It has been 35 days since the assault and insurrection against on our nation’s Capitol and our democracy. This week, the second Impeachment Trial of Former President Donald J. Trump began in the United States Senate.
Unlike the 2020 Impeachment Trial, this trial takes place in the wake of seven people killed on January 6th including three police officers, a new President, and a 50-50 Senate.
The Impeachment Managers are Democratic members of the House of Representatives:
- Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD)
- Rep. Stacey Plaskett (VI)
- Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA)
- Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX)
- Rep. Madeleine Dean (PA)
- Rep. Diana DeGette (CO)
- Rep. David Cicilline (RI)
- Rep. Joe Neguse (CO)
- Rep. Ted Lieu (CA)
- Democratic Impeachment Managers opened day one with a 13-minute video depicting the carnage of January 6th.
- Lead Impeachment Manager Rep. Jamie Raskin captivated those in the Senate chamber who heard his moving account of being in the House Chamber when the Capitol was breached on that day. He recounted a heartbreaking day where his daughter and son-in-law were with him that day and in danger, one day after he buried his son who died by suicide.
- After opening arguments from the Impeachment Managers, President Trump’s Defense Team condemned the riot but stating emphatically that the Senate does not have jurisdiction over the trial of a Former President while also arguing the trial is premature since due process hasn’t been afforded to the Former President.
- President Trump was not present for the trial, yet he expressed his displeasure at his team’s opening performance. The Defense Team was criticized as not being prepared while meandering through irrelevant statements and arguments. As one Republican Senator Bill Cassidy (LA) said, “President Trump’s team was disorganized. They did everything they could but to talk about the question at hand.
- At the end of day one, the Senate voted 56-44 to proceed with the trial. Six Republicans voted with Democrats to support the Senate’s jurisdiction to try a former president.
- House Impeachment Mangers prosecuted their case on day two of the trial. The Impeachment Managers detailed a months-long campaign by President Trump to instill and incite violence if the election was stolen from him.
- The managers led their audience through an hours-long, step-by-step timeline of rhetoric surrounding the election’s results and the insurrection on January 6th.
- Using previously unreleased security videos and audio, Former President Trump’s speeches, videos and tweets, the Democratic managers showed Senators how close the rioters came to reaching them and then Vice President Mike Pence and his family who were with him that day. The video showed:
- Police officers being crushed, beaten with poles, dragged into the crowd.
- Senators running down hallways to get away from the mob.
- Rep. Eric Swalwell stating that he “paced it off.” Senators were 58 steps away from the mob.
- The House chamber being breached while Members of Congress where inside trying to escape.
- Speaker Pelosi’s staff running into a conference room minutes before the insurrectionists broke down one of the two doors to that conference room.
- Rep. Eric Swalwell argued, “He built this mob over many months with repeated messaging until they believed that they’d been robbed of their vote and they would do anything to stop the certification.”
- The House Managers used videos and statements of Members of Congress who spoke to President Trump during the attack asking him to “call it off” to “make it stop.”
- “Senators, you’ve seen all the evidence so far, and this is clear: on Jan. 6, President Trump left everyone in this Capitol for dead,” Rep. Joaquin Castro said.
- The day two presentation was haunting. Senators commented about their emotions watching these videos for the first time.
- House Impeachment Managers will finish presenting their case today concluding their depiction the assault as not only foreseeable but the intended result of a multitude of actions calculated to incite President Trump’s followers.
- Former President Trump’s Defense Team will present their opening arguments today or tomorrow and will have 16 hours to argue its case similar to the prosecution.
- Besides arguing that the trial is unconstitutional, the Defense Team said Trump didn’t incite the assault on the Capitol or commit any crime. The impeachment is unconstitutional and the quick impeachment by the House violates his free speech and due process rights, his lawyers said in their trial brief.
- Defense team will argue Former President Trump’s incendiary rhetoric was protected by the First Amendment
- Former President Trump rejected a request from House managers that he testify at the trial though the Senate could subpoena him.
- The trial that could conclude by the weekend.
- In order to convict, 17 Republican Senators must join all Democrats to reach the 66-vote threshold needed for a conviction. So far, only six Republicans have joined with Democrats to vote to proceed.
Let’s be clear, the argument that President Trumphad nothing to do with the riot at the Capitol is absurd. You simply cannot look at the video, remember seeing the scenes unfold on TV that day, and conclude that President Trump had nothing to do with the insurrection.
The American people agree.