Today, thousands of activists and concerned Americans from across the country converged on Capitol Hill to demand that the Senate see all documentary evidence and hear from all potential witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump.
The day began with a large-scale silent protest inside the Hart Senate Building, where demonstrators “silently swarmed” in the center atrium to make their presence known.
“Every single Senator took an oath to render impartial justice in Trump’s removal trial. How dare they block witnesses and documentary evidence from consideration?” said L.A. Kauffman, an organizer with Remove Trump, a grassroots group that has been staging daily actions on Capitol Hill since January 6. “We will not accept this coverup.”
“The American people deserve to hear all available witnesses and evidence be presented. We won’t stand for this GOP cover-up!” said Jennifer Epps Addison, Co-Executive Director and Network President of the Center for Popular Democracy Action (CPD Action). “Senators must act decisively to protect our country, and lean into the political power harnessed by Black and Brown communities. Together we can demonstrate how powerful our popular democracy can be and how committed we are to protecting it.”
Led by Rev. Dr. William Barber, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, the group marched to the Capitol building where the action continued with civil disobedience on the steps outside. Dozens of protesters were arrested before the group moved inside to the Capitol visitor center for more silent demonstrations.
“Trump is guilty and a fair trial with witnesses and documents would make clear that Trump deserves to be removed from office” said Anthony Torres, Political Director, By the People. “We already have enough evidence to convict this dangerous President and every day that he remains in office is another day he tramples our rights, endangers our lives, and betrays our country. Our Senators can either be complicit in covering up Trump’s crimes or uphold their oath to defend the Constitution and the people.”
“The omission of witnesses and evidence in Trump’s removal trial must be met with public outcry by every individual who believes in government for the people and by the people. Women will not stand idly by as our senators turn a blind eye to one of our most dangerous Presidents. The very fabric of American Democracy is being ripped at the seams but we will be here to mend it. We will hold them accountable on January 29th when we swarm the capitol and we will remember which side of history they were on when we reach election day,” said Rachel O’Leary Carmona, Chief Operating Officer for Women’s March.
“By overwhelming margins, the American people support the common-sense notion that the U.S. Senate should hear from the fact witnesses who can shed light on President Trump’s utterly implausible claim of innocent intent in withholding aid from Ukraine,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “Now it’s on the Senate to refuse complicity in Trump’s attempted cover-up.”
The action also called out Chief Justice John Roberts to step up in his role as presiding officer and ensure a fair trial. The group specifically called for Roberts to subpoena John Bolton.
“Roberts has a responsibility to preside over a fair trial, and that means a trial where jurors actually listen to evidence and relevant witnesses are heard from. It’s time for him to do his job instead of enabling McConnell’s coverup operation,” said Demand Justice Executive Director Brian Fallon.
Solidarity events took place in 19 states across the country, focused on those with key Republican senators including events in Maine, Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Utah, North Carolina and Kentucky.