Anti-Trump protesters hold candlelight vigil by White House

Anti-Trump protesters hold candlelight vigil by White House

Democratic lawmakers joined activists at a candlelight vigil in front of the White House Wednesday night to protest President TrumpDonald John TrumpArizona GOP Senate candidate defends bus tour with far-right activist Alyssa Milano protests Kavanaugh in 'Handmaid's Tale' costume Bomb in deadly Yemen school bus attack was manufactured by US firm: report MORE's recent remarks about Russia and to show support for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's probe.

“Welcome defenders of democracy; you are a beautiful sight!” said Rep. John SarbanesJohn Peter Spyros SarbanesPelosi seizes on anti-corruption message against GOP Collins indictment raises Dem hopes in deep-red district Anti-Trump protesters hold candlelight vigil by White House MORE (D-Md.) at the protest.

“Mr. President, why will you not protect our democracy,” he added.

The protest comes two days after President Trump refused to denounce Russian interference in the 2016 election during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump's remarks sparked backlash from both parties.

The event was one of around 200 protests in cities around the country organized by liberal groups. The registration website for the event reported 485 people signed up to rally in front of the White House at Lafayette Square.

Rio Tazewell, the Government by the People campaign manager with People for the American Way, said volunteers handed out over 500 candles to participants.

Speakers blasted Trump and congressional Republicans over a host of issues, including their handling of Russian interference and the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Protesters chanted, “Hell naw Kavanaugh, Trump is not above the law!”

“Here’s the situation: the president is trying to print himself a get out of jail free card. Are we gonna let him have that card?” Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyBipartisanship alive and well, protecting critical infrastructure Overnight Defense: Senate sends 7B annual defense bill to Trump's desk | US sanctions Turkish officials over detained pastor | Korean War remains headed to Hawaii | Senators reassure allies on NATO support Dem strategist: It's 'far-left thinking' to call for Nielsen's resignation MORE (D-Ore.) asked the crowd. “Hell no, we’re not!”

Merkley was referring to a law review article Kavanaugh wrote that critics say suggests he doesn't believe sitting presidents can be indicted. Kavanaugh's supporters though say critics are misrepresenting the article.

Democratic lawmakers at the rally also urged participants to turn out in the November midterms.

“I see the gavel on the hill and we can get the gavel,” Sarbanes said. “Together we’re marching to get the gavel. We can do this. It’s your vote, it’s your voice, and in November, it will be your victory.”

Protesters chanted "Vote them out!" and "Lock him up!" during the rally. And the hashtag for the event #ConfrontCorruption trended at number one in the Washington area.

Tazewell said the main focus of the rally was to encourage Congress to protect Mueller's probe into Russian interference, in particular through the bipartisan Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, introduced by Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin Graham2020 hopefuls skeptical of criminal justice deal with Trump Senate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up Graham: Flynn should lose security clearance MORE (R-S.C.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsWhite House weighs clawing back State, foreign aid funding Graham: Flynn should lose security clearance On The Money: Senators propose 'crushing' Russia sanctions | Trump calls for food stamp work requirements in farm bill | China tells US to 'chill' on trade | Apple hits trillion in value MORE (D-Del.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up GOP leader criticizes Republican senators for not showing up to work Orrin Hatch: Partisanship over Kavanaugh nomination 'dumbass' MORE (R-N.C.), and Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker2020 hopefuls skeptical of criminal justice deal with Trump Sentencing reform deal heats up, pitting Trump against reliable allies Bernie Sanders socialism moves to Democratic mainstream MORE (D-N.J.).

“There clearly is something that that he’s looking into and we need to let him do his work,” Tazewell said.