WASHINGTON, D.C. — House impeachment managers continued their arguments Wednesday during the first full day of arguments in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the U.S. Senate, playing never-before-seen videos of the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Stacey Plaskett, D-Virgin Islands, guided senators through the violence that day.
“There is some very graphic, violent footage coming,” lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin warned senators before the video was played.
Plaskett showed security video from the inside of the Capitol, without sound, that showed people breaking windows to break into the Capitol.
“President Trump put a target on their backs,” Plaskett said, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence, who were sought by some of the insurrectionists.
The former president has been charged with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the deadly insurrection at the Capitol.
Plaskett showed footage of insurrectionists clashing with police officers as they stormed barricades around the Capitol. The impeachment team combined the video with a model of the floor plan of the Capitol, showing how the crowd moved through the building.
“When I first saw this model, I thought back to Sept. 11,” Plaskett said.
Plaskett said that at 1:10 p.m., as Congress began the certification process, Trump encouraged his supporters to protest at the Capitol. Hundreds of protesters breached the perimeter of the Capitol and clashed with police.
About 90 minutes later, police said demonstrators worked their way into the Capitol as the doors to the House and Senate were being locked. The House was evacuated by Capitol Police moments later.
“You have a group of about 50 charging up the hill on the west front, north of the stairs. They’re approaching the wall now,” a law enforcement officer advised a dispatcher during one segment of the video.
“They’re starting to dismantle the reviewing stand,” one officer says, while another officer can be heard saying, “They’re throwing metal poles at us.”
“Multiple law enforcement injuries,” reports another officer.
Some of the footage showed Pence and his family being evacuated from the Senate chamber. The mob had already been inside the Capitol as the vice president was being escorted to safety.
Other videos show insurrectionists chanting, “Hang Mike Pence!”
There was an armed standoff at the front of the House door at around 3 p.m., with police officers drawing their guns at a person who was attempting to enter.
The Senate floor was cleared of rioters by 3:30 p.m., but it took until 5:40 p.m. to secure the Capitol building.
The impeachment team also showed videos of people breaking down doors in an effort to find Pelosi. Several staff members, who had barricaded the door in an office near the Speaker’s office, are heard on video making a cellphone call noting “they are pounding on the doors trying to find (Pelosi).”
Video also showed Richard Barnett, of Gravette, Arkansas, sitting at Pelosi’s desk, but a still zoomed-in shot showed what Plaskett claimed was a high-voltage stun gun tucked into his pants.
“The weapon could have caused serious pain and incapacitated anyone Barnett had used it against,” Plasket said.
Another video showed rioters calling out for Pelosi, with one calling out in a mocking voice, “Naaaaancy. Oh, Naaaaancy.”
Some of the new footage showed Capitol police Officer Eugene Goodman leading Sen. Mitt Romney away from the crowd, urging him to take cover.
Impeachment manager Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., said some of the rioters got within 100 feet of Pence.
“I paced it off, you were just 58 steps away from where the rioters were amassing,” Swalwell said. “If the doors to this chamber had been breached just minutes earlier, just imagine what they could have done with those cuffs.”
New footage showed then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., 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 rioters attacking officers with a crutch, a hockey stick, a bullhorn and a Trump flag.
At 6 p.m., a curfew imposed by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser went into effect.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted mostly along party lines to impeach Trump last month after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol while lawmakers were ratifying the 2020 presidential election.
The vote made Trump the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
In December 2019, the House impeached Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in connection to a whistleblower complaint that surfaced concerns about comments he made to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In a July 2019 phone call with Zelensky, Trump asked his counterpart to investigate then former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, while holding up military aid for Ukraine. A Ukrainian gas company had hired Hunter Biden when his father was vice president and the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine.
No evidence has surfaced to suggest wrongdoing by either President Biden or his son Hunter.
Cox Media Group