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Rockfordians react to President Trump’s acquittal

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is over.

The President was acquitted of two articles of impeachment accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The vote went almost entirely down party lines, with the exception of Sen. Mitt Romney, the junior senator of Utah. Despite Romney's vote, the President remains in office.

Back here in Rockford, a group gathered to protest President Trump's acquittal. Dozens of people rallied near downtown Rockford at the corner of Wyman and State Streets protesting the outcome.

"He violated the law about getting foreign countries to give help in our politics," Ron Torrey, a protester, said.

Protesters marched and chanted along West State Street wanting their voices to be heard.

"It was a sad day for our democracy," protester Zack Killam added.

"This trial was a sham and the people just can't stand for it," Joannie Besonen, another protester, said.

Local activist Bob Babcock organized the protest rally.

"There is a huge feeling about what's going on and how people don't feel as though their government is representing them, so I think that's pretty huge," Babcock said.

But while there was no counter-protest, it's clear there is still plenty of support for President Trump.

"The impeachment didn't have the appropriate legal basis to rise to the level of a conviction," Jim Thompson, the chair of the Winnebago County Republican Central Committee, said.

Thompson said he too is disappointed with the impeachment trial, but not for the reasons the protesters are.

"I was a little disappointed that the vote was basically along party lines," Thompson said.

He thinks more democrats should have voted not guilty, but regardless, he says the president has been cleared and it's time to move forward. As for the protesters, they say they will keep up their fight all the way through November when the voters will decide President Trump's future at the ballot box.

Senate Democrats say they still plan to subpoena National Security Adviser John Bolton to testify.

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Richard Bodee

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