Trump Acquitted in Impeachment Trial

On Thursday, House impeachment managers showed graphic new audio and video of law enforcement officials being attacked by rioters while laying out their case before the Senate. The video included images of pepper spray and tear gas being used against the officers attempting to ward off the insurrectionists, according to The Hill.

“You hear the officer described they’re using munitions — they, the rioters are using munitions against us,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said before playing the clip. An audio clip then played of an officer alerting that the rioters had overtaken the police line. Video was then shown of Officer Daniel Hodges being crushed by doors as the rioters attempted to force their way into the Capitol building. 

“They threw down a huge metal object that hit me in the head, I was also when I was knocked down the medical mask I was wearing at the time, got pulled up over my eyes,” Hodges said in the clip of an interview following the Jan. 6 attack. “So I was on the ground and blinded and they started attacking me from outside.” 

In video shown during the trial, rioters can be seen using objects including a crutch, hockey stick, bullhorn and a Trump flag as weapons against police officers.

“Rioters crushed Officer Hodges, who was wedged in the doorway, blood dripping from his mouth, he was struggling to breathe all while the insurrectionists hit him. Officer Hodges’s experience reminds you of what he and many other officers experienced that day, what they went through. We’re also reminded of the three officers who lost their lives: Capitol Hill Police Officers [Brian] Sicknick, [Howard] Liebengood and Metropolitan Police Officer [Jeffrey] Smith,” Swalwell said.

UPDATE: Today, tensions grew as the Trump defense continued (and then rested) its case for the former president. Attorney Michael Van Der Veen excoriated Democrats and the media in his opening remarks, displaying the usual faulty flashes of vintage Trump rhetoric. The article of impeachment now before the Senate is an unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance,” he claimed. “This appalling abuse of the Constitution only further divides our nation, when we should be trying to come together around shared priorities. Like every other politically motivated witch hunt the left has engaged in over the past four years, this impeachment is completely divorced from the facts, the evidence, and the interests of the American people. The Senate should promptly and decisively vote to reject it.

The lawyer asserted: “No thinking person could seriously believe that the president’s January 6th speech on the Ellipse was in any way an incitement to violence or insurrection.” (David Cicilline and Jamie Raskin evidently did. They thought quickly enough to draft the articles of impeachment while bunkered down during the Capitol riot. 10 Republicans voted to advance the impeachment resolution, and a HuffPost poll found that 12% of Republicans felt Trump had encouraged the rioters.)

“Far from promoting insurrection against the United States, the president’s remarks explicitly encouraged those in attendance to exercise their rights peacefully and patriotically. Peaceful and patriotic protest is the very antithesis of a violent assault on the nation’s capitol.” He played a video of Trump saying that the crowd would “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” saying the Democrats had omitted it. True. But Trump used the phrase only once in the speech; he used the term “fight” over a dozen times, according to ABC News.

Later, Van Der Veen clashed rhetorically with Rep. Jamie Raskin. He complained that it “was the most miserable experience I’ve had down here in Washington, D.C.” Raskin responded with a pointed reply:

But there was one moment of unity. All 100 Senators rose and gave a standing ovation to Officer Eugene Goodman, who has honored by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. ABC correspondent Terry Moran called that moment “a rare and stirring moment of unity in this divisive and traumatic impeachment trial of Donald Trump.”

Photo from Twitter (@DonMoyn)

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