Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., quoted former President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff, four-star Marine Gen. John Kelly, as evidence that Trump knew he could enflame a crowd to attack the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“No surprise what happened yesterday,” Kelly said in a recording Neguse played.
Kelly said the day after the riot that “the president knows who he’s talking to when he tweets or he makes statements.” Trump had been raising baseless claims about the election being stolen for months before the attack.
“He knows who he is talking to and knows what he wants them to do,” Kelly said.
– Bart Jansen
Rep. Joe Neguse, one of the prosecutors in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, said the former president provoked the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
Neguse, D-Colo., cited how Trump for months told followers he couldn’t lose the election unless there was massive fraud. Neguse argued that Trump threatened Georgia state election officials, who warned that his unfounded claims could lead to violence.
Democrats on Wednesday showed a collage of videos of Trump refusing to back down. “We’re in a fight for the survival of our nation,” Trump said in one. “We’re going to fight like hell,” he said in another.
For the attack on the Capitol, Neguse argued the mob thought Trump wanted them to take action.
“Their conduct was intentional,” Neguse said.
Neguse said Trump used his Jan. 6 speech before the riot as a call to arms, reminding senators that rioters scaled the Capitol’s walls, broke windows and killed a Capitol police officer.
“This was not just a speech,” Neguse said. “It didn’t just happen.”
Neguse said Trump must be convicted to prevent future attacks on the country’s peaceful transfer of power.
– Bart Jansen
Democratic prosecutors at Donald Trump’s impeachment trial are hoping to prove the former president’s guilt by showing how little remorse he showed after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
Not only did he incite the assault, he enjoyed the moment as he watched it unfold, lead House Democratic prosecutor Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told senators.
“He watched it on TV like a reality show,” Raskin said, citing news reports quoting senior aides to Trump. “He reveled in it.”
Raskin pointed out that Trump tweeted after the assault, continuing to spread “the big lie” about Joe Biden’s win that incited rioters in the first place.
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so ceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.” Trump said in the tweet Raskin highlighted.
“If anyone ever had a doubt as to this focus that day, it was not to defend us, it was not to console us, it was to praise and sympathize and commiserate with the rampaging mob,” Raskin said. “It was to continue to act as inciter in chief, not commander in chief, by telling the mob that their election had been stolen from them. Even then, after that vicious attack, he continued to spread the big lie.”
– Ledyard King and Will Cummings
Rep. Jamie Raskin opened Democrats’ arguments Wednesday in the Senate impeachment trial by saying former President Donald Trump was “no innocent bystander” to the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6, but someone who enflamed his supporters to riot and was warned they could become violent.
Raskin said Trump, who baselessly claimed the election was stolen by President Joe Biden, said evidence Democrats present will show Trump was warned by media reports, law enforcement reports and arrests that his supporters could become violent.
“In short, we will prove that the impeached president was no innocent bystander, whose conduct was ‘totally appropriate,’” said Raskin, D-Md. “He incited this attack and he saw it coming.”
Trump’s defense team, including Bruce Castor Jr., compared the riot to a bad accident or natural disaster for which society sought someone to blame. Trump gave a speech to the crowd that later laid siege to the Capitol, but his defenders contend he sought a peaceful protest.
The House impeached Trump by charging him with inciting the insurrection. Raskin said the violence was planned to disrupt the counting of Electoral College votes that certified Biden’s victory and aimed even at Vice President Mike Pence, who oversaw the count.
“To us, it may have felt like chaos and madness,” Raskin said. “But there was method in the madness that day.”
– Bart Jansen
The second day of former President Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial has begun, with the House Democratic prosecutors beginning their total of 16 hours of arguments.
The House prosecutors, known as managers, will present up to eight of these hours Wednesday. Lead manager, Rep. Jamie Raskin, told senators Tuesday that he wouldn’t lecture them, and would present them with “cold, hard facts” to prove Trump incited the deadly insurrection at the Capitol last month.
The managers are also expected to show security camera footage from the Capitol on Jan. 6 that has never been seen before.
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., told reporters on Capitol Hill he “expects” the managers to “spend a lot of their time” examining the intent behind Trump’s words leading up to the riot.
“There’s no question that there was an insurrection. There’s no question that the president’s words motivated the crowd. Question is the president, did he really intend for something like this to happen?”
– Savannah Behrmann
Bruce Castor, a member of Donald Trump’s legal team whose opening argument in the former president’s second impeachment trial Tuesday was widely derided, told reporters that despite reports to the contrary, his client was happy with his performance.
Pundits and politicians from across the political spectrum criticized Castor’s arguments as unpersuasive and unclear, and his sometimes meandering language drew social media scorn. Citing unnamed sources, multiple news organizations described Trump as “furious” with Castor as he watched the proceedings from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
But when asked Wednesday if Trump had expressed displeasure with his argument before the Senate, Castor said, “Far from it.”
And when asked what he thought of the onslaught of criticism that followed his performance, Castor said, “Only one person’s opinion matters.”
– William Cummings
WASHINGTON – House Democrats will show security footage from the Capitol that has never been seen before as they prosecute the Senate impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump, according to senior aides.
A 13-minute highlight reel of the riot Jan. 6, which weaved scenes of violence at the Capitol with Trump’s statements, was the centerpiece of arguments Tuesday over whether the trial is constitutional. The Senate voted 56-44, with six Republicans joining 50 Democrats, to declare it constitutional.
House prosecutors, who are called managers, contend they have a chance to persuade more Republicans because the evidence is compelling.
Five Republicans – Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania – had joined Democrats in an earlier vote upholding the constitutionality of the trial. They were joined Tuesday by GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy, who praised the managers’ arguments.
In a Senate split 50-50, at least 17 Republicans would have to join Democrats for the required two-thirds majority to convict Trump.
House managers will present up to eight hours of arguments Wednesday that seek to illustrate how Jan. 6 was the culmination of Trump’s attacks on the election rather than the beginning, according to aides.
The managers will also have eight hours Thursday to chronicle months of statements they contend enflamed his supporters with lies about the election being stolen, creating a mob that rampaged through the Capitol. The evidence will show that Trump attracted violent supporters so that the result was foreseeable, according to aides.
Trump’s defense team has argued that his speech near the White House on Jan. 6 before the riots was protected by the First Amendment and that he can’t be blamed for what his supporters did. Trump’s defense lawyers will have up to 16 hours to make their arguments after the House managers complete two days of presentations.
‘I’ll have to do better next time’:Trump’s attorneys take Republican criticism on first day of trial
The vast majority of the nine managers led by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., are expected to speak Wednesday, according to aides.
The aides described how the trial would unfold under condition of anonymity.
– Bart Jansen
Senators on Wednesday expect Democratic prosecutors to dig into the violent Capitol riots of Jan. 6 as they outline their case on the second day of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, a presentation that may rekindle the trauma of last month’s attack.
The House Democratic lawmakers prosecuting the case, known as managers, are expected to present emotional testimony and videos from the riot when the trial resumes at noon. On Tuesday, lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin played a graphic 13-minute video showing the violent mob attacking police officers and ransacking the Capitol.
The footage left some senators rattled, forcing them to relive the attack that sent them running for safety.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said she felt “a little bit on edge watching all of that again” and small noises in the chamber left her a bit startled.
“It was more impactful than I thought it was going to be,” she said. “I found myself at points nervously looking up in the gallery.”
Takeaways from Day 1:Top takeaways from Day 1 of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said while senators were witnesses, they “were pretty clustered witnesses” and the video allowed him to fully take in the events.
“That’s probably the longest time I’ve spent actually watching video on that topic,” he said. “It was a horrible day.”
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said while it’s difficult, senators and the public should be forced to listen and face details of the attack.
“It’s powerful,” he said. “This is what the trial is about – the trial is about an insurrection against the federal government so not sure how you can have a trial without showing what happened that day.”
He acknowledged it’s going to be hard for many to relive that day, noting more footage and details are going to be presented.
“It’s gonna be a tough couple days,” Murphy said. “You’re gonna see more of that more pretty disturbing video, but I think it’s important for the Senate and for the public to see it.”
– Christal Hayes and Nicholas Wu
‘Dad, I don’t want to come back’:Rep. Jamie Raskin, in tears at trial, recounts daughter’s fear during Capitol riot
House Democratic impeachment managers promise new evidence and “cold, hard facts” as they resume their prosecution of former President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial Wednesday.
House prosecutors, who are called managers, will have up to eight hours Wednesday and eight hours Thursday to elaborate on the wrenching, 13-minute video of the violence at the Capitol Jan. 6 that was played at the opening of the trial on Tuesday.
The lead manager, Rep. Jamie Raskin, a former constitutional law professor at American University, assured senators that he wouldn’t lecture them.
“You will not be hearing extended lectures from me because our case is based on cold, hard facts,” Raskin said.
Democrats also promised to present new evidence.
‘They could have killed us all’:House Democrats open Trump impeachment trial with chilling video of Capitol riot
Impeachment managers hope to convince Senate Republicans to convict Trump on a charge of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol last month. Democrats allege Trump’s words and actions directly caused the violence that left multiple people dead.
The video played Tuesday summarized the violence by showing rioters smashing their way into the building while police were crushed and bludgeoned. The footage was spliced with Trump’s statements praising members of the crowd while baselessly saying he won the election.
Wednesday’s proceedings begin at noon after the trial withstood a challenge from Trump’s legal team Tuesday. The Senate voted 56-44 to uphold the constitutionality of the trial after Trump’s lawyers said it should be dismissed because Trump no longer holds office. Six Republicans joined the 50 Democrats in voting to move the case forward.
But the vote suggested Trump will likely be acquitted because at least 67 senators is required for conviction and more than a third of the chamber – all Republicans – objected to moving forward with the trial Tuesday.
Trump’s defense team led by Bruce Castor Jr. and David Schoen had argued that Trump couldn’t be tried as a private citizen after leaving office. They also said Trump’s speech to the mob before it stormed the Capitol was protected by the First Amendment.
Trump’s defense team will have up to 16 hours for arguments over two days after the House managers finish.
– Bart Jansen