- House impeachment managers aired previously unseen footage of the Capitol siege on Wednesday.
- The footage showed how close the rioters came to lawmakers, plus Office Eugene Goodman’s heroism.
- House impeachment managers also showed graphic footage of the Capitol attack at the trial on Tuesday.
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The Democratic impeachment managers in former President Donald Trump’s Senate trial on Wednesday showed new and previously unseen security footage taken from inside the Capitol during the insurrection on January 6.
The new Capitol security footage showed how close rioters got to the Senate chamber, and how quickly they overpowered a lone police officer who attempted to use pepper spray as a deterrent after they broke windows and climbed into the Capitol.
Impeachment manager Rep. Stacey Plaskett of the US Virgin Islands noted that one of the insurrectionists could be seen in full tactical body armor and wielded a metal baseball bat, while others carried riot shields.
“As the rioters reach the top of the stairs, they were within 100 feet of where Vice President Pence was sheltering with his family,” Plaskett said. Rioters had chanted “hang Mike Pence” amid the Capitol attack on January 6, as Trump pressured the vice president to overturn the election results. Pence did not have the authority to adhere to Trump’s demands, and the president had essentially thrown him under the bus and turned the vice president into a scapegoat for his election loss.
The footage also showed Officer Eugene Goodman, who’s been widely praised over his handling of the riot and for drawing rioters away from the Senate chamber, urging GOP Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah to turn around and get to safety.
PBS Newshour’s Yamiche Alcindor first reported on the existence of the footage on Tuesday morning, before oral arguments kicked off.
Alcindor quoted a Democratic source who said the video would show “just how close Trump’s mob came to senators, members of Congress, and staff.”
The video will show “extreme violence,” according to what an aide told The Washington Post. “It will show the extent of what Donald Trump unleashed on our Capitol,” the aide added.
The footage is one part of the House managers’ video-heavy presentation in Trump’s impeachment trial. The House of Representatives on January 13 charged Trump with “incitement of insurrection” in connection to the deadly Capitol siege.
Impeachment managers on Wednesday also released previously unheard radio communications between law enforcement, in which they described being attacked and called for reinforcements.
On Tuesday, the Senate trial kicked off with a debate over the constitutionality of holding a trial in the first place given that Trump is no longer in office and therefore cannot be removed via a conviction. Fifty-six senators voted that the trial was constitutional, while 44 voted that it was not, paving the way for oral arguments to start Wednesday.
The House impeachment managers argued that there was no “January exception” to impeachment because it would mean presidents could act with impunity during their final days in office. Trump’s actions are impeachable, they said, because he undertook them while in office. Also, removal from office is not the only objective of impeachment because being barred from holding office in the future is also a possibility.
Trump’s defense lawyers leaned heavily on the constitutionality argument, and they also said he was deprived of due process and that the Senate was not the appropriate jurisdiction to “try” Trump.
House impeachment managers have already relied on using video to make their case against Trump. At the start of the trial on Tuesday, lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland showed graphic footage of the Capitol riot. It depicted Trump supporters verbally and physically assaulting police officers, juxtaposing the violence and mayhem with the incendiary, lie-filled speech the former president delivered prior to the riot.
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