House managers say Trump’s response to the two events was ‘strikingly similar’ as he refused to condemn extremists and encouraged conspiracies

13 min ago

Trump’s lack of remorse shows “he will undoubtedly cause future harm,” Rep. Lieu says

Impeachment manager Ted Lieu explained why former President Trump’s lack of remorse is such an important factor in his impeachment trial, suggesting that “he will undoubtedly cause future harm if allowed.”

“President Trump expressed no regrets for last week’s violence insurrection at the US Capitol. This sends exactly the wrong signal to those of us who support the very core of our democratic principles and took a solemn oath to the constitution. It is time to say enough is enough,” Lieu said. 

Lieu explained that no one is saying a President cannot contest the election, “But what President Trump did, as his former chief of staff explained, was different. It was dishonorable. It was un-american. And it resulted in fatalities.”

Lieu went on to describe how Trump spent months inflaming his supporters ahead of the riot, saying he:

“Spread lies to incite a violent attack on the Capitol, on our law enforcement and on all of us and then he lied again to his base to tell them that this was all okay, that this was all acceptable. And that is why President Trump is so dangerous. Because he would have all of us, all Americans believe that any President who comes after him can do exactly the same thing. That’s why lack of remorse is an important factor in impeachment. Because impeachment, conviction, and disqualification is not just about the past, it’s about the future, it’s making sure that no future official, no future president, does the same exact thing President Trump does.”

“President Trump’s lack of remorse shows that he will undoubtedly cause future harm if allowed because he still refuses to account for his previous high grave crime against our government,” Lieu concluded.

Remember: Conviction requires two-thirds of senators present to offer “guilty” votes. Normally, two-thirds is 67 senators, which would require 17 Republican votes.

If Trump is convicted, there would be a subsequent vote on whether to bar him from further office. This would require only a simple majority — that’s 50 votes.

18 min ago

Trump failed to show remorse and honor the late Capitol police officer who died, Rep. Lieu says

From CNN’s Aditi Sangal

Senate TV

House impeachment manager Ted Lieu said former President Trump failed to show remorse or take responsibility in the days following the Capitol riot.

“For days he did not address the nation after this attack. We needed our commander-in-chief to lead, to unite a grieving country, to comfort us. But what did President Trump do? Nothing. Silence,” Lieu said on the Senate floor.

He also slammed the former President for not paying his respects to the late US Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, when he lay in honor in the Capitol earlier this month.

“It took President Trump three days before he lowered the flag of the United States of America. Three days. And President Trump, who was commander-in-chief at the time, did not attend and pay respects to the officer who lay in state in the very building that he died defending.”

Lieu also reminded the Senate that Trump did not think he had a role to play in the riot and had told reporters that his speech “was totally appropriate.”

1 min ago

Lead impeachment manager asks senators to ponder dangers of a second Trump presidency 

Senate TV

After presenting evidence on the Senate floor against former President Trump, lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin closed his remarks by asking the senators, who are serving as jurors in the case, a series of questions. 

“My dear colleagues, is there any political leader in this room who believes if he’s ever allowed by the Senate to get back into the Oval Office, Donald Trump would stop inciting violence to get his way? 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? President Trump declared his conduct totally appropriate. So if he gets back into office and it happens again, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves.”

The impeachment managers argue that Trump is responsible for inciting the rioters that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Remember: Conviction requires two-thirds of senators present to offer “guilty” votes. Normally, two-thirds is 67 senators, which would require 17 Republican votes.

If Trump is convicted, there would be a subsequent vote on whether to bar him from further office. This would require only a simple majority — that’s 50 votes.

33 min ago

Impeachment managers are citing excerpts of Trump’s Jan. 6 speech. Read a transcript of his remarks here.

Then-President Donald Trump delivers a speech to supporters near the White House on January 6. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Trump gave a Jan. 6 speech near the White House in which he exhorted his supporters to march on the US Capitol to challenge the final certification of President Biden’s electoral victory. 

That speech is at the heart of the House Democrats’ case against him – a single impeachment charge of inciting the insurrection that followed.

“January 6 was not some unexpected radical break from his normal law-abiding and peaceful disposition, this was his state of mind,” lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin told senators today after showing videos where Trump appears to be condoning violence among his supporters.

“He knew that egged on by his tweets and his messages for a wild time in Washington, his extreme followers would show up bright and early, ready to attack, ready for extreme violence to fight like hell for their hero,” Raskin continued.

Read a CNN transcript of Trump’s Jan. 6 speech here. Here is a fact-check from CNN’s Daniel Dale on his remarks.

38 min ago

Michigan protests were a “dress rehearsal” for US Capitol attack, Rep. Raskin says

From CNN’s Adrienne Vogt

Michigan state police prevent protesters from entering the chamber of the Michigan House of Representatives on April 30, 2020. Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

Hundreds of protesters — some of whom were armed — who jammed into the Michigan Capitol on April 30, 2020, were a “preview of the coming insurrection,” lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin said in his presentation.

“This Trump-inspired mob may indeed look familiar to you: Confederate battle flags, MAGA hats, weapons, camo Army gear, just like the insurrectionists who showed up and invaded this chamber,” Raskin said. 

“The siege of the Michigan Statehouse was effectively a state-level dress rehearsal for the siege of the US Capitol that Trump incited on Jan. 6,” Raskin said. 

Raskin said former President Trump’s response to the two events were “strikingly similar,” with Trump refusing to condemn the extremists in Michigan and urging Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to “make a deal” with them.  

On Oct. 8, 2020, 13 people were charged in an alleged domestic terrorism plot to kidnap Whitmer, according to federal and state officials.

“If we don’t draw the line here, what’s next?” Raskin said. “What makes you think the nightmare with Donald Trump and his lawmaking and violent mobs is over? If we let him get away with it, and then it comes to your state capitol or it comes back here again, what are we going to say? These prior acts of incitement cast a harsh light on Trump’s obvious intent.”  

27 min ago

House managers play videos from as early as 2015 in which Trump appears to condone violence

House impeachment managers are playing a collection of videos from as early as 2015, in which former President Trump appears to be condoning violence among his supporters.

A video from a 2015 rally showed White attendees shoving, tackling and kicking a Black protester who disrupted his speech. Trump went on to say of the protester: “Maybe he should have been roughed up.”

The managers also showed video of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville that turned deadly after White nationalists, neo-Nazis and other groups arrived to protest a city decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Trump later said “both sides” — both the White nationalists and the counter-protesters — were to blame.

The managers went on to note a 2018 incident where Trump praised a Republican congressman who body slammed a reporter.

Watch Rep. Raskin here:

52 min ago

The allegation of “incitement” is central to Democrats’ case against Trump. Here’s what you need to know.

From CNN’s Zachary B. Wolf

The allegation of “incitement” is key to the impeachment case House Democrats are making against former President Trump because it ties his words and actions to the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill.

House impeachment managers have devoted most of their presentation this week to the results, airing graphic video footage and audio from the attack on the Capitol — which put members of the Senate, who will vote on the charges, personally at risk.

Their argument is that Trump was responsible for what happened, even though he did not join the mob that marched from his Jan. 6 rally near the White House to the US Capitol, where electoral votes were being tallied to seal Joe Biden’s victory.

The article of impeachment passed by the House in January reads, in part: “Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States.” Read the whole thing here.

Here are a few key things the Democrats have said so far:

  • “He had incited the attack. The insurgents were following his commands,” said Texas Democratic Rep. Julian Castro.
  • “He directed all of the rage that he had incited to Jan. 6. That was his last chance to stop the peaceful transition of power,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell of California. He later added, “This was not just any old protest. President Trump was inciting something historic.”
  • “This was deliberate,” said Virgin Islands Del. Stephanie Plaskett. “And because the President of the United States incited this, because he was orchestrating this, because he was inviting them, the insurgents were not shy about their planning.”

Trump’s defenders, namely Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, have argued that Trump can’t be held accountable because the people who made up the mob are “entitled to be idiots” and Trump was just whipping up the crowd, which is what politicians do.

“The President’s language at times is a little overheated,” Cruz told Sean Hannity on Fox News. “But if you look at the language he used, saying things like ‘fight,’ saying things like ‘go retake our country,’ if that is now incitement then we better prepare a long line to indict every candidate for office, anyone who’s ever run.”

We should note here that Cruz, in the days before the Jan. 6 riot, was himself egging on election-skeptics to fight against the counting of electoral votes and promising them “we will win.” Cruz also pointed out Trump told the festering mob to be peaceful, which he did, once — as opposed to the 20 times he told the crowd to “fight,” according to the impeachment managers. 

You can read Trump’s whole Jan. 6 speech here.

58 min ago

How Romney’s family reacted to security video showing an officer potentially save him from the mob

From CNN’s Manu Raju and Sarah Fortinsky

In this image from surveillance video shown during Wednesday’s impeachment trial, Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman directs Sen. Mitt Romney away from rioters. Capitol security footage/Senate TV

CNN asked Sen. Mitt Romney how his family reacted to the video presented by House impeachment managers yesterday. The video showed Officer Eugene Goodman leading Romney away from the mob that had breached the Capitol, potentially saving his life.

“I don’t think my family or my wife understood that I was as close as I might have been to real danger, and they were surprised, and very, very appreciative of officer Goodman and his being there and directing me back to safety,” he said. 

Romney reiterated he was headed to his Capitol hideaway after getting a text from staff warning that protestors had breached the building. 

“And as I started going down that hall, Officer Goodman said, ‘hey, go back in. You’re safer in the chamber,” he said.

Asked what he thought might have happened to him, Romney said: “I don’t want to speculate but clearly I was walking in the direction of danger and that’s not a good thing.”

Romney, asked if he is leaning towards voting for former President Trump’s conviction, said: “I’m keeping an open mind and will wait until both sides have had a chance to take their cases forward.”

32 min ago

The “QAnon Shaman” rioter was brought up today. Here’s what you need to know about him.

From CNN’s Marshall Cohen

US Capitol rioter Jacob Chansley. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrat from Colorado, repeatedly name-dropped one rioter, Jacob Chansley, during her presentation on Thursday.

He has become Internet famous for showing up at the Capitol with a horned bearskin headdress, and is known as the “QAnon shaman” among followers of the conspiracy theory movement.

He’s important to the Democrats’ case because he was one of the most prominent figures during the insurrection, making it to the Senate floor and brazenly posing for photos on the Senate dais where then Vice President Mike Pence stood shortly before the attack.

Democrats have also played videos of Chansley where he explicitly says he is taking his cues from Trump, including after Trump finally told the rioters to “go home” in a social media video several hours after the attack began.

Chansley’s case has also made headlines for his demands to only get organic food in jail. A federal judge ruled in his favor last week, ordering jail officials in the DC area to give him organic food in accordance with his Shamanism religion.