MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hundreds gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol Tuesday ahead of the first big vote in the impeachment hearings.

The crowd is in favor of removing President Donald Trump from office. It comes as the United States House prepares to vote Wednesday. If they pass the measure, it will send this impeachment to trial in the U.S. Senate.

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Bundled up with their signs and flags, a large crowd stood on the Capitol steps for over an hour. Edina resident Bill Lindbergh was impressed by the turnout.

“On a cold, December night … people are engaged and people are very dismayed with the direction that the leadership in our country is going,” Lindbergh said.

(credit: CBS)

Pat Thompson and Victoria Earhart from St. Paul hope the rally makes Minnesotans pay attention to the impeachment proceedings.

“It is very real law that this man is breaking, and it matters. It matters a lot,” Earhart said.

Among the crowd, there were two who stood in support of President Trump. Erin Walt and her husband were small in number, but want their message to be heard just as clearly.

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“Americans aren’t all for impeachment,” Walt said. “You know, I think it’s great that people from either side show up to whatever the event is to show their support for what they believe in.”

The House Judiciary Committee accuses the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. President Trump sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Tuesday disputing the charges, saying, “More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.”

“They know it’s a hoax. It’s a witch hunt. And it’s just a continuation. It’s been going on now for almost three years,” President Trump said.

(credit: CBS)

Wednesday’s vote is expected to pass the Democratic-majority House, but it would then go to trial early next year and face the jury of the Republican-majority Senate — which will likely lead to the president’s acquittal.

The crowd at the Capitol still feel their efforts are worth it, even if they don’t get the outcome they’re asking for.

“I feel this is important to witness,” Lindbergh said.

Minnesota Representative Colin Peterson is one of two Democrats expected to vote against his party.

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WCCO reached out the Minnesota GOP, who called these impeachment hearings a “witch hunt. They added that Minnesotans will make their decision in November at the ballot box.

Marielle Mohs