Donald Trump impeachment trial focuses on his calls to ‘fight’ – Deadline

SECOND UPDATE, 1:26 p.m. PT: Democrats concluded their arguments against Donald Trump with about five hours left in the allotted time, but impeachment official Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) made it clear why they didn’t go longer.

“We have to use common sense about what happened here,” Raskin said, arguing that the evidence against the former president was overwhelming that he had instigated the Jan.6 attack on Capitol Hill.

It was clear that many senators were getting a little tired as the day progressed. At one point, 12 Republicans weren’t even in the bedroom, but in the locker room, as they’re allowed to. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), who himself has been criticized for encouraging the Capitol protest, once again sat not on the Senate floor but in the gallery. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) at one point tapped a pencil on his desk. But even Democrats began to change seats in the afternoon, with impeachment officials reiterating some of the points they raised earlier.

How to watch Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial online and on TV

The one notable exception: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who stared straight in front of impeachment officials and listened, rarely, if ever, turning away as they presented the case. Even Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who occasionally changed chairs from side to side, didn’t seem so attentive.

Raskin tried to appeal to Republicans who voted the impeachment trial unconstitutional, telling them to put this issue “behind us” and focus on the facts of the case. He said Trump’s legal team, which will present its case on Friday, must respond to the evidence presented, not other legal theories.

Raskin went through a series of questions for Trump’s legal team. “In general, if a president incites a violent insurgency against our government, would it be a serious felony and misdemeanor? Can we all agree at least on that? “

Earlier, arraignment official Joe Neguse (D-CO) summed up the evidence presented and ended by telling senators, “If we pretend it didn’t happen or worse, if we let it go without answer, which is it will not happen again?

FIRST UPDATE, 11:59 a.m. PT: House impeachment officials will conclude their case against Donald Trump on Thursday and use some of their closing arguments to remind senators what the seat on Capitol Hill looked like.

Senators, of course, experienced this day for themselves, but some of the impeachment critics have hinted that it is time to move on.

But the past two days have brought the memories back to life with the videos and sounds of the seat. In a clip aired in the Senate Chamber, a rioter is heard shouting at a Capitol Police officer: “You are a f * cking traitor!” The officer had tried to prevent them from crossing a very inadequate security barrier.

The impeachment official, Rep. David Cicillin (D-RI), released more videos of Republican members sharing their own experiences, as well as anecdotes from Capitol Hill janitors and House and Government staff. Senate. An assistant, hidden in the locker room, recalled “the noise of the windows blowing. I will not forget that sound.

Cicillin also noted members of the press who were there that day, including CNN’s Kristin Wilson, as the media was also a target after years of “fake news” rhetoric from Trump. A number of reporters who were there that day are here to cover this trial, and for some, the video presentations were difficult to watch. Others say the clips helped piece together what was going on at specific times, like the sound of a gunshot as reporters took cover in the Chamber’s bedroom gallery. Members took off their member badges, journalists took off their press badges.

The cicillin also focused on the damage done to the Capitol – reports of feces smeared on a wall and a bust of Zachary Taylor smeared with blood. Three police officers died as a result of the attack and 136 were injured, Cicillin noted. “Think about the police when you vote,” he says.

PREVIOUSLY: Impeachment officials have linked Donald Trump’s words to the actions of the crowd that stormed this Capitol on January 6, presenting videos after videos in which his supporters said they believed they were following what ‘he wanted them to do.

“They were invited by the President of the United States,” said House impeachment official Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO).

His argument was, in many ways, more important to their case than Wednesday’s proceedings, dominated by searing clips that showed the scale of the violent insurgency and how close they were to Vice President Mike Pence and members. of Congress.

DeGette opened the proceedings on Thursday focusing on how Trump instigated the violent siege. During a rally at the Ellipse that day, Trump told his supporters that “if you don’t fight like hell you’re going to have no country.” He called on participants to march to Capitol Hill, where Congress certified the electoral vote in favor of Joe Biden. Trump falsely told his supporters he would join them.

“It wasn’t just that they were doing this for Mr. Trump; they were following his instructions, ”DeGette said.

She said that in the hour after Trump called on his supporters to “show strength,” mentions of “civil war” on Speaking quadrupled.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was a little more attentive to the arguments on Thursday than he was the day before, but he has already criticized the case against Trump, telling reporters that “Democrats’ legal theory is absurd That Trump is “sort of a secret member of Proud Boys.”

But do we need a “smoking gun,” meaning some sort of document or text showing that Trump was in cahoots with the rioters?

Impeachment officials have insisted that the accusation against the president – incitement to insurgency – can be proven by evidence that is hardly secret, but all uncovered via online publications and viral videos. DeGette showed clips the rioters posted on social media and a livestream in which a protester said, “He will be happy. We are fighting for Trump. Such cases, DeGette said, were “not isolated.”

She went on to quote some of the rioters and their lawyers after their indictment, in which they say they thought they were acting at the president’s request. Among them was Jacob Anthony Chansley, the so-called QAnon Shaman, who allegedly wrote a note to Mike Pence in the Senate chamber that said, “It’s only a matter of time. Justice is coming. “

Chansley’s attorney, DeGette, has since said his client “felt cheated” in the aftermath, having come to the Capitol at the President’s request.

Another video was a compilation of media appearances by Texas real estate agent Jenna Ryan, who attended the siege, in which she said, “I was doing what he asked us to do.”

“As more and more of these people are charged, the confessions and regrets just escalate,” DeGette said.

She ended with another hard-hitting video from that day, of a rioter on Capitol Hill shouting at the crowd, “We have been invited here. We were invited by the President of the United States. “

Later, the main impeachment official, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), experienced what amounted to a clip of Trump’s greatest hits in which he signals his approval of violent behavior. This included instances of rallies where supporters clashed with protesters, or where Greg Gianforte, then a congressional candidate in Montana, slammed a reporter. “My kind of guy,” Trump said.

“These tactics have been tested on the road,” said Raskin.

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