As darkness and a crisp breeze descended over the Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse, protestors stood up for an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“Tell me what democracy looks like,” one person shouted. “This is what democracy looks like,” the chorus rebutted.
Nearly 55 local residents stood at the entrance of the courthouse on Monticello Avenue Thursday night to rally for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into connections between the Russian government and people associated with President Trump’s presidential campaign.
For organizer Heather Allen, 55 of James City, the country has taken a turn for the worse after President Donald Trump was elected in 2016.
“He’s tearing our country to pieces,” Allen said. “This is what we’re out here protecting today. We’re out to protect the Mueller investigation.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at Trump’s request on Wednesday.
In Sessions’ place, the president announced Session’s Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker would take over as Acting Attorney General, according to a tweet from the president.
Whitaker has been publicly skeptical of the Mueller investigation in the past.
Allen said she wanted to see Whitaker recuse himself from overseeing the investigation.
For Vietnam War veteran Bill Kansier, 71, he sees the investigation as an avenue to protect the country from foreign interference, but also he opposes President Trump.
“First of all he doesn’t respect the First Amendment,” Kansier said. “He apparently thinks he’s above the law. We’re all responsible.”
Kansier is a disabled veteran who suffers from Agent Orange-related ailments including Parkinson’s Disease and cancer, he said. Still, he felt it was his responsibility to stand up to the executive overreach he says Trump has made.
“It was my responsibility to fight when I got drafted to go and fight for my country,” Kansier said. “All these years later I feel like I’m back protecting America.”
Cars honked as they drove by the courthouse entrance.
Jordan Seymour, 20 of James City County, said the Special Counsel’s investigation and the constitution were under assault by the Trump administration.
“As a young person I’d like to see my future not be destroyed,” Seymour said.
To that end, he said he’ll continue to vote in every election he can.
Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.