Congressman Ted Lieu warned that Donald Trump could incite this kind of violence again if he is allowed to run for president in 2024.
The impeachment manager pushed back against arguments from Trump’s team that Democrats are pursuing the former president’s conviction simply because they are afraid of his political strength.
“I’m not afraid of Donald Trump running again in four years,” Lieu said. “I’m afraid he’s going to run again and lose — because he can do this again.”
Congressman Ted Lieu noted that dozens of senior Trump administration officials resigned in the days after the January 6 insurrection.
“They saw the clear link between President Trump’s conduct and the violent insurrection,” the impeachment manager said.
Lieu showed a graphic listing some of the administration officials who resigned last month, including then-transportation secretary Elaine Chao.
Chao is married to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, who is a juror in this trial.
Impeachment manager Ted Lieu noted that Donald Trump did not attend the funeral of Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died of his injuries from the January 6 insurrection.
The then-president also did not lower White House flags to half-staff in Sicknick’s honor until three days after his death.
“President Trump, who was commander-in-chief at the time, did not attend and pay respects to the officer who lay in state in the very building that he died defending,” Lieu said.
Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin argued that Donald Trump “knew exactly what he was doing in inciting the January 6th mob, exactly”.
Raskin then challenged senators on whether they honestly believed Trump would not incite more violence if he became president again.
“Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that?” Raskin asked senators. “Would you bet the safety of your family on that? Would you bet the future of your democracy on that?”
Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin argued that Donald Trump’s actions in the years leading up the Capitol insurrection had encouraged his supporters to resort to violence.
Raskin played footage of some of Trump’s most controversial comments, dating back to his 2016 presidential campaign, that he argued demonstrated a pattern of inciting violence.
Among other examples, Raskin played the clip of Trump saying there were “very fine people on both sides” of the 2017 neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Raskin also played the audio of then-congressional candidate (and now governor) Greg Gianforte body-slamming former Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs in 2017.
A senior adviser to Donald Trump has confirmed that the former president’s legal team will conclude its presentation in the impeachment trial tomorrow.
“We will finish up our presentation tomorrow/Friday,” adviser Jason Miller said in a tweet, before going on to attack CNN for its reporting about Trump’s team.
The impeachment managers will conclude their presentation later today, and Trump’s team will start their arguments tomorrow afternoon.
Each team has 16 hours to present their case, but Trump’s lawyers had already signaled they likely would not use all the time available to them.
After the arguments conclude, the impeachment managers will have the chance to request witnesses, but it’s unclear whether they will choose to do so.
If witnesses are not called, then the trial could wrap up as early as this weekend.
Congressman Diana DeGette pointed to the insurrectionists’ own words to demonstrate how Donald Trump pushed them to storm the Capitol.
DeGette noted that the insurrectionists chanted phrases like “Fight for Trump!” and “Stop the steal!” that referenced the former president’s baseless claims of widespread election fraud.
“They came because he told them to,” DeGette said.
The impeachment manager also underscored the profound impact of that violent day, which has been felt around the world.
DeGette said members of the Capitol Hill community are “traumatized to this day” because of the insurrection, and she said the riot had done “damage to other nations, who have always seen us as a bastion of democracy”.
Congresswoman Diana DeGette cited several news reports that quoted insurrectionists who argued they were carrying out the wishes of Donald Trump by storming the Capitol.
The impeachment manager noted that some insurrectionists even questioned why Capitol Police officers were trying to block them from entering the building, when they were following the instructions of the commander-in-chief.
A BuzzFeed News reporter confirmed that he heard this line of thinking from many insurrectionists on the day of the riot.
The opening prayer of Senate chaplain Barry Black seemed intended to remind senators of the great responsibility facing them.
Kicking off the third day of the impeachment trial, Black said in his prayer, “Almighty God, our shelter from the storms, give our Senate jurors discernment that will rescue our nation from ruin.”
Black added, “Remind them that the seeds they plant now will bring a harvest.”
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said the schedule for today’s proceedings would mirror yesterday’s.
Impeachment managers will have eight hours to present arguments, and the Senate will take a break every two to three hours, with a longer break for dinner around 6 pm ET.
Congresswoman Diana DeGette is now speaking for the first time as an impeachment manager in this Senate trial.
The Colorado Democrat is making the argument that the Capitol insurrectionists clearly believed they were taking orders directly from Donald Trump.
The Senate has convened, and the third day of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial is now officially underway.
Today, the House impeachment managers will finish their presentation on why Trump should be convicted of incitement of insurrection.
Senior aides to the managers said today’s proceedings will focus on the the former president’s “lack of remorse” about inciting the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
The managers are also expected to introduce more new footage from the riot, a day after they showed chilling footage demonstrating how close the insurrectionists got to lawmakers on that violent day.
One of Donald Trump’s lawyers, David Schoen, was asked whether he and his colleagues plan to use all 16 hours available to them to present their arguments.
“Hope not,” Schoen told reporters on Capitol Hill.
Trump’s legal team is scheduled to start presenting their arguments tomorrow. They could theoretically continue their presentation on Saturday, but it’s unclear whether they will do so.
If Trump’s team wraps up early and impeachment managers choose not to call any witnesses, the trial could theoretically conclude on Sunday or Monday.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi disparaged arguments from some of Donald Trump’s allies that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional because he has already left office.
The Democratic speaker noted that the House approved the article of impeachment when Trump was still in office. At that time, the Senate was out of session, and then-majority leader Mitch McConnell declined to hold an emergency session to begin the trial.
“We were ready. They said ‘no,’” Pelosi said. “It’s a little disingenuous.”
The Senate held a vote on Tuesday over whether the trial was constitutional, and senators voted 56-44 to reject the jurisdictional argument from Trump’s lawyers.
Shifting back to the coronavirus relief package, Nancy Pelosi was asked whether the House legislation would include the proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15.
“Yes, it will,” the Democratic speaker said.
Pelosi said the chamber was “very proud” of the minimum wage hike, which would result in a raise for millions of Americans, most of whom are women.
Progressive lawmakers have insisted that the relief package include a minimum wage increase, but some Democrats, including Joe Biden, have voiced skepticism that the proposal will meet the requirements for reconciliation.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged that this week has been “such a sad time for us,” as the Capitol Hill community has relived the trauma and violence of January 6 through the impeachment trial.
The Democratic speaker said the evidence presented by the impeachment managers demonstrated “the extraordinary valor of the Capitol Police”.
The speaker announced she planned to introduce a resolution to award the Capitol Police with a Congressional Gold Medal for their brave actions on that horrible day. The award is the highest honor that Congress can bestow.
“They are martyrs for our democracy, martyrs for our democracy, those who lost their lives,” Pelosi said.
The Capitol Police officer who died as a result of his injuries from the insurrection, Brian Sicknick, was honored with a ceremony at the Capitol last week.
Two other police officers who were present for the insurrection, one from the Capitol Police force and another from the Metropolitan Police Department of DC, have died by suicide since January 6.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi is now holding her weekly press conference, her first one since the impeachment trial started on Tuesday.
“Quite a week,” the Democratic speaker said at the start of the press conference.
Pelosi then pivoted to discussing the need for Congress to pass another coronavirus relief package.
The speaker reiterated her hope that the House will pass a relief package by the end of the month, ideally allowing Joe Biden to sign the legislation before expanded jobless benefits expire on March 14.