Protesters face off over Trump impeachment inquiry

6 mins read


*Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Diane Ivy’s last name. It has been corrected.

Those who turned out for a recent protest and counter-protest in downtown Beaufort were as divided on the Trump impeachment inquiry as the street that ran between them.

Held in front of Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham’s Beaufort office on Boundary Street on Thursday, Oct. 17, the groups lined opposite sides of the road where they faced each other and waved signs at passing traffic.

Organized by the local chapter of Women for Trump and Engage the Right, the protest drew about 45 people who said they were there to show support of the President. The counter-protest drew about 30 individuals.

The event was held the same day as a national “March for Trump” event calling for an end to the House’s impeachment inquiry held at the nation’s capitol.

Despite some obscenities yelled by passing motorists and loud shouting from a man walking a dog along the road, the event was relatively peaceful.

Diane Ivy, a Beaufort resident and self-described active Republican said she wasn’t so much against impeachment inquiries in general, as the need for such hearings to be open and fair.

“Impeachment hearings in the past have been fair. They’ve been open. Openness is a big issue with me. They shouldn’t be behind closed doors,” she said, adding that if a witness has information they should come forward.

“If a particular witness is talking about classified information, I don’t know why that would be, but at least make the transcript at the hearing available,” she said.

Asked what she thought about Cunningham’s “wait and see” position, Ivy said she too would wait. Cunningham has, in recent weeks, told state and national media he wanted to wait “until hearing all the evidence and ideally, hearing directly from the whistleblowers,” he said, according to the (Charleston) Post and Courier.

“I understand why he’s doing this,” said Ivy. “He wants to maintain his thoughtful and bipartisan image. But I think eventually there will have to be a vote, so I’m willing to wait for that.”

Constance Thompson, also of Beaufort, was among those that think the inquiry should be halted.

“They are really going down the wrong path with this,” she said. “They feel justified, but I don’t think the American people are going to let that stand.”

When asked about an Oct. 9 Fox News poll that showed 51 percent of those polled were in favor of Trump being impeached and removed from office, Thompson said that was due in part to “the very biased media.”

“The bias that people watch and the drip, drip, drip of selected commentary from (California Rep.) Adam Schiff and other people, and what they seize on, and when people hear that, they think that’s the truth,” she said.

Meanwhile, across the road at the counter-protest, Dennis and Debbie Lynch, of Beaufort, stood holding signs in opposition to the protesters.

“What I can’t understand is why people are so blind to all the things that Trump is doing,” said Debbie Lynch. “He’s admitted he’s reached out to foreign countries for help to get dirt on his opponents. He doesn’t see any problem in that. It’s just, to me, totally un-American.”

Lisa Kadel, also of Beaufort, agreed with the Lynches.

“He’s admitted on national TV that he committed a crime. It’s easy to see he needs to be impeached. I don’t even understand why there’s a discussion on it,” she said.

Asked if the three support Cunningham’s “wait and see” approach, Kadel and the Lynches said they did.

“I think in a way, that’s kind of prudent,” Kadel said. “Even though I think the President is insane and needs to be impeached, I think they have to do it according to due process. It’s only fair that way. It’s understandable that (Cunningham) doesn’t want to come out now and say one way or the other, but eventually it’s going to come to that.”

Asked if she believes the country is divided, Kadel said yes.

“I think Trump created an atmosphere where people are divided, and he continues to encourage that atmosphere instead of trying to bring people together,” she said. “Instead of ‘making America great again,’ he made America divided.”

Top: Supporters of Donald Trump lined Boundary Street and chanted “four more years” while their counterparts lined the other side denouncing President Trump. Some protesters were friends with those across the street and walked across to chat before returning to their own ranks. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

Bottom: Members of Indivisible Beaufort hold up their familiar banner during a peaceful protest Thursday morning on one side of the Boundary Street. Photo by Bob Sofaly.


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