The prosecution’s time allotment ended Thursday, and the defense will be heard on Friday and Saturday.
The impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump continued in the Senate on Thursday. House Democrats serving as prosecutors in the impeachment proceedings again laid out their arguments, seeking to prove that he instigated the attack on the Capitol.
The impeachment manager, California Congresswoman Diane DeGette, recalled the events of January 6, stressing that they constituted a rebellion and that President Trump was the man who sent his supporters to storm the Capitol.
Degett emphasized the similarities between the language used by Trump in a speech earlier in the day and the slogans of his supporters who attacked the Congress building.
In particular, she drew a parallel between the exclamations in the crowd and the language used by Trump earlier: in both cases, the term “civil war” was used.
Additionally, the congresswoman noted that some of those who attacked the Capitol said they went there because the president wanted them to.
To back up her claims, Degett showed fragments of video footage capturing the events of January 6.
According to the impeachment manager, the participants in the events expected that they would not be punished for what they had done because they were following the president’s orders. Degett illustrated her assertion with the words of some Trump supporters who participated in the Capitol attack.
The lawmaker noted that racist slogans were heard in the crowd that stormed into the Congressional building.
Speaking of the damage inflicted on the United States by the January 6 events, DeGette pointed out the damage to the country’s international reputation.
Congressman Jamie Raskin, who then took the floor, emphasized the role that extremist groups played in the events. According to Raskin, it was President Trump who encouraged them to resort to violence.
The congressman illustrated his assertion with excerpts from several of Trump’s earlier speeches.
The panelists were shown, in particular, a video of his statement about the riots in Charlottesville in August 2017.
Regarding more recent events, Raskin recalled Trump’s response to the rhetoric and actions of extremists in Michigan, particularly the threats they uttered against the state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer.
Linking Trump’s conciliatory statements about Michigan extremists to his Jan. 6 speech, Raskin said the now-former president “knew full well what he was doing” in inciting the crowd to attack the Capitol.
Rep. Ted Lieu, who replaced Ruskin on the podium, reminded us that Donald Trump has never once condemned the attack on the nation’s top legislature or expressed remorse about what happened. The lawmaker noted, in particular, that even Trump’s call to disperse included an expression of sympathy and empathy for the attackers.
This makes one think that Donald Trump is willing to do the same thing in the future as he did in the run-up to the attack on Congress, the congressman noted. In that regard, Lew recalled that many members of the Republican Party, including lawmakers, were outraged by Trump’s behavior and called it “shameful.”
Congressman David Ciclini noted that the attack on the highest U.S. legislature demonstrated the extremists’ sense of impunity. He again recalled in this regard their calls to kill U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The lawmaker also cited evidence of the danger to other lawmakers as well as congressional staffers during the January 6 events.
Focusing on the racist shouts from the crowd that stormed the Capitol, Ciclini emphasized that in many cases they were directed against law enforcement officers.
The day before, Wednesday, the prosecution team also focused on these events. Senators serving on the jury were shown new video footage of the riots, which showed protesters smashing windows in the building and clashing with police. A group of protesters sought out the vice president and came within 30 meters of the room where Pence and his family were. Another group stormed into the office of Pelosi, who had already moved into hiding by then.
As previously reported by an aide to the prosecution team, on Thursday they planned to demonstrate the “monstrous” scale of the aftermath of the attack and emphasize Trump’s role in fomenting the riots.
Now, after the impeachment managers have completed their brief, Trump’s lawyers will have the floor: they will have 16 hours on Friday and Saturday.
The defense insists that the former president is not responsible for the attack.
It will not be easy for the Democrats to obtain a conviction, since two-thirds of the senators, that is, all 50 Democrats and at least 17 Republicans, must vote for it.