Emotions high in SWFL as many rally in favor of impeaching President Trump

Published: December 17, 2019 4:23 PM EST
Updated: December 17, 2019 10:19 PM EST

The whole impeachment process of President Donald J. Trump is stirring up a lot of emotions in Southwest Florida.

Photos we exclusively obtained show a vandalized sign outside the Lee County Republican Headquarters. The word spray-painted on their $500 sign: “Impeach.”

“IMPEACH” spray-painted across the sign for the Lee County Republican Office (WINK News)

This all comes as rallies are happening around the country in favor of impeaching the president.

A rally was underway Tuesday afternoon in Punta Gorda along with more than 600 rallies around the country. Hundreds of people have signed up to go to the rally in Cape Coral.

In Naples, signs on the corner of the road read “Dump Trump” and “All we want for Christmas is impeachment.”

Kate Eclona was seen with a sign saying, “Impeach and remove Trump,” and “No one is above the law.”

Across the street, some folks came holding Trump 2020 flags, chanting “four more years!”

“We believe that this impeachment sham,” Yvette Benarroch said. “It’s a waste of time and our money. We could be using our money to be helping our veterans and our seniors.”

We spoke to Republican leaders about their thoughts on these rallies and Wednesday’s historic vote.

“Everyone has a right to their own opinion, they have a right to protest,” said Vice-Chair of the Lee County Republican Party Dorris Cortese. She says rallies themselves are an inherent right.

“I think rallies are fine if people want to do them, as long as they’re peaceful and people act decently,” she said.

But “decent” does not come to mind looking at how the headquarters was vandalized early Tuesday morning.

“There are no facts to back up the impeachment,” said Florida Gulf Coast University Political Science Professor Peter Bergerson.

He says the House will most likely vote to impeach the president. “They will debate and discuss the two articles of impeachment, most likely it will pass.”

Even though at least two Democrats are expected to vote “no,” like Minnesota’s Collin Peterson. “The president has not committed a crime,” he says.

Then, Bergerson says, most likely in January after the holidays, the Senate will hold a trial where they will listen to the evidence presented by the House.

“There will then be a vote, and it takes 67 senators to remove the president,” said Bergerson. He says that’s highly unlikely.

President Trump is only the third president in history to go through formal impeachment, which will take place Wednesday.