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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 TrumpKey takeaways from the Arizona Senate debate Major Hollywood talent firm considering rejecting Saudi investment money: report Mattis says he thought 'nothing at all' about Trump saying he may leave administration 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 SarbanesHoyer lays out government reform blueprint Pelosi seizes on anti-corruption message against GOP Collins indictment raises Dem hopes in deep-red district 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 MerkleyEPA chief calls racist Facebook post he liked ‘absolutely offensive’ Dem senators urge Pompeo to reverse visa policy on diplomats' same-sex partners Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Missing journalist strains US-Saudi ties | Senators push Trump to open investigation | Trump speaks with Saudi officials | New questions over support for Saudi coalition in Yemen 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 GrahamBrunson release spotlights the rot in Turkish politics and judiciary Saudi Arabia, Turkey to form joint investigation into Khashoggi disappearance Democrats must end mob rule MORE (R-S.C.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsDem senators urge Pompeo to reverse visa policy on diplomats' same-sex partners 15 Saudis identified in disappearance of Washington Post columnist The Senate needs to cool it MORE (D-Del.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisDems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October Kavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight GOP fractured over filling Supreme Court vacancies in 2020 MORE (R-N.C.), and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOn The Money: Deficit hits six-year high of 9 billion | Yellen says Trump attacks threaten Fed | Affordable housing set for spotlight in 2020 race Affordable housing set for spotlight of next presidential campaign Cruz takes dig at Beto O’Rourke, calls him ‘top 10‘ contender for Dems in 2020 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.