Washington — House Democrats leading the prosecution of former President Donald Trump at his Senateconcluded their arguments for conviction on the third day of proceedings, zeroing in Mr. Trump's words and actions in the run-up to the January 6 attack on the Capitol to urge senators to find him guilty.
"If you think this is not impeachable, what is? What would be?" said Representative Jamie Raskin, the lead House impeachment manager. "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."
The impeachment managers presented video evidence, media reports and court documents to demonstrate how some members of the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol believed they were acting at the direction of the president.
"They truly believed that the whole intrusion was at the president's orders, and we know that because they said so," Representative Diana DeGette said. "This was not a hidden crime. The president told them to be there and so they actually believed they would face no punishment."
The Democrats deployed a litany of Mr. Trump's comments in interviews and at political rallies over the years to make the case that he deliberately incited his supporters to resort to violence in a desperate attempt to remain in power.
"These tactics were road-tested," Raskin said. "January 6 was a culmination of the president's actions, not an aberration from them. The insurrection was the most violent and dangerous episode so far in Donald Trump's continuing pattern and practice of inciting violence."
The managers also warned that failure to convict Mr. Trump would set a dangerous precedent that future presidents — or Mr. Trump himself — could exploit.
"We humbly, humbly ask you to convict President Trump for the crime for which he is overwhelmingly guilty of," said Congressman Joe Neguse. "Because if you don't — if we pretend this didn't happen, or worse, if we let it go unanswered — who's to say it won't happen again?"
On Wednesday, the impeachment managers spent hours building the case that Mr. Trump was responsible for inciting the mob that assaulted the Capitol, arguing the attack was the violent culmination of months of efforts by the former president to undermine the integrity of the election.
The managers revealed previously unseen security footage from inside the halls of Congress to drive home just how close the rioters came to lawmakers, staff and Vice President Mike Pence, who had resisted Mr. Trump's entreaties to obstruct the counting of electoral votes. Senators sat in silence as the managers presented the meticulously constructed timeline, with many saying they were shaken after reliving the violent episode.
Thursday was the final day for the Democratic managers to present their case for convicting the former president. Mr. Trump's legal team will mount his defense on Friday and plans to conclude their arguments the same day. Both sides will then field questions from senators before lawmakers consider any requests for witnesses or admission of additional evidence.
If the House managers decline to seek witness testimony, the trial could conclude with a vote on whether to convict or acquit as early as this weekend.
House impeachment managers rest their case
Lead impeachment manager Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Congressman Joe Neguse of Colorado delivered final remarks to senators to mark the close of Democratas' presentation, urging senators to find Mr. Trump guilty of incitement of insurrection and warning that failure to do so could pave the way for the events that occurred January 6 to happen once more.
"We humbly, humbly ask you to convict President Trump for the crime for which he is overwhelmingly guilty of," Neguse said. "Because if you don't — if we pretend this didn't happen, or worse, if we let it go unanswered — who's to say it won't happen again?"
Raskin made an appeal to the principles upon which the U.S. was founded, calling America unique.
"That's why America is such a miracle," Raskin said. "We were founded on extraordinary principles on the inalienable rights of the people and the consent of the governed, and the fundamental equality of all of us."
The Maryland congressman implored senators to think about the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, "We the people," followed by the purposes of the government laid out in the document.
"We've got the power to impeach the president. The president doesn't have the power to impeach us. Think about that," he said. "The popular branch of government has the power to impeach the president."
Raskin noted the issue of the trial's constitutionality has already been addressed, as senators voted on the question at the start of the proceedings, seemingly attempting to preempt arguments from Mr. Trump's legal teams when they lay out their case in defense of the former president Friday.
The congressman said Mr. Trump's lawyers must instead address the "overwhelming" evidence put forth by the House managers, which he said demonstrate the president's "clear and overwhelming guilt in inciting violent insurrection against the union."
Raskin noted Democrats requested Mr. Trump testify during the proceedings, a request that was denied, and posed several questions to the former president's legal team about his conduct January 6: Why did Mr. Trump not tell his supporters to stop the attack? Why did he do nothing to stop the attack for at least two hours? Why did he do nothing to send law enforcement to assist for at least two hours after the attack? And why did Mr. Trump not condemn the attack that day?
"Just in general, if a president incited a violent insurrection against our government, would that be a high crime and misdemeanor?" Raskin continued. "Can we all agree at least on that?"
Raskin urged senators to exercise common sense during their deliberations, saying it's "all you need to arrive at the right answer here."
"We need to exercise our common sense about what happened," he said. "Let's not get caught up in a lot of outlandish lawyers' theories here. Exercise your common sense about what just took place in our country."
"Good luck in your deliberations," Raskin said, closing out the House impeachment managers' case.
The trial adjourned at 4:25 p.m., and will resume at noon on Friday.
Melissa Quinn and Kathryn Watson
Lieu rebuts claims Trump didn't receive due process
Congressman Ted Lieu, too, sought to head-off arguments from Mr. Trump's legal team that the former president was not afforded due process, as the House swiftly moved to impeach him days after the January 6 assault.
Lieu told senators that the House moved quickly to eliminate any doubt Congress would act decisively against a president who "incites violence against us."
He also noted that the House attempted to deliver the article of impeachment quickly to the Senate, but the upper chamber was out of session at that time, delaying its transmission.
Raskin then returned to stress the issue before senators is not whether Mr. Trump committed a crime under the federal code, D.C. law or state law.
"Impeachment does not result in criminal penalties, as we keep emphasizing. No one spends a day in jail. There are not even criminal or civil fines," he said.
To further differentiate the impeachment process from the legal process, Raskin noted that impeachment was created for a purpose separate and distinct from criminal punishment.
"What greater offense could one commit than to incite a violent insurrection at our seat of government during the peaceful transfer of power?" he said.
"What is impeachable conduct if not this?" Raskin continued. "If you think this is not impeachable, what is? What would be?"
Neguse and Raskin preempt Trump team's First Amendment defense
Impeachment managers Joe Neguse and Jamie Raskin preemptively contested the anticipated argument from Mr. Trump's lawyers that the president was exercising his First Amendment rights, and his speech is therefore protected.
"According to President Trump, everything he did, everything we showed you that he did, was perfectly OK for him to do. And for a future president to do again. And the Constitution apparently in their view forbids you from doing anything to stop it. That can't be right," Neguse said.
Neguse called that argument a "distraction" and an "alternative set of facts."
"Their argument is wrong on the facts, wrong on the law, and would flip the Constitution upside down," Neguse told senators.
It would be "extraordinarily dangerous," Neguse said, for the Senate to tell future presidents they can do what Mr. Trump did and get away with it.
Neguse claimed Mr. Trump's attorneys leave out the important facts about what Mr. Trump said. Mr. Trump wasn't just someone who showed up at a rally — "he was the president of the United States," and he'd used that "bully pulpit" to spread the lie that he won the election, Neguse told senators.
Raskin too called Mr. Trump's free speech defense is a distraction. He said this "brazen attempt to invoke the First Amendment won't hold up in any way."
When it comes to the peaceful transfer of power and the rule of law, the U.S. president must choose the side of the Constitution, not the side of the insurrection or the coup, Raskin continued. If that person chooses the wrong side, there's nothing in the Constitution that can protect that person, he said.
Raskin pointed out that this is "not a criminal trial," and thus, the standard for conviction is not the same.
"The violence he incited threatened all of our freedoms," he said. "It threatened the very constitutional order that protects free speech, due process, religious free exercise, the right to vote, equal protection and the many other fundamental rights that we all treasure and cherish as citizens of the United States."
The First Amendment, he continued, doesn't create a "superpower of immunity" for a president who attacks the Constitution "in word and deed."
"He is like the now-proverbial municipal fire chief who incites a mob to go set the theater on fire, and not only refuses to put out the fire, but encourages the mob to keep going as the blaze spreads," Raskin said.
The Maryland Democrat said the precedent Mr. Trump is asking Congress to create would allow future presidents to mimic his own conduct, which is "self-evidently dangerous."
Kathryn Watson, Melissa Quinn and Grace Segers
Castro says foreign adversaries watched "dress rehearsal" for overtaking Capitol
Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas warned the January 6 assault on the Capitol posed a grave risk to national security, as foreign adversaries would have wanted to take advantage of the chance to gain access to the building and Capitol complex.
"While we can't be certain if and how many foreign spies infiltrated the crowd or at least coordinated with those that did, we can be sure that any enemy that wanted access to our secrets would have wanted to be part of that mob inside these halls," he said.
Castro showed video of Senate offices ransacked by the rioters, who also went through the very desks where members are sitting on the Senate floor.
"Every foreign adversary considering attacking this building got to watch a dress rehearsal and they saw that this Capitol could be overtaken," he said.
Castro said U.S. adversaries are using the Capitol assault to denigrate America and justify their own anti-democratic behavior, citing remarks from Russian, Chinese and Iranian officials, as well as a January 14 joint threat assessment from the FBI warning that foreign influence actors "have seized the opportunity to amplify narratives in furtherance of their policy interest amid the presidential transition."
"They're using President Trump's incitement of an insurrection to declare that democracy is over," he said, adding "the world is watching and wondering whether we are who we say we are."
Castro said it's crucial for Congress to stand up for the rule of law.
"For generations, the United States has been a North Star in the world for freedom, democracy and human rights because America is not only a nation, for many it is also an idea," he said.
Castro said the trial is an opportunity to send a message "back to the world."
"There is a lot of courage in this room, a lot of courage that has been demonstrated in the lives of the people in this room," he said, referencing lawmakers who fought for civil rights and in the armed forces, serving in Vietnam and Afghanistan."Although most of you have traded in your uniform for public service, your country needs you one more time."
Castro said convicting Mr. Trump would show the world that the U.S. stands for the rule of law, regardless of who violates it.
"Let us show the world that January 6 was not America and let us remind the world that we are truly their North Star," he said.
Senate reconvenes after brief break
The Senate reconvened just after 2:45 p.m., and Congressman Joaquin Castro of Texas is set to discuss the harm to national security and damage to the international reputation of the U.S.
Senate in recess for 15-minute break
The Senate recessed for a break of 15 minutes shortly after 2 p.m. Senators plan to take short breaks every two to three hours, with a longer 30-minute break for dinner if needed.
Cicilline asks senators to think of law enforcement, Capitol staff when they cast their votes
Congressman David Cicilline of Rhode Island said Mr. Trump's conduct related to the January 6 assault harmed not only Congress, but also the democratic process and the scores of people who work inside the Capitol complex.
He began by noting the three people in the presidential line of succession — then-Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then-Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Grassley — were all at risk, and the rioters made clear their intent to harm Pence and Pelosi.
"This mob was trying to overthrow our government, and they came perilously close to reaching the first three people in line to the presidency," Cicilline said.
Rioters, he continued, were prepared to attack any lawmaker they came across, as demonstrated by comments made by mob members on social media posts and then cited in court filings.
Cicilline said Mr. Trump's "true North Star isn't America's well-being, it's not country first like our dear departed colleague John McCain. No, his directive is Trump first, no matter the cost, no matter the threat to our democracy."
The Rhode Island Democrat stressed the trauma extended not only to lawmakers who were at risk, but also the bevy of staff members, custodial staff and food workers who work in the Capitol.
"There are countless people who are still living with the trauma of what happened that day," he said.
Cicilline also highlighted the accounts of journalists who were at the Capitol to cover the tallying of electoral votes but found themselves in the middle of the assault instead, reporters who for years have been labeled the "enemy of the people" by Mr. Trump.
In addition to the emotional trauma inflicted, Cicilline noted the risk to public health, as the attack occurred in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. He also honored the three U.S. Capitol Police officers who lost their lives in the wake of the riots: Officers Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood and Jeffrey Smith. Sicknick died of injuries suffered in the assault. Liebengood and Smith died by suicide in the days after the attack.
The injuries to law enforcement responding to the assault, he said, were extensive, as officers suffered concussions, irritated lungs and smashed ribs, for example. In all, 81 members of the Capitol Police and 65 officers with the Metropolitan Police were injured.
"Trump's mob verbally denigrated their patriotism, questioned their loyalty and yelled racial slurs," Cicilline said of the emotional pain inflicted. "They called them traitors, Nazis, un-American for protecting us."
The congressman asked senators to consider the law enforcement officers, House and Senate staffers and Capitol employees who were screamed at by rioters hurling racist slurs and were affected by the violence when they ultimately cast their votes to convict or acquit.
"Is this America? What is your answer to that question. Is this OK?" he said. "If not, what are we going to do about it? These people matter. These people risked their lives for us, so I ask you respectfully to consider them, the police officers, the staff of this building when you cast your vote."
Cicilline noted the unprecedented nature of the attack — for the purpose of derailing a constitutionally mandated process — and stressed an assault on the peaceful transfer of power did not even happen during the Civil War.
But "it did just happen because of the cold, calculated and conspiratorial acts of our former president, Donald J. Trump."
DeGette: "Unless we take action, the violence is only just beginning"
DeGette played Mr. Trump's video from January in which he said their movement was only just getting started. DeGette noted that in the aftermath of the attack, there was an increase in threats. The Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning of increased risks from domestic terrorism threats.
"Unless we take action, the violence is only just beginning," DeGette said.
DeGette quoted the bulletin, which stated that the uptick in threats was primarily motivated by "the shared false narrative of a stolen election." She also outlined how Mr. Trump's supporters vowed to return to Washington for President Biden's inauguration, and attempted to plan further unrest on that day. Many of the people who attempted to carry out those plots were arrested.
DeGette also highlighted a video retweeted by Mr. Trump where supporter Couy Griffin said that "the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat." Griffin was present on January 6, andby the FBI ahead of the inauguration for allegedly planning to attack the Capitol.
Lieu highlights Trump's lack of remorse after insurrection
Congressman Ted Lieu of California focused on what the managers argue was Mr. Trump's lack of remorse for his role in emboldening supporters who attacked the Capitol.
"This was a president who showed no remorse and took no accountability. In fact, quite the opposite," Lieu said.
The California Democrat said Mr. Trump's refusal to take responsibility for the attack January 6 indicates he intended the events to happen, and when it did, "he delighted in it."
Lieu began with January 6, as Mr. Trump declined to condemn the violence perpetrated by the mob of his supporters, but did tell them in a video "we love you" and, in a subsequent tweet that evening, "Remember this day forever!"
Following the tweet, Lieu notes it took Mr. Trump another day to denounce the assault, ultimately doing so in a prerecorded video released January 7, 30 hours after the attack began.
"President Trump not only failed to show remorse or take accountability, he made clear he is just beginning," Lieu said of the president's comments in his January 7 video. "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."
The congressman noted that Mr. Trump never declared "the election was not stolen," which would've brought a halt to the threats of violence from extremist groups that have continued through the January 20 inauguration.
"He still hasn't said that sentence," Lieu said. "That is why National Guard troops in full body armor still patrol outside."
The Democratic lawmaker said disgust over Mr. Trump's conduct January 6 spread throughout his administration, underscored by comments made by former White House officials, including ex-acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, as well as more than a dozen resignations, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao among them.
"With President Trump did, as his former chief of staff explained, was different," Lieu said. "It was dishonorable, it was un-American and it resulted in fatalities."
Lieu said Mr. Trump would have Americans believe that his successors have broad leeway to repeat his actions without fear of repercussions.
"Impeachment, conviction and disqualification is not just about the past. It's about the future," he said. "It's making sure no future official, no future president, does the same exact thing President Trump does."
Lieu ended with an appeal to senators to vote to convict Mr. Trump of the charge of incitement of insurrection.
"I hope you'll come together and cast your vote and make absolutely clear how we as a Congress and as a nation feel about what Donald Trump did by convicting him and prevent this from being 'only the beginning,' as President Trump said, and to deter future presidents who do not like the outcome of a nation election from believing they can follow in President Trump's footsteps," he said. "It is what our Constitution requires. It is what our country deserves."
Trump legal team plans to finish defense on Friday
Mr. Trump's lawyers are entitled to up to 16 hours to present their defense, spanning Friday and Saturday. Their plan to conclude arguments on Friday means the trial could wrap up as soon as this weekend, as several GOP senators indicated earlier in the day.
Following the presentations by both sides, senators will have four hours to submit written questions to the managers and the defense team, according to the rules of the trial. The Senate will then consider any motions to call witnesses. If no witnesses are requested, the House managers can then ask the Senate to consider additional evidence.
Each side will have four hours to present closing arguments once any motions regarding witnesses or evidence have been considered. Senators will then proceed to vote on conviction.
Raskin argues Trump showed a "continuing pattern and practice of inciting violence"
Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin said Mr. Trump "inciting violence" on January 6 was in line with Mr. Trump's "continuing pattern and practice of inciting violence."
"This pro-Trump insurrection did not spring into life out of thin air," Raskin said.
"These tactics were road tested," he continued. "January 6 was a culmination of the president's actions, not an aberration from them. The insurrection was the most violent and dangerous episode so far in Donald Trump's continuing pattern and practice of inciting violence."
Since becoming president, Mr. Trump revealed what he thought of political violence — he "praised it and encouraged it," Raskin said.
Raskin played multiple videos of Mr. Trump encouraging crowds to harm protesters at his rallies.
"You heard him. He told his supporters to be a little more violent," Raskin said after one of the videos.
Raskin brought up those who allegedly plotted to capture Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Mr. Trump had no criticism for them, and continued to taunt Whitmer on Twitter.
"The siege of the Michigan statehouse was effectively a state-level dress rehearsal for the siege of the U.S. Capitol that Trump incited on January 6. It was a preview of the coming insurrection. President Trump's response to these two events was strikingly similar," Raskin said.
"He did not criticize the extremists, He didn't even check on Governor Whitmer's safety. He chose to vilify Governor Whitmer again," and then he demanded her gratitude, Raskin said.
Mr. Trump "knew exactly what he was doing in inciting the January 6 mob," Raskin said.
"We were invited here": DeGette argues rioters were following Trump's orders in Capitol attack
DeGette began her presentation by recalling her own experience January 6, as she was among the lawmakers evacuated from the chamber as the mob breached the Capitol building. The Colorado Democrat said as she was led out of the chamber, she and her colleagues walked past rioters who were ordered to the ground by law enforcement.
"They truly believed that the whole intrusion was at the president's orders, and we know that because they said so," she said. "This was not a hidden crime. The president told them to be there and so they actually believed they would face no punishment."
Through her presentation, which featured video clips and court filings, DeGette sought to demonstrate to senators that the rioters were acting on Mr. Trump's orders, beginning with their march from the White House to the Capitol to their ultimate retreat from the complex hours later.
DeGette played a video taken by an attendee of the rally at the Ellipse the morning of January 6, in which rally-goers chanted "Fight for Trump" during his speech. In another video, which showed rioters clashing with law enforcement outside the Capitol, the mob chanted "Stop the steal," while audio clips revealed others declaring the rioters were in the Capitol on the former president's orders.
A clip taken from the West Front of the Capitol from later January 6 features a member of the mob citing Mr. Trump's video posted to Twitter, in which he encouraged the crowd to go home, while legal filings cited by DeGette indicate the rioters were at the Capitol because Mr. Trump told them to be.
DeGette played video interviews from Jenna Ryan, a real estate agent from Texas who was charged in the attack, telling media outlets that "President Trump requested that we be in D.C. on the 6th."
"On January 6, we know who lit the fuse," DeGette said. "Donald Trump told these insurrectionists to come to the Capitol and 'stop the steal.' And they did come to the Capitol and they tried to stop the certification. They came because he told them to."
DeGette noted that those who were arrested and charged for their conduct January 6 are being held accountable.
"Their leader, the man who incited them, must be held accountable as well," she said.
DeGette closed with a video showing rioters outside the Capitol, with one man shouting "We were invited by the president of the United States."
GOP senators say trial could conclude by Saturday
Several Republican senators told reporters before the Senate reconvened on Thursday that they believed the trial would wrap up over the weekend.
"We're hoping the thing concludes by Saturday, but it sounds like we may not go late tonight," Senator John Cornyn said.
Senator Roy Blunt also said he believed the House impeachment managers would not go late today, and that the trial should be concluded by the weekend.
"Saturday's looking better all the time," Blunt told reporters.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito said she had heard the end of the trial may be Saturday, but "I'm not sure that's going to be possible."
"I think it may be more like Sunday," Capito said.
Senate convenes for second day of Democrats' arguments
The Senate has convened as a court of impeachment, kicking off the second day of the presentation from House impeachment managers.
The acting Senate Sergeant at Arms Jennifer Hemingway read the proclamation, declaring senators "keep silence on pain of imprisonment while the Senate of the United States is sitting for the trial."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate is expected to follow a schedule similar to Wednesday, taking short breaks every two to three hours, as well as a 30-minute dinner break if needed.
Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado is beginning the second day of the managers' presentation, laying out how the insurrectionists believed they were following orders from Mr. Trump.
Pelosi says she will introduce legislation to honor Capitol Police
Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced at her weekly press conference that she will introduce legislation to pay tribute to the U.S. Capitol Police and other law enforcement personnel who helped keep lawmakers safe during the attack on the Capitol on January 6. The legislation would award the police force with the Congressional Gold Medal.
"As we see what is being presented, we also see the extraordinary valor of the Capitol Police, who risked and gave their lives to save our Capitol, our democracy, our lives. They are martyrs for our democracy, those who lost their lives," Pelosi said, referring to the presentation by House impeachment managers providing new details about January 6. "The service of the Capitol Police force that day brings honor to our democracy, their accepting this award brings luster to our Gold Medal."
She also advocated for allowing Washington, D.C., to "operate as a state," with the ability to deploy its own National Guard troops. It took several hours for the National Guard to be deployed on January 6.
"Everything has to be subjected to the harshest review to make sure this doesn't happen again," Pelosi said of the attack on the Capitol. She said she had been briefed by Retired General Russell Honore, who is conducting a review into the events of January 6, on Thursday morning.
Biden says he didn't watch impeachment trial live
President Biden told reporters in the Oval Office that he didn't watch Wednesday's impeachment proceedings live but did see news coverage of the trial. The president said he worked "straight through" the day until just after 9 p.m.
"My guess is some minds may be changed," Mr. Biden said. "But I don't know."
The president said the Senate, an institution where he served 36 years, "has a very important job to complete."
Asked whether he believes Mr. Trump could be convicted, the president did not respond.
While the Senate conducts its trial examining whether the former president incited an insurrection with his conduct surrounding the January 6 assault, Mr. Biden has maintained a busy schedule. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday it was unlikely the president would spend much time watching the proceedings.
Mr. Biden made his remarks about the trial ahead of a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators on infrastructure. He is also expected to visit the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health this afternoon and deliver remarks.
Impeachment trial focuses on Trump's voter fraud claims
House impeachment managers shifted attention to Mr. Trump's voter fraud claims during the impeachment trial Tuesday, unveiling new video evidence. Nikole Killion offers a look at the big moments of the trial's second day and Ilya Shapiro, director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, joins "CBSN AM" with analysis.
Democrats to examine aftermath of Capitol attack on Day 3 of trial
House impeachment managers will turn to the aftermath of the January 6 attack on the Capitol as they wrap up their arguments to convince the Senate to convict Mr. Trump for incitement of insurrection.
Senior aides on the impeachment team said Thursday's arguments would turn to the aftermath of the attack, including Mr. Trump's role. They also plan to examine the harm caused by the riots, both physical and otherwise, the president's lack of remorse and the legal issues that apply in this case.
"We on the team and the managers, we remain convinced that that evidence has the power to change minds and indeed we think we saw even a little bit more movement yesterday," an aide said. "At the end of the day today, I think many of the questions raised by the senators who spoke to the press last night will have been answered thoroughly and their duty to convict will be clear."
Though managers would not say whether there would be new video evidence offered today, it seems unlikely that the second day of evidence would be as dramatic as the never-before-seen Capitol security footage introduced Wednesday that revealed just how close rioters came to the former vice president, senators, members of Congress, and their staffs on the Hill.
"As bad as January 6 was, was it could have been much, much worse," one aide said. Another added, "It's really hard to think of a moment from the first trial where all 100 senators sat at attention and were as enrapt and challenged by the evidence as we saw yesterday."
Senators on both sides of the aisle — including Republicans who say they do not believe Mr. Trump is responsible for the riots — described the new footage introduced Wednesday as "powerful," "graphic" and "horrific."
No Republicans emerged from the second day of the trial saying it had convinced them to convict the former president, but several indicated they were carefully considering the evidence they had seen.
"I think they were very effective. They had a strong, strong presentation put together in a way that I think makes it pretty compelling," said Senate Republican Whip John Thune of South Dakota. "I think they've done a good job of connecting the dots."
How to watch Day 3 of Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate
What: Former President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial
Date: Trial resumes Thursday, February 11, 2021
Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
On TV: CBS broadcast stations (Full list of CBS stations here)
"That was overwhelmingly distressing": Senators react to new video from January 6 attack
The evidence presented Wednesday showed how close rioters came to entering the Senate chamber while senators were still there. GOP Senator Dan Sullivan said that watching the footage made him "angry."
"We knew it was going to be an intense experience, for me at least it brings back a lot of anger," Sullivan said.
Sullivan's fellow Republican colleague, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said she multiple emotions while reliving her experience that day with a "more comprehensive timeline." She called it "disturbing."
"I know that I was feeling in the Senate chamber when I could hear those voices. I knew what it meant to be running down this hallway with my colleagues," Murkowski added. "I wasn't fully aware of everything else that was happening in the building. So when you see all the pieces come together, just the total awareness of that, the enormity of this, this threat, not just to us as people, as lawmakers, but the threat to the institution and what Congress represents. It's disturbing."
Grace Segers and Jack Turman
New security video shows lawmakers' close calls with rioters during January 6 insurrection
The House impeachment managers released new, striking security footage, showing how close some lawmakers came to rioters on January 6. Nikole Killion reports on the reactions in the Senate and how the new video could impact the rest of the trial.