Now, impeachment manager Joaquin Castro is emphasizing that Trump was criticizing his “own vice-president” ahead of the Capitol attack.
Trump called out Mike Pence 11 times in his speech ahead of the attack, Castro said, before presenting split screens of Trump’s tweets accusing Pence of lacking “courage” to challenge the election results and members of the violent mob at the capitol threatening the former vice-president.
“These attackers stood right where you are,” Cicilline told senators. “They rifled through your desks and they desecrated this place, and literally the president sat delighted, doing nothing to stop it, calling one of you to pressure you to stop the certification.”
Immediately before the Capitol attack, Donald Trump said: “We’re going to the Capitol, we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
David Cicilline pointed out that four minutes after Trump’s speech ended, explosive devices were found at the Democratic and Republican National Committees.“Within minutes of Donald Trump’s speech ending there were significant reports of escalating violence that began to surface,” Cicilline said.
As the Capitol was breached by the armed mob, Trump made his first call to Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, asking him “to make additional objections to the certification process” of the election results.
“Donald Trump’s objections to the certification are not on trial,” Cicilline said. “What is on trial is while we were under armed attack and being evacuated… our commander-in-chief was calling not to determine how to best secure the building or the people in it, but to continue to pressure senators to stop the certification process.”
Rick Scott, a Republican senator of Florida, told reporters the impeachment trial was a “complete waste of time”.
After viewing explicit videos of the attack, Scott said: “I’m disgusted that, you know, people think that they can do things like that and get away with it. I hope everybody that came into the Capitol and did the wrong thing gets prosecuted to the full extent of law.”
But, he did not hold Trump culpable. “I wish the president had said something faster when they broke into it, but, you know, I’ve watched what he said. He’s never said when somebody should break in,” Scott said.
The impeachment manager’s presentation now is a rebuttal to comments like the ones Scott made to reporters.
The impeachment trial has resumed.
The House impeachment managers will now review what Donald Trump was doing during the Capitol attack.
“On 6 January Donald Trump did not once condemn this attack. He did not once condemn the attackers. In fact, on 6 January, the only person he condemned was his own vice-president, Mike Pence, who was hiding in this building, with his family, in fear for his life,” said David Cicilline, one of the Democratic impeachment managers.
Poll: Americans’ view of Republican party has fallen in recent weeks
Americans’ view of the Republican party has lowered in the weeks since the 6 January attack on the US Capitol, with 37% holding a positive view of the GOP in a new Gallup poll. By contrast, 48% had a positive view of the Democratic party overall.
The poll, conducted between 21 January and 2 February, included 906 adults from across 50 US states.
Those who identified as members of the Republican party said their view dropped from 90% favorable before the 6 January attack to 78%.
Read the poll results here.
Biden administration withdraws federal government support for challenging Obamacare
The administration withdrew support for a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), telling the US supreme court that the healthcare law should stay.
The lawsuit, led by Republican states and supported by the Trump administration, was seeking to strike down the ACA.
“Following the change in administration, the Department of Justice has reconsidered the government’s position in these cases,” the deputy solicitor general, Edwin Kneedler, informed the court on Wednesday.
The convoluted legal challenge being considered by the supreme court is based on an argument that the ACA is no longer constitutional, after the Republican-led Congress in 2017 made a tax penalty for not having health insurance $0. Biden’s administration is now seeking to expand the healthcare law that Trump had made his mission to tear down.
Mitt Romney, the Republican senator of Utah, said that today was the first time he saw footage of police officer Eugene Goodman potentially saving his life, after warning him to take cover from the approaching mob in just the nick of time.
“I look forward to thanking him,” Romney told reporters.
Romney’s son Matt also tweeted in support of Goodman:
Goodman, who escorted Kamala Harris to her inauguration. has been hailed as a hero for his actions on the day of the insurrection.
Read more about him here:
Today so far
- Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is under way, with House impeachment managers presenting their case for why the former president should be convicted for inciting an insurrection. Democratic impeachment managers showed previously unaired footage from security cameras, which revealed just how close lawmakers and staffers were to the violent mob that attacked the US Capitol.
- Footage showed lawmakers in several close calls. In one instance, police officer Eugene Goodman directed Republican Senator Mitt Romney away from the attackers, potentially saving the lawmaker’s life. In another video, rioters are shown running up and down the hallways of the building looking for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling out a mocking voice, “Naaaaancy. Oh, Naaaaancy.”
- Impeachment managers emphasized Trump’s role and pointed out the number of attackers wearing or carrying Trump flags. “This attack never would have happened but for Donald Trump,” said Madeleine Dean said. “And so they came, draped in Trump’s flag, and used our flag, the American flag, to batter and to bludgeon.”
- Joe Biden, who has steered away from discussing or involving himself in the impeachment trial, was engaged with foreign policy today. He ordered new sanctions against the military regime in Myanmar, which staged a coup this month and ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior politicians. An executive order will block the country’s generals from accessing $1bn in assets in the US.
- Speaking at the Pentagon, Biden said he would bring a “responsible end to wars that have dragged on for far too long”. “I believe force should be a tool of last resort, not first,” the president said, committing to work with defense secretary Lloyd Austin to review the US’s military entanglements.
Stay tuned for more impeachment updates, and other politics news.
In a video interview, an officer who suffered a heart attack after being tased by the attackers said: “It looked like a medieval battle scene. It was one of the most brutal combat I’ve ever seen.”
Swalwell, who emphasized that his father was a cop, showed various instances of violence against law enforcement, including the widely circulated video of an officer nearly being crushed by two doors.
The trial has now paused for a dinner recess.
Swalwell is emphasizing just how close lawmakers were to the mob. He showed an image of a rioter carrying zip ties.
“If the doors to this chamber had been breached just minutes earlier, just imagine what they could have done with those cuffs,” Swalwell said.
New footage showed Senate leader Chuck Schumer walking up a ramp, and almost immediately turning back after encountering the mob.
Swalwell also showed footage of rioters attacking police, including a new video of them attacking officers with a crutch, a hockey stick, a bull horn, and a Trump flag.