Trump impeachment trial on Thursday to focus on toll of Capitol riots

WION Web Team
Washington, DC, United States of America Published: Feb 11, 2021, 06:04 PM(IST)

Donald Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

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The House of Representatives has charged Trump, a Republican, with inciting an insurrection by exhorting thousands of supporters to march on the Capitol on January 6, the day Congress gathered to certify Democrat Joe Biden's election win.

Donald Trump's impeachment trial on Thursday will focus on whether the former president of the United States should be convicted of inciting the siege at the US Capitol.

The House of Representatives has charged Trump, a Republican, with inciting an insurrection by exhorting thousands of supporters to march on the Capitol on January 6, the day Congress gathered to certify Democrat Joe Biden's election win.

The House managers who are prosecuting the case in the US Senate spent much of Wednesday recounting the events that led to the riot and highlighting the threat to former vice-president Mike Pence.

Senators on Wednesday were shown searing security footage the pro-Trump mob stalking the Capitol hallways chanting "Hang Mike Pence!" and searching for Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. On Thursday, they have planned to illustrate the "terrible toll" of the riot and Trump's "role in assembling, inciting and inflaming the insurrectionists," a House aide said.

Also read | Trump impeachment trial: Disturbing footage of Capitol Hill violence shown

Previously unseen videos showed the view from inside the Capitol as rioters smashed windows and fought with police, coming within 100 feet (30 m) of the room where Pence was sheltering with his family. The mob had set up a gallows outside.

The footage, which also included body-camera views of brutal attacks on Capitol police, showed Pence and lawmakers being hustled to safety steps ahead of an advancing mob. The attack on the Capitol resulted in the deaths of five people, including a police officer.
Trump had repeatedly said Pence had the power to stop the certification of the election results, even though he did not.

House managers said Trump had planted the seeds for the riot by encouraging violence and making false claims the election was stolen long before January 6. They also said he did little to stop the violence as it spiraled out of control, despite pleas from many Republicans to ask his supporters to stop.

Democrats face a difficult task in securing a Senate conviction and barring Trump from ever again seeking public office. A two-thirds majority in the Senate must vote to convict, which means at least 17 Republicans would have to defy Trump and his continued popularity among Republican voters.

Trump is the first US president to be impeached twice and the first to face trial after leaving office. His first impeachment trial, which stemmed from his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden, ended in an acquittal a year ago in what was then a Republican-controlled Senate.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted largely along party lines that the impeachment trial could move ahead even though Trump's term ended on January 20. Six of 50 Republican senators broke with their caucus to side with Democrats.

(with inputs from agencies)

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