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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 TrumpGaetz was denied meeting with Trump: CNN Federal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Police in California city declare unlawful assembly amid 'white lives matter' protest MORE's recent remarks about Russia and to show support for special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's probe.

“Welcome defenders of democracy; you are a beautiful sight!” said Rep. John SarbanesJohn Peter Spyros SarbanesEfforts to secure elections likely to gain ground in Democrat-controlled Congress Former Md. senator Paul Sarbanes dies at 87 Democrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? MORE (D-Md.) at the protest.

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

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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!”

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“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 MerkleyJeff MerkleyGreen tech isn't all it's cracked up to be 2024 GOP White House hopefuls lead opposition to Biden Cabinet 33 Democrats urge Biden to shut down Dakota Access Pipeline 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 GrahamMSNBC's Joy Reid pans Manchin, Sinema as the 'no progress caucus' Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike MORE (R-S.C.), Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsBiden to meet Monday with bipartisan lawmakers about infrastructure Buttigieg: Biden will have 'open mind' toward changes to infrastructure bill Five takeaways from Biden's first budget proposal MORE (D-Del.), Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings GOP senator recovering from surgery for prostate cancer Congress must address the toxic exposure our veterans have endured MORE (R-N.C.), and Cory BookerCory BookerThe first Southern state legalizes marijuana — what it means nationally Top Democrat calling for expansion of child care support When it comes to the Iran nuclear deal, what's a moderate Democrat to do? 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.