The day three of former president Donald Trump’s impeachment trial was concluded on Thursday night with the call by the Democrats managers to “convict him” or be ready for such happenings in future.
The trial began in the US Senate on Tuesday, just over a month after a mob of Trump’s supporters attacked the Capitol and briefly occupied the building. The ensuing clashes between rioters and police left five people dead and score injured. It is also Trump’s second impeachment trial.
In his closing remarks, House impeachment manager Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo, held Trump “overwhelmingly guilty” and asked the Senate for a vote to convict.
“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?”
The Senate is adjourned until Friday, when Trump’s defense team will present its case.
During the proceedings, House manager Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., played footage of rioters shouting, “Fight for Trump!” as they stormed the Capitol.
“Their own statements before, during and after the attack make clear the attack was done for Donald Trump, at his instructions and to fulfill his wishes,” she said.
“They truly believed that the whole intrusion was at the president’s orders, and we know that because they said so,” she continued.
Meanwhile, some of the alleged rioters who face criminal charges stated that they stormed the Capitol at Trump’s behest.
She said that many rioters posed for pictures in the Capitol, uploaded them on social media and tagged the former president. DeGette believed that “they wanted him to see what they were doing.”
House manager Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., stressed that “the trial is not just about holding Trump accountable for his past actions but also safeguarding the country’s future against similar attacks.”
House manager Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, gave a reference of statements from various world leaders following the attack and argued that letting Trump’s actions stand without consequence puts the country’s international stature in jeopardy.
He quoted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Cuba’s Raul Castro in this regard.
Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., once again questioned the argument of Trump’s defenders that his speech is protected under the First Amendment.
He also argued that Trump’s actions constitute an impeachable offense.
Raskin said that senators will agree that the president incited insurrection against the government and he should be impeached for it.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden told White House reporters that he had seen news coverage of the trial but had not watched the hearing live.
As to the ultimate outcome of the trial, he said he guesses “some minds may be changed.”
A two-thirds majority is required to convict Trump in the 100-seat Senate. But an acquittal looks likely as the vast majority of Republicans have remained loyal to him so far.
If Trump is convicted, however, the Senate could also vote to bar him from holding elected office again.