Protesters rally against Trump acquittal

FAIRFIELD — “The president is not above the law.”

This chant, as well as others, was shouted by more than 50 protesters gathered outside of the Old Town Hall in Fairfield Wednesday night. The rally took place hours after the Senate voted to acquit President Donald J. Trump on both articles of impeachment the House of Representatives had charged him with.

The event, titled “We The People Reject The Coverup,” was organized by Sharon Pistilli, a Fairfield resident. Pistilli said she is an organizer for Fairfield Standing United, an organization dedicated to resisting threats to progressive values posed by administrations at the federal, state and local levels.

Pistilli said it is important for individuals to recognize they all have a place in protecting democracy. She said events like Wednesday night’s show the community that their neighbors do not think “that this attack on our democracy is OK.”

“The president is not above the rule of law,” Pistilli said. “It’s up to all of us to keep our government accountable, because it does have a lasting impact on people’s lives. People have given real sacrifices in order for us to have democracy.”

According to Pistilli, it was no suprise to anyone that the Senate voted to acquit the president. She said she was pleasantly surprised to see Utah Republican Mitt Romney break with his party to vote to convict.

“Given how President Trump has treated most other individuals,” Pistilli said, “I’m surprised at the level of allegiance to him — the allegiance of party over country.”

Pistilli said the country is going to have problems in future elections if the Senate’s acquittal signifies a green light for other countries to involve themselves in American politics.

Lori Tanner, a Seymour resident at the rally, said she was at the event because she was angry with the decision.

“I’ve got to do something,” Tanner said. “I can’t go on with the lies.”

Tanner said people need to wake up and see what is happening to the country — and take action.

Steven Sheinberg, chairman of the Fairfield Democratic Town Committee, said he was at the event to demonstrate his “absolute outrage” at the Republican Party for not removing a president who, he believes, has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

“This Republican Party has empowered and enabled this man to do anything — to stay in power,” Sheinberg said. “I am outraged and sad for our country.”

Sheinberg said he was at the trial on Jan. 29 for 10 hours. He said a real trial should have witnesses; the Senate trial did not. He said Republicans have thrown out the impeachment clause of the Constitution.

“I think the Founding Fathers wanted checks and balances on a runaway executive, and he is,” Sheinberg said. “Besides being unqualified and unfit, he committed criminal acts by asking for a foreign government to investigate an American citizen that happens to be his opponent.”

The DTC chairman said the Republican Party, which prides itself on tradition, the Constitution and rule of law, has instead let Trump abuse the founding document and be above the law.

“The Republican Party, by not removing this president, have neutered the impeachment clause,” Sheinberg said.

Ann and Vadim Fischer drove from Ridgefield to demonstrate. Vadim said the people at the rally were true American patriots who believe in the Constitution and love their country.

“(We are here) to point out the flaws of our current situation, of our society,” Vadim said.

Ann said she and her husband were fearful for the future of U.S. democracy because the Constitution is being violated.

Vadim said Romney put country over party. He called it a profile in courage and said everyone should do that.

Jim Joyce said America has a corrupt and criminal president who “will not stop until he does what is best for Donald Trump.” He said the demonstration is an example of people doing what is best for the country — showing they want to get rid of Trump.