After the House-passed articles of impeachment were (finally) signed and transmitted to the Senate on Thursday, members of a leftist group opposed to President Donald Trump staged a protest inside the Senate building.
At least 11 of the protesters, who’d been chanting and waving signs demanding Trump’s removal from office, ended up being arrested by Capitol police and charged with minor crimes.
It’s about the Constitution, they said
The apparent purpose of the protest was to serve as a reminder to Republican senators that it was their duty to keep the Constitution in mind and place the country ahead of their party and the president during the impeachment trial.
To that end, interspersed among the anti-Trump chants was a recitation of the Impeachment Clause of the Constitution.
One protester, Paki Wieland, reportedly said, “We’re here to protest that Donald Trump is still the President of the United States. We’re here to support the movement to move forward with the trial now that the impeachment has been won, succeeded. So we’re here to encourage senators to do the right thing, to honor the Constitution.”
Protesters take aim at McConnell, Senate Republicans
The Washington Examiner reported that the protest took place inside the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building. The group of protesters wore black shirts, some of which had various letters on them that, when the protesters line up in a row, spelled out “Remove Trump.”
The protesters also at one point unfurled a massive banner bearing the same message, and while the protest initially began as a silent effort, it didn’t take long before the silence was broken.
Nor did the protesters remain solely confined to the rotunda, either, as some made their way into the Hart Senate Office Building and some managed to stage a protest outside the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Those protesters outside McConnell’s office arranged themselves so their lettered black shirts spelled out “Recuse,” a nod to the absurd notion that Republicans — and apparently only Republicans — are incapable of serving as impartial jurors in the impeachment trial and should recuse themselves.
Protesters part of broader anti-Trump activist groups
The Hill reported that the protesters were part of the “Remove Trump” group that is affiliated with other progressive protest groups like the Women’s March, the March for Truth, and Indivisible, all of which oppose Trump’s presidency and have been long demanding his ouster.
Of the 11 protesters who were arrested, according to Capitol Police, six were taken into custody at the Russell building around 1 p.m. in the afternoon, with the additional five arrests coming roughly an hour later at the Hart building.
All of those arrested were hit with charges that included crowding, obstructing, and incommoding at the two Senate buildings.