Supporters for impeaching President Donald Trump rallied on the eve of today’s historic vote “to preserve democracy” across the state and country.
Every Tuesday for nearly three years, a small group of demonstrators have gathered in the Biltmore Area in Phoenix to protest Donald Trump’s presidency. This Tuesday, they were joined by hundreds outside of Sen. Martha McSally’s office to call for the impeachment and removal of the President.
“We’re doing everything we can to preserve this democracy,” said Mary Santy, an organizer for Indivisible Arizona, one of the organizations leading the weekly protests. For Santy, and fellow Indivisible organizer Sharli Schaitberger, the crowds joining them Tuesday night sent a strong message to members of Congress. “They can’t ignore this. They can’t turn around and say, ‘well, the people don’t want it, people think he’s great,’” Schaitberger said.
The rally was one of more than 600 scheduled demonstrations nationwide that took place on the eve of today’s historical vote in the House of Representatives on articles of impeachment against Trump. Charges include abuse of power for soliciting Ukraine to interfere with the 2020 presidential election, and obstruction of Congress for the president’s refusal to comply with its investigation surrounding his solicitation of Ukraine.
According to Indivisible, 16 other “Impeach and Remove” rallies occurred throughout the state, the majority of which took place in rural towns. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s team retweeted a photo from Sedona’s event, comparing the string of demonstrations to “watching the New Year ring in across time zones.”
Photos taken from various demonstrations throughout the state, courtesy Indivisible Arizona.
While similar demonstrations have occurred throughout the Trump presidency, momentum surrounding impeachment brought fresh faces to Tuesday’s event.
“Trump’s leading us on a really dangerous path, and we’ve got to do something about it,” said Dennis Densmore, one of the demonstrators at the Phoenix rally.
Unlike Santy and Schaitberger, Tuesday’s rally was Densmore’s first.
“I’ve always felt like I’ve been sitting on the couch too much, and not being a part of it,” he said. “But now, even if Trump isn’t removed from office, at least I did what I feel is patriotic.”
But as crowds calling for McSally to support impeachment lined the streets outside her office, an audio recording obtained by the Associated Press and released by the Arizona Republic suggest the Senator won’t be so easily swayed. In a recording from a meeting with 11th legislative district Republicans on Dec. 14, McSally told the audience that Senate Republicans are wholly united in their support of Trump.
“We feel like [Democrats] have been undermining President Trump, undermining the outcome of the election, looking for reasons to impeach him since the day after the election happened,” McSally said. “Trust me. We are of one objective. The issue we’re working through is what’s the best way to do that.”
When asked about her comments, McSally’s campaign manager told the AP in a written statement that “Senator McSally takes her role as a juror seriously but hasn’t heard anything so far that would lead her to believe impeachment of the president is warranted, let alone removing him from office.”
McSally’s commitment to her role as juror and her desire to “stick it” to House Democrats will be put to the test during the Senate trial if the House approves the articles of impeachment, as expected. Only two United States presidents have been impeached; in both instances, they were acquitted in the Senate trial.