Senators at Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial have been shown a dramatic and graphic video of the day his supporters stormed the US Congress.
Impeachment prosecutors took senators on a wrenching journey inside the horror of the US Capitol insurrection, making a devastating case that Trump had plotted, incited, and celebrated a vile crime against the United States.
The prosecutors previously unseen video evidence showed a bloodthirsty mob defiling Congress, heroism from overpowered police officers pleading for backup, high-profile lawmakers running for their lives and staffers hiding behind locked doors.
Surveillance footage depicted then –Vice President Mike Pence being hustled away with rioters calling for him to be hanged only yards away. A police officer screamed in pain, trapped between a door and an invading crowd. In a horrific scene, Trump supporter Ashli Babbait tried to climb through a window smashed by rioters before falling back, shot dead by a Capitol police officer.
“When his mob overran and occupied the Senate and attacked the House and assaulted law enforcement, (Trump) watched it on TV like a reality show,” lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin said Wednesday.
“He reveled in it. And he did nothing to help us as commander in chief. Instead, he served as the inciter in chief, sending tweets that only further incited the rampaging mob.”
The stunningly powerful presentation painted the most complete narrative yet of the assault on the Congress as it met to certify Joe Biden’s election win on January 6.
Their explicit and unsettling case made clear that the terror inside the corridors of power was even more frightening than it had first appeared. It’s now apparent that only good luck, and the bravery of police prevented senior members of Congress injured or killed.
A day of clear legal arguments left a grave question hanging in the air: How could anyone with an open mind not process the almost unbelievable scenes of US democracy under assault and not vote to convict the ex-President?
The managers built a methodical case, juxtaposing Trump’s inflammatory behavior over months with the frightful looting and violence inside the Capitol to make a cause-and-effect argument of the ex-President’s culpability.