Impeachment Trial - Event Toolkit

This is urgent: The Senate is about to hold an impeachment trial that will decide whether or not Donald Trump should be removed from office. Your Senators need to hear from you NOW about the need for a fair and open impeachment trial that provides a full airing of the evidence against Trump. You can use this toolkit to catch up on our latest tactic ideas and plan your own impeachment events during recess.

If there’s one thing Indivisibles know how to do better than just about anyone else, it’s taking advantage of recess to ask their Senators the hard questions on issues that they care about. Whether through town halls, public meet and greets, or District Office visits, recess represents the perfect opportunity to get your Senator on the record publicly supporting a fair and open impeachment trial.

Check out our event map to locate your Senator’s town hall events, or start planning your own recess event or district office visit and register it on the map using the “Impeachment Trial” tag under Event Issue Focus.

Public pressure of your Senators during recess works. Over the last two years, Indivisibles have been showing up and speaking out, asking direct questions of their Representatives and Senators on the issues that matter most. During the Fourth of July recess in 2017 (here’s a great Washington Post piece on that Red, White, and You recess in case you forgot), Indivisibles attended parades and public events across the country and pressured Senators like Senator Susan Collins to vote no on TrumpCare. It worked. In addition to the millions of media impressions across the country you secured thanks to your creative events, signs at parades, and district office visits, just a few weeks later, TrumpCare was dead for good. 

Now, we’re fighting a very different fight than stopping TrumpCare -- but it’s no less important: urging our Senators to do what’s right, uphold their Constitutional duty, and hold a fair and open impeachment trial. 

Indivisibles and Indivisible groups were crucial to House Democrats successfully impeaching Donald Trump on two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. We need to continue to take control of the narrative and stop Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans from holding a rigged trial in the Senate. Public events are the perfect opportunity to turn up the pressure and show our Senators that support for a fair and open impeachment trial is there.

Why impeachment?

The impeachment investigation found Trump tried to pressure Ukraine into interfering in our elections by digging up dirt on his political opponents in exchange for about $400 million in aid that had already been appropriated by Congress. After Trump got caught, he obstructed Congress’s efforts to conduct oversight of his administration. In over 20 separate investigations, Trump has sought to block requests for testimony, documents, and other materials that could help shed light onto his corruption and cruelty. Not even Richard Nixon refused to turn over this many documents. This goes well beyond “executive privilege,” and into the realm of outright disregard for the checks and balances that define our government.

Even with overwhelming evidence of Trump’s impeachable conduct, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans have pledged to work in “total coordination” with the White House to hold a rigged trial in the Senate. This is textbook corruption and we must demand that our Senators not agree to a sham process that helps Trump continue to cover-up his misconduct.

Why is it important to show your constituent power on impeachment?

It took Democrats long enough to take action in the first place; now we need to make sure that the Senate runs a strong and effective impeachment trial.

As former congressional staffers, we know that the louder you get, the more pressure you apply, and the more news stories you get at home (which will show up in your Senator’s email inbox), the harder it makes it for your Senator to ignore the calls of the grassroots. 

If we don’t loudly voice our support of a fair and open impeachment trial, Senators will have an easier time trying to avoid taking the tough action that they need to in order to hold Trump accountable. 

    Planning the Right Impeachment Opportunity

    We aren’t calling for any particular type of impeachment event -- depending on whether you are participating as a group or as an individual, we know that you’ll decide what works for you to make the most impact. But keep these six rules of the road in mind and plan something that’s focused on direct pressure of your Senator and face-to-face accountability.

    1. Focus on your Senator. We don’t want you to waste your time -- right now, the most important place to apply pressure is your member of the Senate, not the House of Representatives. If your Senator already support a fair and open trial, say thank you. If they’re Republicans who continue to enable Donald Trump, get them on the record.

    2. Plan, or show up to, something public. There are lots of town halls on the map, and if your district has another major event, chances are your MoC will be there. Check our map to see if there’s a public event near you. If not, plan your own and register it here (use the impeachment trial tag!). We’ll let people nearby know about it and encourage them to attend.

    3. Don’t underestimate a small group of constituents with signs. It doesn’t take a big group for your MoC to take notice at a public event (the same is true for reporters). Show up with signs and record yourselves asking your MoC whether they support impeachment. Get them on the record and post it to social media and send it out to local media (tips on how to do that here).

    4. If there’s no public event, show up to the district office. We know that lots of you are tired of this tactic -- but there’s a reason we keep suggesting it: it works to both get your MoC’s attention in a place you can’t be ignored and provides a great opportunity to get staff on the record, to get photos, and even to get media attention during or after the event. 

    5. Get creative, but keep it simple. From a group of constituents standing in a district office videotaping themselves reading the Oath of Office and broadcasting it on Facebook Live, handing your MoC a freshly-baked (im)peach(ment) pie at a parade, or one person in your group showing up to a town hall in a peach costume, pick a tactic that works for you. All that matters is you show up and ask the right question. 

    6. Alert the media. The media may not be interested in attending your event. But they might be. And, if you get a good photo of anyone in a peach costume or an Indivisible handing a MoC a peach pie, send them a photo release after the event. Consider submitting a huge number of group letters to the editor re: impeachment as a way of covering your OWN event.

    Some of our favorite ideas for impeachment events

    Any Public Event Birdogging. Birdogging is pretty simple and you only need two people to pull it off. Show up at any public event where your MoC is going to be and take a cell phone video of you (or your fellow Indivisible) asking your MoC whether they’ll support impeachment (just like you would if they were brave enough to have a town hall). If they say no, ask why not. When you’re done, upload your video here and we’ll amplify it.

     

    Quick Tips

    • Call your Senator’s office and ask for their recess public schedule. Any of these events will do!

    • Google “Name of Your Town” and “Name of Your Senator” and “event.” Lots of local newspapers and online news sites list announcements where your Senator will be over recess. 

    • Check our map for some public events that we already know about. 

    • Watch our video on tips for recording yourself.

    • When you’re done, post your video on social and email it out to a few local reporters.

    Oath of Office District Office Visits. When your Senators were sworn into office, they took an oath to uphold the Constitution. Sometimes, it makes sense that we remind them of this oath. Take a small group to your Senator’s office and record members of your group reading the Oath and demanding that the representative do what’s right and support impeachment now (Ezra would kill us if we didn’t tell you to bring an (im)peach(ment) pie for effect). 

    Quick Tips

    Town halls. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Check to see if your Senator is having a town hall on our map. Show up in a group or individually. Bring a sign demanding impeachment now. Ask the question you need to ask and get it on video if possible: “Will you publicly commit to rejecting Mitch McConnell’s rigged rules and support a fair and open impeachment trial?”

    Quick Tips

    Read More

    Ready? Let’s do it. Don’t forget to register your events on the map so we can help you recruit, and tag them as Impeachment Inquiry events. Tag us in your favorite moments from your events (on Twitter and Instagram @IndivisibleTeam) and remember: you can find all the latest ways to take action on impeachment at impeach.indivisible.org.