Trump impeachment: Republican Senate ‘coverup’ prompts backlash

Outraged by what they see as a coverup in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, grassroots activists are planning a massive “payback project” designed to punish Republican senators at the ballot box.

Even as key Republican senators acknowledged Trump’s guilt on charges of abusing power and obstructing Congress, they defied public opinion on Friday by voting to block witnesses and documents, paving the way for the president to be acquitted and claim exoneration.

Republican fealty to Trump has long wearied liberals but the senators’ move appeared to cause a new level of anger. The Indivisible Project, a progressive group, announced it would target nine senators, among them majority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Trump loyalist Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, in November’s elections.

Indivisible said it would next week call out one of the “nine Payback Project senators for their participating in a coverup by placing a full page newspaper ad in one of their biggest state papers”. In an appeal to activists, it said “rage is good for recruiting. Hello. Are you pissed about impeachment too?”

Trump was impeached by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in December, for seeking to coerce a foreign government for his own personal political gain. Two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – were transferred to the Senate for trial.

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