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Impeachment Managers to Show Never-Before-Seen Footage of Capitol Attack
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=50899"><span class="small">Kyle Cheney and Andrew Desiderio, POLITICO</span></a>   
Wednesday, 10 February 2021 13:50

Excerpt: "House Democrats prosecuting Donald Trump for igniting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol say they will prove that the former president's incitement occurred in three stages: Provoking his supporters, kick-starting the attack and sitting on his hands while the violence proliferated."

Democrats deliver the article of impeachment to the Senate. (photo: Getty)
Democrats deliver the article of impeachment to the Senate. (photo: Getty)

ALSO SEE: Watch the Dramatic Video of the Capitol
Riot Shown During Trump's Impeachment Trial

Impeachment Managers to Show Never-Before-Seen Footage of Capitol Attack

By Kyle Cheney and Andrew Desiderio, Politico

10 February 21

Prosecutors also will show never-before-seen footage of the chaos during the first day of formal arguments in Trump's second trial.

ouse Democrats prosecuting Donald Trump for igniting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol say they will prove that the former president’s incitement occurred in three stages: Provoking his supporters, kick-starting the attack and sitting on his hands while the violence proliferated.

“He told them to fight like hell, and they brought us hell that day,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the lead House impeachment manager, as the House opened its formal trial arguments on the Senate floor Wednesday.

“This case is not about blaming an innocent bystander. This is about holding accountable the personal singularly responsible for this attack,” Raskin added, referring to Trump as the “inciter-in-chief.”

The arguments kicked off a two-day presentation by Democrats seeking to persuade at least 17 Senate Republicans to join in convicting Trump, a tall task that appears unlikely to succeed in the trial’s early stages.

Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), another impeachment manager, initiated the arguments by laying out a post-election chronology of Trump's comments and actions seeking to undermine confidence in the 2020 election results. He played a series of clips of Trump vowing to “never surrender” in his fight to flip the election outcome.

“People listened. Armed supporters surrounded election officials’ homes. The secretary of state for Georgia got death threats. Officials warned the president that his rhetoric was dangerous and it was going to result in deadly violence,” Neguse said. “He didn’t stop it. He didn’t condemn the violence. He incited it further.”

That incitement got more specific over time, Neguse said, eventually resulting in his order for supporters to show up in Washington on Jan. 6 at the precise moment Congress was certifying Biden's victory, and to schedule a speech — and order backers to march on the Capitol — just as the votes were beginning to be tallied.

Later, the managers addressed Trump’s false claims of voter fraud head-on, debunking some of the central allegations that fueled the riots and outlining Trump’s weeks-long effort to promote a campaign dubbed “stop the steal.” Inside the Senate chamber, several Democratic senators as well as GOP Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska could be seen shaking their heads as clips played of Trump calling the election “stolen” and “fraudulent.”

The impeachment managers began their opening arguments after aides to the House impeachment team said Wednesday morning that the prosecutors plan to introduce never-before-seen footage of the riots.

The footage, which may be drawn from Capitol security cameras and other sources, will shed light on the rioters’ “extreme violence” from a new vantage point, aides to the House impeachment team said. It’s part of what Democrats maintain will be an overwhelming display of evidence that Trump directly fueled the deadly insurrection and committed “the most heinous constitutional crime possible.”

“The easiest trials to try are the trials where you have the goods. We have the goods,” said a senior aide to the House impeachment team.

According to aides, the brand new footage will also underscore the risk that the violence could have spiraled further “but for the brave action of the officers” securing the building even when they were outnumbered by a pro-Trump mob.

The managers’ use of video footage underscores a central theme of their trial strategy — to make senators re-live the horrors of Jan. 6 and the raw emotions that come with it. One of the managers’ aides said the team is still convinced that it can marshal the power of those moments to “move hearts, minds, the consciences of 100 jurors,” even as an acquittal seems exceedingly likely.

Wednesday’s argument will also focus on the weeks before the Jan. 6 insurrection, when the managers say Trump primed his base with false claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him. The managers intend to show that the violence of last month’s insurrection was the “foreseeable” result of Trump’s rhetoric, aides said.

They will also argue that Trump’s remarks on Jan. 6 to a group of his supporters, urging them to march on the Capitol and “fight like hell” to stop Joe Biden’s presidency, were “filled with meaning” — and directed at a group he knew included “folks with violent backgrounds.”

The Democrats are taking heart from the unexpected decision of Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) to support their case that the trial is constitutional. Cassidy, who praised the House managers’ presentations on Tuesday, was the only senator whose vote was not forecast in advance.

On Tuesday, the trial’s first official day, the managers played a lengthy montage on the Senate floor that intertwined Trump’s words and tweets with the violent actions of the rioters. Even some of the Republicans who voted to declare the trial unconstitutional said they were moved by the videos — an acknowledgment that the trial’s jury pool witnessed and was a victim of the insurrection.

The Senate ultimately voted to uphold its constitutional authority to put a former president on trial, with six Republicans joining all 50 Democrats in the vote. The managers plan to urge Republicans in particular to divorce their concerns about the constitutionality of the trial from the merits of the House’s case against Trump. With the procedural question already settled, House Democrats are hoping that more than six Republicans will agree with them on the substance of their arguments.

The aides also indicated that Democrats expect to use less than the full 16 hours of argument time they have been allotted, a nod to the concerns they have shown about preventing repetitiveness and lulling the Senate into boredom. They added that all nine impeachment managers selected by Speaker Nancy Pelosi will participate in the arguments.

Democrats also intend to use their opening arguments to guard against what they expect to hear from the Trump defense team when it presents its case on Friday and Saturday. Trump’s team argues that his words to the Jan. 6 crowd were protected by the First Amendment and that the rioters who breached the Capitol did so of their own accord, not with Trump’s urging or blessing.

The Trump team’s arguments were marred Tuesday by a rambling performance from lead attorney Bruce Castor, whose hour-long presentation was roundly panned by senators from both parties. But most Senate Republicans are predisposed to acquitting Trump and appeared poised to overlook the weaknesses of the Trump team’s case in the early stages of the trial.

The impeachment managers got some timely help Wednesday from Atlanta-area prosecutors who, according to a New York Times report, have decided to launch a criminal investigation of Trump's effort in December to pressure Georgia's secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to "find" enough votes to help him win the state's presidential election.

That episode, captured in an audio recording that was released by the Washington Post last month, figured in the House's case against Trump— part of what they said was a prolonged effort by Trump to wrest the election from Biden and claim a second term. your social media marketing partner
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 February 2021 13:53