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UNION TOWNSHIP, Ohio –

A few hours after President Trump was impeached for inciting an insurrection Wednesday, a group of Republicans gathered at a suburban Cincinnati movie theater.

The program? To hear firsthand from six Trump loyalists who attended the Jan,. 6 rally in Washington D.C. – the very rally that ended with a riot at the U.S. Capitol and the second impeachment for the president.

Federal agents are arresting those who stormed the Capitol, and virtually every Republican has denounced the violence.


Chris Hicks, a Clermont County Republican and leader of Clermont for Trump organization, wanted the public to hear from local people who went.

The 40 people who showed up to the R.J. Cinema and Distillery in Union Township Wednesday didn't blame Trump for the riot that ensued.

"I support him more than I ever did," Doug Gerrard, of Owensville, told The Enquirer outside the theater. "He still speaks for me. He's being attacked by the news media. He's being attacked by the Democrats, I don't think it's for any reason."

'99.9 percent walked calmly, peacefully'
Hicks opened the night by asking the audience a few questions. Is their support for Trump increasing, decreasing or staying the same?

The mostly maskless audience used clickers to record their vote. On the big screen, a bar graphed flashed showing 77% of the 40 people there liked the president more in the past week; 23% had the same opinion. Not one had a lower opinion of the president.

East of Cincinnati in suburban and rural Clermont County – a county President Donald Trump won with 68% of the vote – Trump still has ardent supporters.

Many of the people at the theater didn't want to give their names to The Enquirer, even those on the panel who said they attended the Jan. 6 rally. None on the panel said they entered the Capitol and had no idea the Capitol was breached until after they left.

One gave her name to The Enquirer before the event.

Cindy Alvey, a Pierce Township resident, went to Washington, D.C. with a few friends to hear Trump speak. She didn't know anything was wrong until an alert came on her phone that the mayor of Washington, D.C. announced a curfew. She left the rally shortly after that.

"The bottom line is, 99.9 percent walked calmly, peacefully to the Capitol and stood around with our flags," Alvey told The Enquirer.

Alvey and others on the panel described a rally with little police presence, which concerned them, particularly as people started scaling walls and trees outside the Capitol.

"I'm thinking at the time, wait a minute, this guy is dangling from scaffolding and nobody is telling them this is a danger," one of the women who attended the rally told the crowd Wednesday. She wouldn't give her name. "You would think they would have a better protection, police saying something."
 
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