the truth,” gathered outside the White House and in Lafayette Park, just north of the White House, in Washington. VOA

“Whitaker must recuse and Congress must act to protect the Mueller investigation,” said an organizer of the march outside the White House.

Other speakers said Trump thought American voices would be silent after the midterm election and accused the president of attacking the rule of law.

The crowd in New York City’s Times Square chanted “Hands off Mueller” and waved various anti-Trump signs.

A man wearing nothing but red, white and blue underpants strummed a guitar and sang pro-Trump songs. He was quickly shouted down and had anti-Trump signs held in front of his face.

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Protesters urging the White House not to impede Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling gathered outside the White House and in Lafayette Park, just north of the White House, in Washington. VOA

The organizers of Thursday’s events warned of even more massive street protests if Trump fired Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing the Mueller investigation after Sessions recused himself.

Whitaker has given no signs he plans to step back from the probe, saying he is “committed to leading a fair department with the highest ethical standards, that upholds the rule of law, and seeks justice for all Americans.”

But before joining the Justice Department as Sessions’ chief of staff, Whitaker appeared on CNN where he said the attorney general has the power to cut Mueller’s budget and bring the investigation to a halt.

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He has also written that he believes the Mueller probe has gone too far and that Trump’s finances should be off limits to the special counsel. (VOA)

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Trump Administration End Sanctions Waivers for those Importing Iranian Oil

Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran last year after he abandoned the 2015 international agreement that gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for it limiting its nuclear activity

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the United Against Nuclear Iran Summit on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Sept. 25, 2018. VOA

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to announce Monday the Trump administration is ending sanctions waivers for those importing Iranian oil.

President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran last year after he abandoned the 2015 international agreement that gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for it limiting its nuclear activity.

The sanctions are meant to pressure Tehran to change what the administration calls Iran’s “malign activities,” including its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Houthi rebels in Yemen.

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Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran last year after he abandoned the 2015 international agreement that gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for it limiting its nuclear activity. VOA

The United States issued eight waivers when it brought back the sanctions in November, temporarily exempting most of the biggest buyers of Iranian oil. Those included China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece.

Since the sanctions were reintroduced, Italy, Greece and Taiwan have halted their Iranian oil imports.

It was not clear ahead of the announcement if the other countries would be required to end Iranian imports when the waivers expire May 2, or if they will be given more time to wind down their purchases before penalties take effect.

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Since the sanctions were reintroduced, Italy, Greece and Taiwan have halted their Iranian oil imports. VOA

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While the United States has withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal, Iran and the other signatories — Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany — have said they remain committed to carrying out the agreement.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is in charge of monitoring Iran’s compliance with terms such as limiting the number of centrifuges in operation at its nuclear facilities and abiding by caps on its stock of enriched uranium, and in multiple reports the IAEA says Iran is abiding by the deal. (VOA)