The House Democrats prosecuting former President Donald Trump rested their case today, branding him a clear and present danger to United States democracy who could sow new violence like the deadly assault on the Capitol last month if he was not barred from holding office again.
Calling on senators to render “impartial justice” and embrace the “common sense” of the country’s founders, the nine impeachment managers closed their case by laying out the grave damage the Jan. 6 riot had caused not just to lawmakers or police officers at the Capitol, but to the democratic system and America’s standing around the world. None of it, they argued, would have happened without Trump.
Rep. Jamie Raskin of Mayland, the lead manager, said the evidence that Trump cultivated, incited and then showed no remorse for the attack warranted making him the first impeached president ever to be convicted and the first former president to be disqualified from holding future office.
“If you don’t find this a high crime and misdemeanor today, you have set a new terrible standard for presidential misconduct in the United States of America,” he said.
A day after delivering the Senate a harrowing account of the deadly violence, replete with chilling, previously unseen security footage, the prosecutors returned for the trial’s third day with new video clips, court documents and interviews in which the rioters defended their actions by citing Trump’s directives and desires.
“We were invited here,” one of them screamed, the clip echoing through the Senate chamber.
“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,” said Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado.
But already Wednesday, Republican senators who sat through a vivid retelling of an assault they lived through appeared unmoved from their determination to acquit Trump.
Trump’s lawyers are expected to present his defense beginning Friday at noon. They intend to deny that Trump was responsible for the attack or meant to interfere with the electoral process underway at the Capitol, despite his repeated exhortations to supporters to “fight like hell” to “stop the steal.”