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New footage shows Schumer, Romney near misses with mob

During a segment led by Swalwell, the House managers played film of senators experiencing near misses with the mob.

The closest call appeared to be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who was shown on Capitol camera footage going down a hallway with his security detail only to quickly turn around and begin running in the opposite direction. 

Just prior to this, Swalwell played footage showing a number of senators leaving the Senate chamber and, later, running through a hallway to safety.

The footage of Schumer echoed an earlier security camera clip shown of Capitol Hill police officer Eugene Goodman rushing down a hallway and signaling to Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, that he needed to turn around and go down a different path. Romney quickly turned around and began to hurry away.

Swalwell showed the new footage of the escape, details of which members of Congress have intentionally withheld for safety reasons. 

The footage created the juxtaposition of the senators, serving as jurors in the trial, having to watch their own escapes from rioters, in addition to having their desks ransacked.

'Harsh reminder': Key takeaways from Day Two of Trump's second impeachment trial

Democrats played harrowing new video Wednesday of the riot that showed how close rioters intent on harming lawmakers came to finding them on Jan. 6, stoking raw emotions on the second day of former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

As the House impeachment managers recounted their experiences on Jan. 6 in emotional terms, they sought to make senators relive their own near-misses with the mob that invaded the U.S. Capitol.

It is unclear whether they swayed Republicans, and it remains unlikely that a two-thirds majority will vote to convict. But Democrats, who have charged Trump with being "singularly responsible" for inciting the assault, were determined to remind members of his party that their own safety and lives were in danger after he spoke to a crowd of supporters who soon turned violent and stormed the Capitol.

Click here for the key takeaways from an emotional day.

McConnell is still undecided on how he'll vote: source

After an emotional and gripping day by House Impeachment managers in the Trump impeachment trial, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is still undecided on how he will vote on conviction, a source familiar with McConnell’s thinking tells NBC News. 

On February 2, McConnell told reporters that he’s “going to listen to what the lawyers have to say and making the arguments and work our way through it.”  That position “still stands,” the source says. 

McConnell has not discussed the contents of the trial with his conference nor has provided guidance or direction on how to vote at any point this week or since the trial began, three sources said. Senate Republicans have gathered at least twice this week for lunch and McConnell and his leadership team have met at least once. 

One Republican aide said McConnell’s lack of guidance is “confusing” and “no one knows” where he stands. 

Prior to the start of the trial, McConnell indicated that impeachment is a vote of conscience and then voted on Tuesday with other Republicans calling the impeachment of a president no longer in office unconstitutional.  

 

GOP Sen. Portman 'impressed' with House managers but doesn't see clear link to Trump

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, told reporters that he was "impressed" with House managers' presentation of their case Wednesday but that he doesn't see a clear link to former President Donald Trump. 

He said the harrowing videos revealed how unprotected the Capitol was and showed that staffers were in more danger than many lawmakers were. 

"I mean, we frankly were pretty well protected. And based on the footage, maybe not as protected as we thought we were," he said. 

Portman, who is retiring at the end of his term, previously voted against holding the trial, but he said he is keeping an open mind as a juror and listening to the evidence. 

"I've certainly been expressing myself plainly, you know. I said what he did that day was inexcusable. I said he's firmly responsible, and, you know, I've been clear," he said. "I'm impressed with the presenters. Yeah, that link, we'll see, because I think that's what they're going to try to do next."  

Highlights from Day Two arguments

Tuberville disputes Trump call during House managers' presentation

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., disputed a presentation Wednesday by House managers of calls and voicemails Donald Trump made to Republican lawmakers to delay the certification of the election as the riot unfolded in the Capitol. 

"Well, it was kind of unusual," Tuberville told reporters. "I wish that it'd been correct." 

The managers detailed the phone call between Tuberville and Trump during the riot. Trump called Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, intending to call Tuberville — making a connection of the former president's motives that day. 

House managers also played voicemails that Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani intended to send to Tuberville on the night of Jan. 6 pressuring senators to delay the election certification. The managers argued that Trump's sole focus was to stop the transfer of power.

"Well, I don't know if you've ever talked to President Trump. You don't get many words in, but he didn't get a chance to say a whole lot, because I said, 'Mr. President, they just took the vice president out, I've got to go,'" Tuberville said. 

Watching the clock

House managers wrapped up their first day of arguments at 7:40 p.m. ET after using 5 hours and 41 minutes of their allotted time on Wednesday.

They will have up to eight hours on Thursday when the trial resumes at noon to finish their arguments.

 

Romney personally thanks Officer Goodman for 'getting me back into the path of safety'

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, on Wednesday personally thanked the Capitol Police officer who led the rioters away from the Senate chamber during the Jan. 6 riot.

House managers displayed a video during their presentation of Officer Eugene Goodman turning Romney around during the attack to prevent him from running headlong into the mob. Romney said that in the video he was walking to his hideaway in the Capitol, but because rioters were in already in the Rotunda, Goodman redirected him. 

Romney said that was the first he'd seen that video and he had no idea how close he'd come to the attackers.

Romney recounted his conversation with Goodman, saying, “I express my appreciation to him for coming to my aid and getting me back into the path of safety and expressed my appreciation for all that he did that day.”

“Officer Goodman came and saw me and said, 'Go back in, it's not safe here, go back in and you'll be safer in the chamber,' so I came back in and took my seat,” Romney said.

 

Brief chaos as Sen. Lee demands a retraction; ends with Senate adjourning for the day

The House managers made a small retraction amid a protest from Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who said that Democrats had misrepresented a call Trump made to him seeking to speak with Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., amid the Capitol riot.

Lee said he wanted a segment from Rep. Cicilline's presentation about that phone call to be struck from the record, which led to brief chaos in the Senate chamber as Democrats and Republicans tried to figure out how to proceed. The situation was resolved after Raskin, the lead House manager, offered to give a brief statement clarifying the earlier remarks.

"The impeachment manager correctly and accurately quoted a newspaper account," Raskin said of the comments and CNN article in question. "We're happy to withdraw it on the grounds that it is not true. We're going to withdraw it this evening."

He added the ordeal was "much ado about nothing because it doesn't matter to our case."

Lee apparently took issue with how Cicilline described his role in the Trump/Tuberville phone call amid the riot, though he did not explain what was factually inaccurate about the remarks.

As both CNN and The Deseret News reported, Trump accidentally called Lee as he sought to speak with Tuberville, with CNN reporting that Trump sought to speak with the freshman Alabama senator about issuing further objections to the Electoral College vote count. Lee's office had confirmed to CNN that the phone call happened.

With that, the Senate wrapped for Wednesday. The trial will Thursday at noon.

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