House Democrats rested their case on Thursday in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump after arguing that the rioters who stormed the Capitol were doing so at his direction.
In their second full day of arguments, Democratic House impeachment managers made the case that Trump's lack of remorse for the violence necessitates his conviction.
The House managers sought in their first day of arguments on Wednesday to present Trump as methodically pushing the "big lie" of election fraud months before his loss, when he saw himself consistently trailing Joe Biden in the polls. That set the stage for him to incite the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6 by supporters who Democrats said had been primed by Trump's relentless falsehoods to believe they were acting on his orders to "fight like hell" to prevent the election from being stolen.
The Democratic managers played a series of audio and video, including police communications and security footage that had not been released publicly, detailed a nearly minute-by-minute account of what happened once the Capitol was breached.
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Castro details timeline of Trump's public messaging during riot
House managers focus on Trump's failure to act once riot was underway
House managers focused their argument Wednesday on Trump's failure to act while the riot was ongoing.
Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., began by detailing the president's actions as the riot was underway, citing his tweets promoting his rally speech and attacking Pence as the Capitol was under attack as well as reports that said the president was watching the proceedings on TV.
Cicilline then asked the senators a rhetorical question: What was Trump doing to help them as Democrats and Republicans reached out to him and the White House seeking assistance?
"Nothing," Cicilline said. "Not a thing."
Cicilline mentioned the president's attempt to reach Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., to get him to issue additional objections to the electoral college vote count as the riot was underway. He then contrasted that with footage of what was going on in and around the Capitol at that time.
House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump mentioned his hours-long delay in seeking to stop the riot as influential in their vote.
'Harsh reminder': Key takeaways from day 2 of 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.