- House impeachment managers relied closely on Trump’s statements, speeches, and tweets to build a case towards him.
- In different phrases, Trump didn’t testify at his impeachment trial, but he still did most of the talking.
- Impeachment managers performed hours of footage displaying how Trump’s lies paved the method for the Capitol siege.
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Former President Donald Trump’s legal professionals rejected a request earlier this month from Democratic House impeachment managers for him to testify at his Senate impeachment trial. But on Wednesday, as oral arguments in the trial kicked off, the managers still made certain Trump did most of the talking by way of tweets, rally speeches, information conferences, and different public statements.
The former president is barred from social media and has largely stayed out of the public highlight since the lethal Capitol revolt on January 6. On Wednesday, nevertheless, it was like he was in the room as the House managers pieced collectively a damning portrait of how his personal phrases paved the method for the siege.
“You will see during this trial a man who praised and encouraged and cultivated violence” weeks earlier than the revolt, lead impeachment supervisor Rep. Jamie Raskin stated.
It was a stark distinction to Trump’s first impeachment, when the public heard testimony from a dozen witnesses who painted a broad image of the extent to which the then president went to stress a overseas authorities into meddling in a home election.
This time, the impeachment managers emphasised that they might rely solely on “cold, hard facts” and photographs of the siege to attract a straight line between Trump’s rhetoric and the violence at the Capitol.
Raskin opened Wednesday’s proceedings by laying out a timeline of Trump’s public efforts to overturn the election outcomes, pointing to a December 12 Trump tweet wherein he wrote, “WE HAVE JUST BEGUN TO FIGHT!!!”
Per week later, on December 19, Trump informed his followers to indicate as much as a “big protest” in Washington, DC, on January 6. “Be there, will be wild!” Trump tweeted.
Raskin emphasised that along with social media posts and information tales, there have been additionally “credible reports” from the FBI and US Capitol Police warning of potential violence at the January 6 rally.
“This mob got organized so openly because, as they would later scream in these halls and as they posted on forums before the attack, they were sent here by the president, they were invited here by the president of the United States of America,” he stated.
‘He needed to be sure that his supporters had been offended’
Later, impeachment supervisor Rep. Joaquin Castro detailed Trump’s months-long marketing campaign to sow doubt about the integrity of the 2020 race earlier than Election Day.
Castro pointed to particular statements Trump made on Twitter, throughout information conferences, and at political rallies in the run-up to the election:
- May 24, 2020: Trump tweeted that the November election would “be the greatest rigged election in history.”
- June 22, 2020: Trump tweeted that the election can be “rigged” and the “scandal of our times.”
- July 19, 2020: Trump informed Fox News’ Chris Wallace he wouldn’t decide to the peaceable switch of energy
- July 30, 2020: Trump tweeted that the November election can be the “most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history.”
- July 31, 2020: Trump informed reporters that “this is going to be the greatest election disaster in history.”
- August 17, 2020: At a rally in Wisconsin, Trump informed supporters, “The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged, remember that.”
- August 24, 2020: Trump stated at a information convention in Charlotte that “the only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election.”
- September 12, 2020: “It’s a rigged election, it’s the only way we’re going to lose,” Trump informed supporters at a Nevada rally.
- September 23, 2020: When requested at a White House press briefing if he would decide to a peaceable transition, Trump floated lies about mail-in ballots and added, “There won’t be a transfer, frankly, there will be a continuation.”
- October 8, 2020: During a Fox News cellphone interview, Trump stated, “This will be one of the greatest fraudulent, most fraudulent elections ever.”
“He didn’t care if the claims were true,” Castro stated after working via the montage. “He wanted to make sure that his supporters were angry, like the election was being ripped away from them.”
“He urged them, again and again, with increasingly forceful language, to fight to stop the steal,” Castro added. “And even as the certification got closer and he grew even more desperate, he gave them specific instructions on how, when, and where to fight to stop the steal.”
The revolt ‘by no means would’ve occurred but for Donald Trump’
Rep. Madeleine Dean went subsequent, laying out how after dropping the election, Trump tried to strongarm election officers into doing his bidding.
She pointed to his tweets and public statements attacking Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, and a January 2 cellphone name wherein Trump ordered Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to flip the state’s ends in his favor.
Dean stated Trump’s conduct with respect to Georgia was “the most egregious” and stated he went on a “relentless attack” towards officers in the state. She then threw up 4 totally different Trump tweets wherein he described Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp as “hapless” and known as him and Raffensperger “fools” and a “disaster” who “don’t have a clue.”
As a outcome of these assaults, Dean famous, Raffensperger and his household obtained loss of life threats and feared for his or her security. Georgia’s chief election official, Gabriel Sterling, additionally publicly known as on Trump to “stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence” and warned that “someone’s going to get killed.”
The threats towards Raffensperger had been public data. But in the days after, Dean stated, as an alternative of condemning the assaults, Trump “doubled down.”
She then performed a video montage of Trump claiming there was “massive fraud” in Georgia and saying Raffensperger was “an enemy of the people.”
“This was attack after attack in the face of clear threats of violence,” Dean stated.
The Pennsylvania lawmaker later choked up as she recalled what it was like being trapped in the Capitol whereas Trump’s supporters stormed the constructing to search out members of Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence. The assault “never would’ve happened but for Donald Trump,” she stated.
“And so they came, draped in Trump’s flag, and used our flag, the American flag to batter and to bludgeon,” Dean stated. “And at 2:30 [on January 6], I heard that terrifying banging on House chamber doors. For the first time in more than 200 years, the seat of our government was ransacked on our watch.”