Parental warnings, harrowing footage: Takeaways from Trump's impeachment trial

(Reuters) - The U.S. Senate’s impeachment trial gathered steam on Wednesday, with Democratic lawmakers laying out their evidence that former President Donald Trump incited an insurrection by exhorting thousands of supporters to march on the Capitol last month.

The 100 Senators, most of whom were in the Capitol during the deadly Jan. 6 assault, sat through videos recounting in graphic detail the violence as Trump’s supporters sought to block the peaceful transfer of power, a hallmark of democracy.

These were some notable moments:


Lead impeachment manager Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin warned that his team would show videos on Wednesday of the Capitol assault that would include scenes of “shocking violence and bloodshed” against police officers.

“We do urge parents and teachers to exercise close review of what young people are watching here, and please watch along with them if you’re allowing them to watch,” Raskin said. “The impeachment managers will try to give warnings before the most graphic and disturbing violence.”

A Democratic aide told reporters that the House managers “will be using footage never seen before that shows a view of the Capitol that is quite extraordinary and a view of the attack that has never been public before.”


Representative Stacey Plaskett presented unreleased footage from security cameras in the Capitol building.

U.S. House impeachment manager Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) delivers part of the impeachment managers’ opening argument in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, on charges of inciting the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, on the floor of the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2021. U.S. Senate TV/Handout via Reuters

One new clip showed Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, running to safety after the mob breached the Capitol, thanks to a last-minute warning from a Capitol police officer. That policeman, Eugene Goodman, has been praised for his quick actions on that day.

Another new clip showed former Vice President Mike Pence being quickly ushered to safety, along with family.

Pence oversaw the formal certification of President Joe Biden’s victory during the Jan. 6 proceedings at the Capitol, despite pressure from Trump to halt the process.


Raskin, citing a BuzzFeed article, told the story of a Black Capitol police officer who broke down in tears in the Capitol Rotunda after the violence and racist taunts he had faced.

“He shouted out, ‘I got called the N-word 15 times today,’” Raskin said.

Raskin read a quote from the officer: “I sat down with one of my buddies, another Black guy, and tears just started streaming down my face. I said, ‘What the fuck, man? Is this America? What the fuck just happened? I’m so sick and tired of this shit.’”


Plaskett used internet posts to argue that some Trump supporters arrived in Washington ready for violence.

In one Jan. 6 post to an internet forum, a Trump supporter wrote: “Today I had the very difficult conversation with my children, that daddy might not come home from DC.”

Trump had effectively told supporters they had a “patriotic duty” to fight for him, Plaskett said.

“Because he invited them, the insurgents were not shy about their plans,” Plaskett said. “They posted exact blueprints of the attack openly, loudly, proudly, and they did this all over public forums.”

Plaskett also used permitting documents to argue that it was Trump aides who ensured that there would be a march on the Capitol.


Neguse made a point of thanking Pence for recognizing Biden’s victory despite Trump’s pressure.

“I was so grateful for the opportunity to thank the Vice President, Mike Pence, for his actions, for standing before us and asking us to follow our oath our faith and do our duty,” Neguse said during his presentation, adding that Trump “betrayed” Pence by calling him a “coward” in a Jan. 6 tweet.

Media outlets reported that video from the deadly attack showed some Trump supporters had threatened to hang Pence for refusing to overturn Biden’s Electoral College win in Congress.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Scott Malone and Aurora Ellis