Protesters believe Sessions' resignation will lead to the undoing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump presidential campaign.
Whitaker, a former USA attorney from Iowa who twice ran unsuccessfully for statewide office and founded a law firm with other Republican Party activists, once opined about a scenario in which Trump could fire Sessions and then appoint an acting attorney general who could stifle the funding of Mueller's probe.
The switch, announced on Trump's Twitter feed, provoked consternation across Washington, where politicians from both sides of the aisle have long warned that political interference in Mueller's work can not be tolerated. The former attorney general submitted a letter of resignation at the president's "request".
Warner criticized Trump for not appointing a bureaucrat who previously got senatorial confirmation - naming Rosenstein and Solicitor General Noel Francisco.
Sessions, a 71-year-old former Republican senator from Alabama, was the first senator to endorse Trump's insurgent presidential campaign.
Only minutes later, a series of questions he found overly hostile sent him into a most un-loving blowup. He appointed Mueller in May 2017 as the justice department's special counsel to take control of the FBI's Russian Federation probe after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
An ever-more exasperated Trump ordered him to give up the mic and Acosta refused, with Trump branding him an "enemy of the people" and a "rude, awful person".
One reason Sessions endured months of taunting from Trump is that he believed he was protecting the integrity of the Justice Department and was trying to prevent the president from bringing in someone who would politicize it, according to a USA official who has worked with Sessions and frequently talked with him. "The video is clear, he did", she said.
With the midterms over, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is believed to be preparing fresh indictments against Trump campaign figures, possibly including his son Donald Trump Jr. and a former campaign consultant Roger Stone, and could press for the president himself to answer questions.
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"We're here because Trump replaced Sessions and installed someone who will do his bidding, who has voiced his hostility to the Bob Mueller investigation", said Mary Melancon, 75, of Tampa.
Republican Sen. Susan Collins also voiced concern about the move, tweeting on Wednesday that "Special Counsel Mueller must be allowed to complete his work without interference - regardless of who is AG".
"It was supposed to be on collusion". They went after people with loans and other things.
"He worships him", a longtime friend said of Whitaker and Trump.
The protests come a day after Trump fired Sessions, who had angered the president by recusing himself from the Mueller investigation. He had frequently publicly castigated Sessions for recusing himself past year from the case.
King did not indicate whether he thinks Whitaker will attempt to defund the probe.
Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Trump denied he would shut down Mr Mueller's team, but still labelled the investigation an illegal "witch hunt" that had spent "millions" of dollars. The moment the Democrats clinched the required 23 seats to retake the lower chamber; they were readying the various probes into this presidency-and the left wing harassment of this administration is about to begin. "Trump putting himself above the law is a threat to our democracy, and we've got to get Congress to stop him".
Most of Whitaker's career has been spent in private practice, including at a Des Moines law firm he founded with other Republican Party activists in 2009.
Under the special counsel regulations, the attorney general must notify the leaders of congressional judiciary committees of any time he rejected a proposed action by Mueller because he deemed it "inappropriate or unwarranted" under department policy.