Day one of the Donald Trump impeachment trial drew to a close yesterday. The proceedings will pick up again this afternoon.
Here’s a recap of the top key moments from yesterday’s session:
SENATE VOTES TRIAL IS CONSTITUTIONAL
The Senate voted to move ahead with the historic impeachment trial, despite some Republican concerns that impeaching a president already out of office would be unconstitutional. The vote was 56-44. The six Republicans who joined with the Democrats on voting to continue the trial were Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
SENATE APPROVES IMPEACHMENT TIMELINE
The trial is slated to continue through the weekend with no days off, under a resolution authored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell. The eight-page bipartisan resolution set out the rules and timeline for Trump’s second impeachment trial in an effort to complete the unprecedented proceedings in a fair and speedy fashion.
Trump’s defense team got two hours to explain why the Senate trial shouldn’t go forward, and the House impeachment managers, led by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., gott two hours to explain why the trial is warranted even for a departed president.
“Unlike the previous impeachment, Leader McConnell and I are introducing the resolution together. No one can claim it’s not fair,” Schumer said yesterday. The resolution passed 89-11.
DEMOCRATS PULL UP GRAPHIC VIDEO OF CAPITOL RIOT
Lead impeachment manager Representative Jamie Raskin cued up a graphic video of the January 6, 2021 attack.
The Democratic video mashup of Trump’s own words encouraging his supporters to “fight like hell” was followed by graphic images of rioters then breaking down barricades at the Capitol and yelling profanities at officers.
In one clip, rioters were seen berating and beating up Capitol police as they force their way into the Capitol. One officer died directly from his injuries, while another 140 officers were injured in the siege.
The gripping 13-minute video included clips from Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaking on the Senate floor calling out Trump’s conspiracy theories on widespread election fraud on Jan. 6 in contrast to the “Stop the Steal” chants of rioters taking hold of the Capitol.
REPRESENTATIVE JAMIE RASKIN GETS PERSONAL
Raskin told the story of his own family’s terror during the riot, which was only one day after he buried his son Tommy.
He noted that his daughter, Tabitha, and son-in-law, Hank, accompanied him to the Capitol on January 6 to provide emotional support as lawmakers met to confirm President Biden’s election victory.
Raskin’s family members were later trapped inside House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s office as pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol complex. The congressman noted that it was “too late” for him to reach his family.
“All around me, people were calling their wives and their husbands, their loved ones, to say goodbye,” Raskin said. “Then there was a sound I’ll never forget – the sound of pounding on the door like a battering ram, the most haunting sound I’ve ever heard and I will never forget it.”