WASHINGTON – Hundreds of protesters swarmed the Capitol steps Wednesday demanding the Senate consider witnesses and documents in the ongoing impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
Leaks of former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s upcoming book Sunday increased the demand for Bolton and other witnesses to testify because the manuscript supports the Democrats’ argument that Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine until it agreed to investigate Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden. A majority of senators is required to vote in favor of hearing from witnesses and admitting documents, but many Republican senators have already said they have no interest admitting new evidence.
The activists first converged in the Hart Senate Building, where they silently marched around the central atrium. Capitol police formed a line across the space, disrupting the protest and forcing the participants outside.
The group stopped traffic as protesters crossed the street from the Senate office buildings to the Supreme Court. Those leading the march held up a banner that read “REMOVE TRUMP” and repeatedly chanted “NO MORE COVER-UP, WE WANT WITNESSES.” Outside the Supreme Court, they called on Chief Justice John Roberts, who is currently presiding over the Senate trial, to subpoena witnesses.
Participants were permitted to ascend the first few steps of the Capitol to take a picture. After a few short moments, Capitol police said anyone who remained on the steps would be subject to arrest.
As the police line pushed back the majority of the crowd, more than 40 people held their ground on the steps. They were arrested following the protest.