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story.lead_photo.caption Rock Clarkson faces east as he stands on the sidewalk in front of Blaine Luetkemeyer's Missouri Boulevard office in Jefferson City to protest the Republicans who were in favor of acquittal of President Donald Trump. They were part of a nationwide "Reject The Coverup" protest that was to be held simultaneously throughout the country. Behind Clarkson is Erin Maloney and Greg Schildmeyer, all of whom were holding signs asking motorist to "Honk to reject the cover-up". Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

Dedicated volunteers stood alongside a Jefferson City street during a winter storm late Wednesday morning, encouraging passersby to honk if they reject what they believe was a cover-up of "key witnesses" during President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

The protesters — standing in front of U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer's office on Missouri Boulevard — were part of a nationwide effort to hold Trump and Republicans accountable for denying opportunities for witnesses against Trump to testify before the U.S. Senate.

The protest coincided with Wednesday's acquittal of Trump in the trial, organizers said.

More than 160 events were planned across the country, with organizers and participants who included Common Cause (advocates for government reform), Greenpeace (a liberal environmental group), NextGen America (a progressive political action committee created by Tom Steyer, a billionaire liberal political activist), Public Citizen (a liberal consumer rights advocacy group), Sierra Club (an environmental organization) and many others.

The protests came in response to a national call to action — "Reject the Cover-up," said Erin Maloney, a local organizer.

Senate Republicans refused to hear from witnesses on allegations Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to pressure the country to conduct investigations of political rivals.

"Not hearing from witnesses — it is a betrayal of their oaths," Maloney said as she encouraged motorists to honk. "(Trump is) more emboldened. In the last 24 hours, he's talked about imprisoning (John) Bolton."

Bolton, an attorney who was briefly Trump's national security advisor, recently said he would be willing to testify against Trump during the trial.

"(Trump has) put our national security at risk for his own personal gain," Maloney said.

A number of motorists honked in support of Maloney and her colleagues' signs carrying messages that said "Remove Trump" and "Honk to Reject the Cover-up." Several passersby yelled support for the president.

Before the protest ended, Maloney said she was likely to visit with Luetkemeyer's staff, just to give them the personal message the president's actions don't represent all Missouri voters.

This page was edited at 8:58 a.m. Feb. 6, 2020, to replace an archive photo that was not from this event with the current one.

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