Donald Trump impeachment trial day two: New video shows close call, Mike Pence thanked and Fox News cuts away

Donald Trump impeachment trial day two: New video shows close call, Mike Pence thanked and Fox News cuts away
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The US Senate impeachment trial has gathered steam, with Democrats laying out their evidence against former president Donald Trump.

The House of Representatives has charged Mr Trump with inciting an insurrection by encouraging thousands of supporters to march on the Capitol on January 6, the day Congress gathered to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

The Senate, which conducts the trial, could conclude its debates as early as Saturday or Sunday.

These were some notable moments from day two:

Impeachment manager Castro said ‘Trump left lawmakers for dead’

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Impeachment manager says ‘Trump left everyone in this capitol for dead’

House Democrats said Mr Trump did little to stop the violence as it spiralled out of control, even with Republicans pleading for him to tell his supporters to stop.

Texas congressman Joaquin Castro said Mr Trump all but left “for dead” members of congress, staff and law enforcement at the Capitol by doing little or nothing to call an end to the violence that day, which followed a rally with Mr Trump’s supporters near the White House.

House managers prosecuting the case also said Mr Trump had planted the seeds for the riot by encouraging violence and making false claims the election was stolen long before January 6.

“When he wanted to incite his supporters to show up on January 6, president Trump tweeted 16 times between midnight on January 5 and his noon rally speech the next day — 16 times to get them to do something he wanted,” Mr Castro said.

“His messages in those 16 times were clear: fight, stay strong, be strong. But when the violence started, he never once said the one thing everyone around him was begging him to say: stop the attack.”

“Donald Trump did not send help to these officers who were badly outnumbered, overwhelmed and being beaten down.


New security camera footage was released, and it came with a parental warning

Prosecutors unveiled new security video showing the mob of rioters breaking into the Capitol, smashing windows and doors and searching menacingly for vice-president Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as overwhelmed police begged on their radios for help.

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Democrats show body camera footage of a Capitol police officer being beaten.

In the previously unreleased recordings, the House prosecutors displayed scenes of how close the rioters were to the country’s leaders.

Videos of the siege have been circulating since the day of the riot, but the graphic compilation amounted to a more complete narrative, a moment-by-moment retelling of the day’s events that offered fresh details on the attackers, scenes of police heroism and staff whispers and cries of distress.

Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin warned his audience the videos would include scenes of “shocking violence and bloodshed” against police officers.

“The impeachment managers will try to give warnings before the most graphic and disturbing violence.”

One new clip showed Republican senator Mitt Romney running to safety after the mob breached the Capitol, thanks to a last-minute warning from a police officer. That policeman, Eugene Goodman, has been praised for his quick actions on that day.

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New footage details the moments Officer Goodman led the mob away from the Senate chamber.

Another new clip showed Mr Pence, who had been presiding over a session to certify Joe Biden’s election victory, being rushed to safety where he sheltered in an office with his family just 100 feet from the rioters.

Ms Pelosi was evacuated from the complex before the mob prowled her suite of offices, her staff hiding quietly behind closed doors.

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Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 31 seconds

Security footage shows rioters searching for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

At one dramatic moment, the video shows police shooting into the crowd through a broken window, killing San Diego woman Ashli Babbitt.

In another, police overwhelmed by the mob frantically announce, “we lost the line” and urge officers to safety. One officer later died. Five people died in total that day.

Democrats focussed on Trump’s language

The video presentation opened the first full day of arguments in the trial as the prosecutors argued Mr Trump wasn’t an “innocent bystander” but the “inciter in chief” of the deadly riot.

Prosecutors said the former president spent months spreading election lies and building a mob of supporters primed for his call to stop Mr Biden’s victory.

“They did it because Donald Trump sent them on this mission,” said House prosecutor Stacey Plaskett, the Democratic delegate representing the Virgin Islands.

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Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 29 seconds

Donald Trump at a rally on January 6 saying he hopes Mike Pence does the ‘right thing’ to recertify Electoral College votes

Joe Neguse, another impeachment manager, said Mr Trump knew very well what would happen when he took to the microphone at a White House rally on January 6.

“This was not just a speech,” he said.

House Democrats showed piles of evidence from the former president himself — hundreds of tweets and comments that culminated in his rally cry to go the Capitol and “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat.

Recordings released in today’s hearing showed rioters roaming the halls chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” some equipped with combat gear.

Ms Plaskett said Speaker Pelosi had to be rushed to a secure off-site location because some of the rioters publicly declared their intent to kill her.

Footage was shown of rioters roaming the halls of the Capitol, calling out her name.

“They did it because Donald Trump sent them on this mission,” Ms Plaskett said.

Ms Plaskett, a former assistant prosecutor in New York City who has represented the Virgin Islands since 2015, cannot cast votes in the House as she represents a US territory, not a state.

Trump’s team weren’t fazed by the evidence

Castor wears a suit and mask and holds folders and a satchel as he walks through a grand hall past reporters
Donald Trump’s lawyer Bruce Castor says the defence team will stick to their strategy.(AP: Brandon Bell)

Mr Trump’s lawyers will have 16 hours to deliver their side of the argument after the House managers are finished.

But they said day two’s video and other evidence presented by Democrats had not made the case for Mr Trump’s culpability.

“I didn’t learn anything that I didn’t already know,” lawyer Bruce Castor said.

Mr Trump’s lawyers argue his rhetoric is protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech and that the trial is politically motivated.

Mr Trump’s legal team has copped a flood of criticism, both from Republican senators and the former president, about their performance during procedural arguments on day one.

But his lawyers have indicated they will stick with their strategy.

Mr Castor also denied that the former president had expressed displeasure to him when they spoke on Tuesday, US time.

“Far from it,” he said, “Only one person’s opinion matters and that is what I am going by”.

Mr Trump had reportedly revived his demands for his lawyers to focus on his unsupported claims of voter fraud, repeatedly calling former White House aide Peter Navarro, who told The Associated Press in an interview he agreed.

Mr Navarro is calling on Trump to fire his legal team.

“If he doesn’t make a mid-course correction here, he’s going to lose this Super Bowl,” Mr Navarro said, a reference to public opinion.

Mike Pence was thanked for doing his job

Former vice president Mike Pence ushered away from US senate chamber
Security video shows Mike Pence being evacuated from the Senate chamber on January 6.(Senate Television via AP)

Joe Neguse, another impeachment manager, made a point of thanking Mr Pence for recognising Joe Biden’s election victory despite the pressure he faced from Mr Trump.

He also added that Mr Trump “betrayed” Mr Pence by calling him a “coward” in a tweet on January 6.


Along with recordings showing rioters chanting “Hang Mike Pence”, video was also shown of makeshift gallows the mob had erected outside the building.

“Especially because he was just doing his job.”

Fox News cut away from the coverage


Most US networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC, were covering the trial.

But Fox News Channel, a network that appeals to Trump supporters, cut off an impeachment manager mid-sentence as he presented dramatic video footage of the mob attack and government leaders running for safety.

While sometimes dry, the presentation on day two reached an emotional climax when the never-before-seen graphic video was shown.

That’s when Fox cut from the impeachment trial and aired its commentary show The Five.

“This is all emotional, political theatre,” one of the co-hosts, Greg Gutfeld, said.


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