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Maureen Hurley, left, and Demi Cross hold homemade signs during the anti-impeachment rally in support of President Donald Trump on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, at the corner of Central and Eighth avenues in Cheyenne. The rally was held in conjunction with other anti-impeachment rallies across the country. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – A group of about 20 people met Thursday afternoon at the corner of Central and Eighth avenues to show their support for President Donald Trump, who faces an impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Thursday’s demonstration was part of a nationwide initiative led by the political organization Women for America First, which held anti-impeachment rallies in Washington, D.C., and other major cities.

The demonstrations were in response to an impeachment inquiry launched last month by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that is focusing on whether Trump abused his presidential powers and sought help from Ukraine to undermine Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and help his own reelection bid.

Lisa Glauner, who organized the Cheyenne event, said she was prompted to do something locally after seeing the initiative Wednesday on Facebook.

“Everything that Trump is being accused of, the left has actually done,” Glauner said. “Their whole reason for impeaching is to make sure that their corruption isn’t exposed.”

When asked what she would like to see happen with the impeachment inquiry, Glauner’s answer was simple: “I would like to see the left exposed. I’m a truth seeker.”

“I think a lot of us are just sick and tired of how the press has come so violently against Trump,” Glauner said. “The only way he has a voice is to tweet. At first, I hated it, too, but then I realized that’s the only way he can talk.”

According to a nationwide Gallup poll conducted this month, 52% of American adults believe Trump should be impeached and removed from office. While that overall percentage is up from 45% in June, the poll shows just 6% of Republicans are in favor of impeachment.

During the demonstration, many flashed signs to passing cars that honked back in support. Demi Cross, waving a “Women for Trump” sign, said she was one of the first Trump supporters in Laramie County.

“We didn’t have anybody. The (Ted) Cruz campaign was very organized at the beginning, so everybody was with them,” said Cross, who is a member of Cheyenne’s Capitol City Republican Women group.

“But no, I like Donald Trump. I like the idea he’s a businessman ... and I don’t care what he says in his tweets. It doesn’t bother me at all, because we’ve got worse things going on than we know about.”

Jack Riley, a Cheyenne resident who came to the rally with his wife, said he isn’t worried about impeachment inquiries.

“They’re not going to happen,” Riley said. “That’s just a political ploy from the Democratic side of the House, the way I feel about it.”

The impeachment inquiries won’t help Democrats, Riley said, especially in states like Wyoming, where Trump won 68.2% of the vote in 2016. In Laramie County, the president won 60.6% of the vote.

“It’s going to increase Trump support,” Riley said. “Wyoming was one of the largest groups that voted for Trump last time, and I think it will be even greater this next time.”

While the group of nearly two dozen demonstrators flashed signs in support of Trump, two counterprotesters were across Central Avenue showing off their pro-impeachment signs.

Geri Maria Johnson, holding a sign of a peach with blonde hair and “Impeach!” written below it, said it’s the job of Congress to investigate any potential crime committed by the president.

“We want Wyoming to know that there are people who are not happy,” Johnson said. “It’s not just Republicans that have a say in this.”

Yet those across the street felt the impeachment inquiry has never been about investigating possible wrongdoings. Leona Barkell, carrying an “Impeach Pelosi” sign, said calls for impeachment from Democrats are due to their frustrations over losing the 2016 election.

“I see we are jumping to ‘guilty until proven innocent’ if you’re accused,” Barkell said. “I think that’s such a dangerous thing in our country.”

Barkell said she was initially reluctant to vote for Trump, but she ultimately decided “between the devil and the deep blue sea.” She pointed to low unemployment rates and the relocation of the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem as examples of Trump’s strong leadership.

Glauner also didn’t support Trump at first. Cruz was her preferred candidate in the 2016 election, but she eventually “held her nose” and supported Trump.

“I think he’s doing a really good job. He’s doing what he said he would do,” Glauner said. “The more he’s pushed back on, the more I support him, actually.”

Tom Coulter is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s state government reporter. He can be reached at tcoulter@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3124. Follow him on Twitter at @tomcoulter_.

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