Impeachment managers argued their case against Donald Trump before the Senate yesterday, presenting never-before-seen footage from inside the Capitol siege on January 6th.
The newly released footage revealed how closely rioters had come to lawmakers. Security footage showed officer Eugene Goodman — who’d lured rioters away from the Senate chambers — warning senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) away from the approaching mob, and staffers for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sheltering inside an office minutes before rioters poured into the hall outside. In another video, rioters marched through the halls, tauntingly calling for Nancy Pelosi.
Other footage showed Vice President Pence and his family being evacuated within a few hundred feet of the rioters, and Senate majority leader, Chick Schumer (D-NY) doubling-back when his evacuation route came close to the mob. Graphic body camera footage showed rioters beating officers; in one such video, rioters bludgeoned an officer on the ground while screaming obscenities.
“It tears at your heart and brings tears to your eyes,” Romney said to reporters. “That was overwhelmingly distressing and emotional.”
The videos were part of the prosecutors’ case that Trump had intentionally provoked the riot by challenging the integrity of the 2020 election and by encouraging his supporters to “fight like hell” for him. The president had “primed for months his supporters,” said impeachment manager Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and used his platform to “issue a deliberate call to action” around January 6th.
Impeachment managers also released audio recordings of panicked police officers calling for reinforcements, referring to the event “a riot.” Chilling court documents also show the deadly intent of some of the insurrectionists. In one affidavit, filed against rioter Dawn Bancroft, Bancroft is quoted as saying, “We were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the friggin’ brain, but we didn’t find her.”
Impeachment managers will resume their argument today; the defense will present their case once the prosecution rests.