Tri-Citians rally in support of Mueller investigation

About 300 people braved the cold on Thursday evening to rally in Richland to support protecting Robert Mueller’s federal investigation.

They lined George Washington Way, waving signs and American flags at passing cars during rush hour, drawing honks of support.

The protestors — carrying messages like “Authoritarianism is not Democracy” and “Potus = Liar” — came together at John Dam Plaza as part of a nationwide rally.

Other events were planned Thursday throughout the state and country in response to President Trump naming Matthew Whitaker as acting U.S. Attorney General. That gives him oversight of Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference with the 2016 election, as well as any connections to the Trump campaign.

Leslie Wildfong, left, Rick Stachowika, center, and Kay Sison, wave signs and flags along George Washington Way by John Dam Plaza in Richland on Thursday in support of protecting the Mueller investigation. About 300 Tri-Citians showed up during rush hour for the rally. Noelle Haro-Gomez Tri-City Herald

Tri-Citian Jerry Tyler was waving a “Make America Sane Again” sign. She said she’s been joining in similar events since last year’s Women’s March because she’s frustrated with what she called Trump’s continuing abuse of power.

Participants Thursday listened to a couple speakers at the plaza’s stage.

Claudia Johnson, a local political activist and former attorney, said the integrity of elections needs to be preserved and protected from foreign powers.

“If the people we picked to represent us are not defending our elections, then we need to ask why they are there,” she said.

Tri-Citians line up along George Washington Way near John Dam Plaza in Richland to protest in support of the Mueller investigation. About 300 people attended. Noelle Haro-Gomez Tri-City Herald

Shir Regev, who lost her bid this week to unseat state Rep. Brad Klippert in the state House, told the crowd, “I believe we’re on the right side of history.”

The senior health physics technician at Hanford said she believes that in the future the nation will look back on this era the same way it looks back on the McCarthy era, when the character and patriotism of hundreds of Americans were attacked because they were political adversaries.

She urged more people to get involved in local government by filing for school board and city council positions.

Cameron Probert: 509-582-1402; Twitter: @cameroncprobert