Outside the Capitol, about 200 protesters gathered outside to reject the Senate vote and cheered as Rep. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., called the acquittal a betrayal.
“I will focus my ire on Senate Republicans,” she said. “Shame on you, Mitch McConnell.”
Around the perimeter of the protest, a man pulled a “roaming anti-Trump bandwagon” and handed out anti-Trump paraphernalia. Sara Anzalone, 21, said she came from New York to show her support to progressive groups that called for Trump's removal from office.
“I think that getting a foreign foreign power to interfere with our country is just completely against the constitution and completely out of his power,” Anzalone said. “And I really think that he should be held responsible and it really kind of makes me pissed off that he could have been held accountable today."
Why are people protesting?
After an investigation revealed that he had sought foreign interference from Ukraine for the 2020 election, Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on Dec. 18 on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., delivered the articles of impeachment Jan. 15.
Following two contentious weeks in the Senate impeachment trial, which reached a fever pitch at Tuesday's State of the Union address, Trump was found not guilty Wednesday on both articles of impeachment.
A group of around 50 protesters staged a sit-in Wednesday at the Capitol in Washington, chanting “honor your oaths, “Trump is guilty,” and “we know this is a cover-up,” for several minutes before being arrested and removed by Capitol Police. Ten people were arrested, according to spokeswoman Eva Malecki.
On Friday, the Senate voted against subpoenas for new witnesses and documents in the impeachment trial. At 51-49, the vote was largely along party lines.
Democrats condemned the decision in the final speeches leading up to Wednesday's final vote. Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead House Democrat pursuing Trump, argued Monday that Trump would continue to undermine national security if acquitted.
“You can’t trust this president to do the right thing, not for one minute, not for one election, not for the sake of our country," said Schiff, D-Calif.
Activist groups also decried the Senate's expected acquittal.
"Senate Republicans have thrown all democratic norms and decades of precedent out of the window by preventing witnesses from testifying before the Senate," Eldridge said. "Any 'acquittal' made after blocking key evidence is not an exoneration, it's a cover-up."
Sen. Mitt Romney broke party lines on Wednesday, voting to convict Trump on the first article of impeachment.
“Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine,” he said in a speech Wednesday.
Who's organizing these protests?
A bipartisan collection of activist groups, including Stand Up America, Women's March, By the People and Common Cause, among others, are among the organizers. Issue-oriented groups such as Greenpeace and Sierra Club, along with Stand Up Republic, a right-leaning anti-Trump group, are also involved.
Some of these groups, namely By the People, also held demonstrations nationwide in opposition to the Friday vote.
"The omission of witnesses and evidence in Trump's removal trial will be met with resistance by every individual who believes in government for the people and by the people," said Rachel Carmona, Women's March COO, in a Friday statement.
Where are protests happening?
Protests are expected to be held nationwide at over 270 official "Reject the Cover-Up" events. They encompass 45 states and the District of Columbia.
Contributing: Nicholas Wu, Savannah Behrmann, Bart Jansen, Maureen Groppe, Ledyard King and Kristin Lam USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Reject the Cover Up' protests to take place after expected Trump acquittal