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Iowa Republicans to protest Trump impeachment in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines

Cedar Rapids protest Monday outside Finkenauer's office

U.S. President Donald Trump answers reporters questions as he departs for campaign travel to Minnesota from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2019. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)
U.S. President Donald Trump answers reporters questions as he departs for campaign travel to Minnesota from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2019. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Republican volunteers and operatives, including Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, plan to convene Monday afternoon outside Rep. Abby Finkenauer’s Cedar Rapids office for a “Stop the Madness” gathering in support of President Donald Trump.

A Friday afternoon “Stop the Madness” event also is scheduled in front of Rep. Cindy Axne’s Des Moines office, with planned appearances from former U.S. Rep. Rod Blum and Eric Branstad, son of former state Gov. Terry Branstad and a senior adviser with Trump’s Iowa campaign.

Trump Victory — a joint field and fundraising partnership between Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee — is organizing the two gatherings.

Similar events, organized by the Republican National Committee and Iowa Republican Party, were scheduled Thursday evening in Keokuk, Waterloo and Waukee.

Iowa Republican Party spokesman Aaron Britt said in an email the Cedar Rapids event “will focus on holding Finkenauer accountable” for supporting the formal impeachment inquiry.

“Even though voters in her district oppose these endless witch hunts and strongly support President Trump, Rep. Finkenauer backs this effort, which would erase their votes,” he said. “It’s time for House Democrats to Stop The Madness, drop the impeachment inquiry and get to work for Iowa.”

In an emailed statement, Finkenauer, who represents Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, said her top priorities are “elevating Iowans and their concerns that I hear about like health care, lowering the cost of prescription drugs and infrastructure.”

But, she added, “I must also uphold the Constitution and my oath of office to protect and defend our democracy.”

“This is a sad time for the country, and one that must be treated with the utmost respect. Holding those accountable who put their own self-interest over our country, and leverage national security aid to do it, should not be a political or partisan issue.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sept. 24 announced the U.S. House of Representatives would move forward with an official impeachment inquiry against Trump, following a whistleblower report that the president urged Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate the son of political opponent Joe Biden.

Trump repeated his request for Ukraine on camera last week and said, “China should start an investigation into the Bidens” too.

The Republican National Committee launched its “Stop the Madness” counter-impeachment campaign last week. Its aims, committee spokesman Rick Gorka told Fox News, are to cause “chaos” among Democrats and tank the party’s 2020 prospects by linking candidates’ “socialist” policies with the “poison pill” of impeachment.

The RNC recently spent $2 million on impeachment-related television and digital ads targeting the districts of more than 60 congressional Democrats, including in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, a release for the latter event says.

At least 28 “Stop the Madness” events have taken place in 19 states as of Thursday afternoon.

According to online polling company Civiqs, Iowans are split in their views of the Trump impeachment inquiry, with a narrow 48-percent plurality supporting impeachment compared with 47 percent in opposition.

Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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