The “Not Above the Law” demonstrations were organised by a coalition of progressive groups including Indivisible, Greenpeace, Stand Up America and Public Citizen.
“Tonight, before the House of Representatives takes a historic vote to impeach Trump, we’ll head to more than 600 congressional offices and public squares to declare that Nobody Is Above the Law as representatives finali[s]e their positions and senators look on,” another group, MoveOn, wrote on its website.
The rallies came on the eve of the full House of Representatives voting on two articles of impeachment against Trump, charging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Almost every Democrat in the chamber they control plans to vote in favour of impeaching Trump, likely making him the third president in US history to carry the “impeached” label after Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
The abuse of power charge relates to Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate one of his 2020 political rivals, former vice president Joe Biden, and Biden’s son Hunter in exchange for the release of congressionally approved military aid. The obstruction of Congress charge relates to Trump’s repeated efforts to block lawmakers from gathering witness testimony and obtaining documents relevant to the impeachment inquiry.
If the House successfully impeaches Trump on Wednesday, the process moves to the Senate for a trial. It would take 67 of the 100 senators in the GOP-controlled chamber to convict Trump of the charges, with a trial expected to take place in the beginning of 2020. No president has ever been convicted by the Senate and removed from office.
Tuesday’s protests were held in all 50 states, from Rockland, Maine, to Houston to Anchorage, Alaska. Demonstrators tweeted photos and videos from rallies across the country, attaching hashtags like #ImpeachmentEve and #NotAboveTheLaw.