During Trump’s Senate impeachment trial Feb. 9, Democrats played footage taken from the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot including footage of Vice President Mike Pence’s escape from the Capitol.

As the video played, Democratic Rep. Stacey Plaskett described what was occurring in the video.

“You can see Vice President Pence and his family quickly moved downstairs. Then, as Pence was being evacuated, rioters started to spread throughout the Capitol,” Plaskett said.

Sen. Mitt Romney said the footage “tears at your heart and brings tears to your eyes.” 

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“That was overwhelmingly distressing and emotional,” Romney said.

Lead House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin said Donald Trump was “a man who praised and encouraged and cultivated violence.”

“He watched it on T.V. like a reality show, he reveled in it,” Raskin said.

Trump criticized Pence during his rally as the riots began a few blocks away.

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Trump tweeted from his now-deleted Twitter account.

The House pre-trial memo in the case against Trump said he is being impeached “because he willfully incited an insurrection against the government.”

“President Trump’s repeated claims about a ‘rigged’ and ‘stolen’ election were false, no matter how many contortions his lawyers undertake to avoid saying so. When [Trump] demanded that the armed, angry crowd at his Save America Rally ‘fight like hell’ or ‘you’re not going to have a country anymore,’ he wasn’t urging them to form political action committees about ‘election security in general,’” the memo said.

Trump’s lawyers defended against the accusations, claiming Democrats were using the riot as part of an act of political opportunism.

“The intellectual dishonesty and factual vacuity put forth by the House Managers in their trial memorandum only serve to further punctuate the point that this impeachment was never about seeking justice,” Trump’s lawyers said

“Instead, this was only ever a selfish attempt by Democratic leadership in the House to prey upon the feelings of horror and confusion that fell upon all Americans… upon seeing the destruction at the Capitol… Instead of acting to heal the nation, or at the very least focusing on prosecuting the lawbreakers who stormed the Capitol, the Speaker of the House and her allies have tried to callously harness the chaos of the moment for their own political gain.” 

The House voted Jan. 13 to impeach Trump, but according to reports, the Senate is unlikely to achieve the required two-thirds majority vote to convict the former president.

Written ByLinn Win

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