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Feb. 11 updates for impeachment trial Day 3: House Democrats rest their case

The House impeached Trump last month for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Image: Illustration showing a collage of former President Donald Trump turning away from paper tears that read \"impeachment\" and \"insurrection\" and Rep. Jamie Raskin and the Capitol.
Watch live: full coverage of Trump's second impeachment trial on NBC News NOWChelsea Stahl / NBC News

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.

This live coverage has ended. Get more live updates on the trial, or for more politics news head to

Read the latest updates below:

768d ago / 6:31 PM UTC

Lieu quotes Republicans, former WH officials who blamed Trump for riot

Lieu alluded to comments made by prominent Republicans and former Trump aides in which they accused the president of inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.  

Lieu quoted former White House chief of staff John Kelly who said, "What happened on Capitol Hill was a direct result of him poisoning the minds of people with the lies and the fraud" and former Defense Secretary James Mattis who said the Capitol attack was "fomented" by Trump. 

"This was echoed by former Trump official after former Trump official," said Lieu, who also mentioned that 16 Trump officials resigned in the wake of the riot. "They all took this dramatic action of resigning because they saw the clear link between President Trump's conduct and the violent insurrection."

The Democratic manager also played a brief montage of video clips showing several GOP governors such as Massachusetts' Charlie Baker, Ohio's Mike DeWine and Maryland's Larry Hogan blaming Trump for encouraging his supporters to engage in violence that day. 

He also quoted former Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio who said that the invasion of the Capitol by the mob that day, who were "inspired by lies" made by people in power, "is a disgrace to all who sacrifice to build our republic." 

768d ago / 6:28 PM UTC

Lieu throws 'mulligan' shade at GOP Sen. Lee

You have to be well attuned to Capitol Hill to have caught it, but Rep. Ted Lieu just threw a tiny bit of shade at Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, when he mentioned some wishing Trump could take a "mulligan" on the attack.

Lee made a comment about all politicians wishing they could take a mulligan for past rhetoric during an interview with Fox News earlier this week.

Twitter took off and there was a pile-on on Lee for appearing to say Trump deserved a mulligan for the Jan. 6 attack. Lee defended himself in the tweet thread below.

Lee on Wednesday prompted a small retraction by House managers after he protested that Democrats had misrepresented a call Trump made to him seeking to speak with Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., during the Capitol riot.

768d ago / 6:22 PM UTC

Raskin says 'we'll have no one to blame but ourselves' if Trump incites violence again

Raskin said that Congress will be to blame if former President Trump is ever elected to office again and uses his position to incite further violence.

Raskin, the lead House manager, told senators that if Trump isn't impeached and barred from running again, riots like the one on Jan. 6 may repeat in Washington, D.C., or at other government buildings across America.

"My dear colleagues: is there any political leader in this room who believes that if he is ever allowed by the Senate to get back into the Oval Office, Donald Trump would stop inciting violence to get his way?" Raskin said. "Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that?   Would you bet the safety of your family on that? Would you bet the future of your democracy on that?"

Raskin's presentation detailed the former president continually siding with forces threatening political violence.

"So he gets back into office and it happens again, we'll have no one to blame but ourselves," Raskin concluded.

768d ago / 6:13 PM UTC

Lieu: Plenty of evidence that Trump showed no remorse for his role on Jan. 6

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., another House manager, argued in his presentation that Trump showed no remorse for his role on Jan. 6 and the events leading to the attack on the Capitol. 

"President Trump not only failed to show remorse or take accountability, he made clear this was just beginning," Lieu told the Senate. 

Lieu said that Trump didn't address the nation after the attack. Instead, he took no action. 

"We needed our commander in chief to lead, to unite a grieving country, to comfort us," said Lieu, adding that Trump did "nothing" and there was only "silence." 

Lieu said that some have argued Trump had simply made a mistake, but the congressman said, "We know President Trump didn't make a mistake, because you see, when you or I make a mistake, and something very bad happens, we would show remorse. We would accept responsibility."

The Democratic manager said that on Jan. 12, on his way to Texas, Trump was asked if he took any responsibility for what happened on Jan. 6, and he said only that "everybody thought it was totally appropriate," referring to the speech he made to his supporters that day. 

"I'm a former prosecutor, and we're trained to recognize lack of remorse," Lieu said. "But it doesn't take a prosecutor to understand that President Trump was not showing remorse. He was showing defiance."

768d ago / 6:08 PM UTC

Raskin: Trump provoked violence against Whitmer

Raskin used Trump's attacks on Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who was later the target of a pro-Trump mob, as an example of how his comments influence his supporters.

Raskin provided a timeline of events by showing numerous tweets where Trump insulted Whitmer's Covid-19 protocol and her intelligence, saying she didn't "have a clue" what she was doing.

Then, Raskin showed armed protestors outside the Michigan Capitol and said they stormed the building because of what Trump said about the state and its governor.

Raskin also explained how Whitmer's life was directly threatened. More than a dozen men were arrested  last October on federal and state charges of plotting to kidnap her.

He later showed a picture of a rioter at the U.S. Capitol holding a brunette doll with a noose around her neck. Raskin says the doll was of Whitmer.

768d ago / 5:52 PM UTC

Raskin plays clips of Trump endorsing violence before Jan. 6

Raskin argued in the next presentation that Jan. 6 was a "culmination of the president's actions, not an aberration from them."

"His encouragement of violence against other public officials who he thought had crossed him long predates the 2020 campaign," Raskin said. 

Raskin said that white supremacist and extremist groups "have spread like wildfire" across the country under Trump, and Raskin played a number of video clips showing Trump encouraging or praising violence. 

At an October 2015 rally in Miami, Trump told his supporters to "knock the crap out of" a protester who was in the audience. 

"I promise you I will pay for the legal fees," Trump said on stage. 

Trump was also seen at a March 2016 press conference describing an incident that took place at one of his campaign rallies. He said that someone in the audience began swinging at his supporters. 

"He was hitting people and the audience hit back," Trump said at the time, adding that the audience's reaction was "very, very appropriate."

Another video clip showed the incident in which Greg Gianforte, while running for Congress, body-slammed a reporter at a campaign event and broke the reporter's glasses. Trump later joked about the incident at a campaign rally, saying, "Greg is smart — never wrestle him."

Raskin also played video of Neo-Nazis chanting in Charlottesville, "Jews will not replace us!" and repeating that there were "very fine people on both sides." 

768d ago / 5:40 PM UTC

New court doc says extremist was waiting for Trump directions

Federal prosecutors said Thursday that one of the people charged in the Capitol riot indicated that she was “awaiting directions from President Trump” as the inauguration grew near.  Because the document was filed so recently, the House managers may not have been aware of it. 

In a motion seeking pre-trial detention of Jessica Watkins, prosecutors said she texted in early November, “Unless the POTUS himself activates us, it’s not legit. The POTUS has the right to activate units too. If Trump asks me to come, I will.”

In a later text on Dec. 29, she texted that she planned to go to Washington on January 6 because “Trump wants all able bodied Patriots to come,” the memo says.

Watkins, a military veteran, is accused of conspiring with other members of The Oath Keepers militia group to undertake violent action to prevent Joe Biden from being inaugurated. She was arrested Jan. 17, and two others were charged with conspiring with her.

“Watkins and her co-conspirators formed a subset of the most extreme insurgents that plotted then tried to execute a sophisticated plan to forcibly stop the results of presidential election from taking effect,” prosecutors said.

768d ago / 5:31 PM UTC

Trump legal team plans to wrap arguments Friday


Former President Trump’s legal team plans to only use one day for arguments and wrap their presentation by Friday evening, Trump adviser Jason Miller tells NBC News.

As previously reported, the defense team was not expected to use its full 16 hours, according to two sources familiar with the legal strategy. This reflected the outward optimism from the Trump lawyers heading into the trial. 

Miller also suggested the defense arguments will likely not stretch late into Friday evening, either.

768d ago / 5:28 PM UTC

More on that Texas Trump supporter charged in the riots

Rep. Degette played a clip from an NBC News interview with Jenna Ryan, a Trump supporter from Texas who has been charged in the Capitol riot.

"I thought I was following my President, I thought I was doing what he asked us to do," she said.

Here's more on that interview:

768d ago / 5:20 PM UTC

Rep. DeGette lays out evidence that the rioters were following Trump's orders

Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., began the House managers' opening arguments Thursday by laying out evidence that the rioters believed they were following Trump's orders. 

"Their own statements before, during, and after the attack made clear the attack was done for Donald Trump at his instructions and to fulfill his wishes," DeGette said. 

DeGette said the rioters themselves said they came to Washington, D.C., and to the Capitol "because the president instructed them to do so." The congresswoman then played video clips that showed pro-Trump supporters chanting "fight for Trump" and "stop the steal" on Jan. 6 as they breached the Capitol. 

The Democratic manager quoted one rioter who said on a livestream he taped from inside the Capitol, "Our president wants us here. We wait, and take orders from our president." 

She also showed a video clip in which a rioter said, "He'll be happy. We're fighting for Trump." 

“We were invited here!” another rioter yelled in a separate video. “We were invited by the president of the United States!”

"Even after the attack the insurrectionists made clear to law enforcement that they were just following President Trump's orders," she said. "They didn't shy away from their crimes because they thought they were following orders from the commander in chief and so they would not be punished. They were wrong." 

768d ago / 5:18 PM UTC

Day three of impeachment trial begins

The third day of the impeachment trial gaveled into session at 12 p.m. ET Thursday for the managers' second and final day of arguments.

The schedule will be similar to yesterday's with breaks every 2-3 hours, Schumer said.

House managers have used just over half of their allotted 16 hours.

Thursday's session opened with lead manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., resuming arguments before handing it over to Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., for her first remarks of the trial.

768d ago / 4:56 PM UTC

Trial outcome will not change Trump's ban from Twitter

Twitter says it will continue its ban on Trump regardless of whether he runs for office in 2024.

House managers have been using particularly incendiary tweets from Trump as far back as July to make their case of how he incited the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

If convicted at the trial, Trump would become ineligible to run for public office again. Twitter said Wednesday that the outcome of the impeachment trial does not change its decision to permanently remove Trump from the platform.

768d ago / 4:51 PM UTC

Pelosi seeking to honor police who defended Capitol


Image: Nancy Pelosi weekly press briefing
Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill, on Feb. 11, 2021.Olivier Douliery / AFP - Getty Images

Police officers who died defending the U.S. Capitol last month are "martyrs for our democracy" and should be bestowed Congress' highest honor, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday.

"They are martyrs for our democracy, martyrs for our democracy - those who lost their lives," Pelosi told reporters. "That is why I am putting forth a resolution, introducing legislation to pay tribute to the Capitol Police and other law enforcement personnel who protected the Capitol by giving them a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor that Congress can bestow." 

Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was killed during the Jan. 6 attack by pro-Trump mobs, seeking to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's victory. Two other police officers who responded to the riot have died by suicide since Jan. 6. 

Separately, a group of House members also introduced legislation last month to award the honor to Eugene Goodman, the Capitol police officer who deterred a mob away from the Senate chamber during the deadly riot.

768d ago / 4:43 PM UTC

Biden: 'Some minds may have been changed' by new video footage

President Joe Biden told reporters in the Oval Office Thursday morning that he did not watch yesterday's impeachment trial live, but caught some of the coverage on the morning news. 

"I think the Senate has a very important job to complete. And I think, my guess is some minds may have been changed, but I don’t know," he said when asked about the new video footage presented by the House impeachment managers.

Still, Biden, who has been careful not to get involved in the trial as he pushes to get a massive Covid-19 relief package passed in Congress, said he was remaining "focused on my job." 

768d ago / 4:34 PM UTC
768d ago / 4:21 PM UTC

Graham blames Capitol Police for not using lethal force on more rioters

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a close ally of Trump, told reporters that he believes "there's more votes for acquittal after today than there was yesterday" after the House manager's gripping presentation on Wednesday.

"Because hypocrisy is pretty large for these people, standing up to, you know, rioters when they came to my house, Susan Collins' house, I think this is a very hypocritical presentation by the House," Graham said.

He also blamed Capitol Police officers for not having used lethal force against more rioters.

"I got mad. I mean, these police officers had every right to use deadly force. They should have used it," he said. "The people in charge of securing the Capitol let the country down."

Graham's comments mark a shift in tone from his remarks on the Senate floor on the night of the riot, before senators voted to certify the electoral college results. Before the vote, he strongly condemned efforts to object to congressional recognition of the election.

"All I can say is count me out. Enough is enough," Graham said in a fast-talking, sometimes free-wheeling five-minute address to the Senate. He argued that both the courts and others had no proof of voter fraud and that even though he had been a stalwart supporter of Trump in recent years, it was time to move on. 

768d ago / 3:54 PM UTC
768d ago / 3:35 PM UTC

ANALYSIS: Trump conviction rests on Republicans' instinct for self-preservation

If Republican senators will not put the republic over their party, House impeachment trial managers suggested Wednesday, they should convict former President Donald Trump because of the personal threats he posed to their safety.

And by implication, their suggestion went further. Unless the Senate finishes off Trump with a conviction, their argument went, Trump will remain a threat to his party and the senators' political futures. Trump incited that riot, where some invaders aimed to kill the first- and second-in-line to the presidency, Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., according to the House prosecutors. The managers brought receipts — in the form of video and audio clips — to bolster their case.

It was a fragile shield of outnumbered cops and fortune that protected elected officials' lives and the Constitution during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to video and audio recordings played publicly for the first time during the Senate trial Wednesday.

But House Democratic prosecutors did not limit their arguments to the risk to the republic, no doubt because that line of argument has not proved persuasive with Republican senators so far. Their daylong presentation of the case against Trump tilted heavily toward reminding Republican senators that Trump targeted them for years — showing the actual tweets that did so — and making it clear if he is not convicted and disqualified from holding future federal office, he will continue to dominate them politically and potentially with violence.

768d ago / 3:17 PM UTC

Replacing damaged glass at the Capitol

The Architect of the Capitol is replacing the final pane of damaged glass in the center doors on the East Front of the Capitol. These glass-paned doors sit behind the bronze Columbus Doors, which are rarely closed during business hours and were not shut on Jan. 6, leaving the inner doors exposed. 

The man overseeing the replacement said the damaged pane was going back to the the Architect of the Capitol “for investigations.” 

Members of Congress, including Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, had requested that some damage from the Insurrection be preserved as a reminder. While other damaged areas of the Capitol still need to be fixed, this pane was the most visual and visceral visual of that day.

768d ago / 3:12 PM UTC

Trump impeachment trial Day 3: Democrats to press their case against former president

Image: House Impeachment Managers David Cicilline and Eric Swalwell depart Capitol Hill
House Impeachment Managers David Cicilline and Eric Swalwell depart after the day's proceedings concluded in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill, on Feb. 10, 2021.Joshua Roberts / Reuters

The third day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump will kick off Thursday at noon ET, with the Democratic House impeachment managers set to conclude their opening arguments.

The managers have more than half of the total 16 hours they were allotted to make their arguments left, but they may not use all that time.

The managers have said their case on Thursday will be a "continuation of laying out what happened — the terrible toll Trump’s actions took and the further support of Trump’s role in assembling, inflaming and inciting the insurrection." It is possible they could present more never-seen-before materials.

768d ago / 2:55 PM UTC

Fact-checking Day Two of Trump's second impeachment trial

768d ago / 2:33 PM UTC

FIRST READ: To check the score on the GOP civil war, look to this new Senate candidate

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As Republican senators consider the evidence that Democrats have presented in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial — a former president who sought to overturn the election results and who incited a violent mob — it’s worth studying the platform and rhetoric of a GOP candidate who wants to join them in the Senate.

“In Washington, I will pulverize the Uniparty — that cabal of Democrats and Republicans who sound the same and stand for nothing,” said Republican Josh Mandel in announcing his Senate bid to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

“I'm all in to advance the America First Trump Agenda and to oust Anthony Gonzalez!” Mandel also tweeted yesterday, referring to the Ohio GOP congressman who voted to impeach Trump.

Now Mandel isn’t exactly a new Senate candidate. He lost to Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in 2012 and pulled out of a possible rematch with Brown in 2018. But when we ask whether Trumpism is winning or losing within the Republican Party — even after the events of Jan. 6 — the direction of Mandel’s candidacy tells you everything you need to know.

768d ago / 1:43 PM UTC

Sen. Thune says House managers' arguments against Trump are 'very, very compelling'


Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., said after viewing the new video from Jan. 6 that the case presented by the House impeachment managers is "very compelling" and suggested that he's not ruling out voting to convict former President Donald Trump.

The managers had a "strong, strong presentation, put together in a way that I think makes it very compelling," Thune told reporters Wednesday. 

Asked whether the presentations had any impact on what he thinks about the trial so far, Thune said, "I said all along I was going to listen to the arguments and look at the evidence, and I'm doing that."

Thune said the managers were "very, very effective," and when he was asked whether he sees the connection between Trump's actions and the violence of Jan. 6, he said, "They've done a good job connecting the dots."

768d ago / 1:00 PM UTC

Senators react to new evidence of how much danger they faced on Jan. 6

Senators were rattled Wednesday as Democratic impeachment managers gave them new details of how close the violent mob of Trump's supporters came to finding them on Jan. 6.

As Rep. Swalwell played not-seen-before footage of how close the rioters came to the Senate chamber, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., sat expressionless but attentive, hands folded on his lap. Majority Leader Schumer had a hand on his forehead.

The chamber was in absolute silence as Swalwell showed the moment of Ashli Babbitt's death. There was longer silence of about 10 seconds when he showed new security footage of how close the rioters came to the Senate chamber — and asked them to imagine if they had breached the chamber just minutes earlier.

Some of the six Republicans who voted in favor of the constitutionality of the Senate trial were sitting next to each other — Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

As Swalwell showed evidence that Schumer had a "near-miss with the mob," the New York Democrat nodded in agreement.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, watched, attentive but nonreactive, as he watched the video captured by a reporter for the New Yorker of a rioter invoking Cruz's name to justify ransacking the Senate.

768d ago / 12:39 PM UTC

Footage shows Schumer, Romney having near misses with mob

House managers on Wednesday played video of senators experiencing near misses with the mob.

One of the closest calls 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, Rep. Eric Swalwell played footage showing a number of senators leaving the 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.

Romney said later that he did not know how close he was to the mob on Jan 6. as he walked down a hallway before Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman waved him in the other direction. 

768d ago / 12:03 PM UTC
768d ago / 11:19 AM UTC

Brief confusion on floor as Sen. Lee demands retraction on phone call Trump made

The House managers made a small retraction after 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 Rep. Jamie 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."

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

Lee took issue with how Cicilline described his role in Trump's phone call to Tuberville during the riot, though he did not explain what was 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 count. Lee's office had confirmed to CNN that the phone call happened.

768d ago / 11:13 AM UTC

Castro details timeline of Trump's public messaging during riot

768d ago / 11:12 AM UTC

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.

768d ago / 11:10 AM UTC

'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.

768d ago / 11:04 AM UTC