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Dozens attend Fargo rally in favor of impeaching President Trump

On the eve of a major moment in American history, three dozen people braved sub-zero temperatures outside of Congressman Kelly Armstrong's Fargo office with one message.

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FARGO — Meg Ridl of Fargo simply said, "No one is above the law."

That's what she and about three dozen other people preached as they braved sub-zero wind chills outside of U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong's office in Fargo on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

It was one of 600 rallies across the nation on the eve of an expected impeachment vote of President Donald Trump on Wednesday with Armstrong, a Republican, almost a sure bet to vote against impeaching.

"President Trump is a danger to our security. He has no respect for our constitution or knows what's even in it," said 89-year-old Bill Higdon who traveled from Grand Forks for the gathering.

This is just the third time in U.S. history that a sitting president will face an impeachment vote. President Clinton faced impeachment in the 1990s when he got caught in a sex scandal and the U.S. House voted to impeach him, although he was acquitted in the Senate.

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All the House needs is a simple majority. The process then goes to the Senate, where it essentially becomes a trial where all 100 senators become jurors.

"The threshold for conviction in the Senate is a really high bar, you need a two-thirds majority to convict," said University of North Dakota political science professor Bo Wood.

Even though Republicans controlled the Senate during the Clinton hearing, the Democrat remained in the White House.

"In Clinton's case the facts really weren't at issue, what was the primary issue was whether or not the thing that had occurred, was sufficiently grave to warrant removal from office," said Wood.

Wood said he sees similarities between Clinton's case and Trump's. He also compared it to President Nixon's Watergate scandal. He resigned before Congress voted on impeachment.

However, Wood pointed out how President Trump has been tied to several other scandals while in office.

"In the Nixon case public support was very low for impeachment right up until the end when the existence of the tapes were revealed," said Wood.

Those at the rally in Fargo Tuesday said Congress will send the wrong message if they don't move the impeachment process forward.

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"Then nothing is impeachable. Then we no longer have a president, we have a king who can do whatever he wants," said Ridl.

The Senate has set aside the month of January for President Trump's trial if it moves in that direction as expected.

If impeached by the Senate, President Trump would be removed from the White House and Vice President Mike Pence would be sworn in as commander in chief.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at mhenson@wday.com and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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