Unseen video shows Trump’s rioters: ‘Hunt them down’
Day two of former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial has adjourned after almost eight hours of opening statements from his Democrat opponents.
Impeachment managers will have up to eight hours tomorrow to finish outlining their prosecution before Mr Trump's legal team is given 16 hours over the following two days to mount their defence.
Democrats used video, police communications and surveillance images to provide a forensic walk-through of the events that took place in the Capitol on January 6 as part of their opening arguments in the historic second impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump.
Impeachment manager Stacey Plaskett described how Republican Mike Pence had been targeted by the rioters after Mr Trump untruthfully told his followers that the then-Vice President had the power to overturn the results of the election.
Mr Pence released a public letter while Mr Trump was speaking on January 6, saying his duty was to the constitution rather than Mr Trump, and that he would certify Democrat Joe Biden as the 46th president.
Shortly afterwards, Mr Pence was among Senators who were targeted by the rioters when they breached the Capitol.
Both houses of Congress and office buildings in the area were evacuated as the riot took hold in the hours after Mr Trump had urged his supporters gathered near the White House at a "stop the steal" rally to march on the US Capitol.
Rioters were captured on video screaming: "Get Mike Pence" and yelling that he was a "traitor".
The previously unseen CCTV footage of the mob showed a single police officer trying to hold back the first group who breached the Capitol, some of them armed and others wearing extremist Proud Boys insignia.
The dramatic moment Mr Pence was evacuated with his family and staff as rioters "hunted" him was revealed on previously unseen security footage.
Impeachment manager Stacey Plaskett said Mr Trump had "inflamed the rally goers … after Pence refused to overturn the election results".
"The mob was looking for Vice President Pence because of his patriotism, and because the vice president had refused to do what the president demand (sic) and overturn the election results," she said.
"During the assault on the Capitol, extremists reportedly co-ordinated online and discussed how they could hunt down the vice president. "Journalists in the Capitol reported they heard rioters say they were looking for Mike Pence in order to execute him.
"Trump supporters had erected a gallows on the lawn in front of the Capitol building.
"Another group of rioters chanted 'Hang Mike Pence'."
In another chilling moment shown for the first time, Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman was pictured warning Republican Senator Mitt Romney - a Trump critic - to run in the opposite direction before luring the rioters away.
Mr Goodman has been lauded for his heroic actions and was later a guest of Vice President Kamala Harris at Inauguration Day on January 20.
CAPITOL RIOT 'ORGANISED ATTACK'
Former US president Donald Trump's impeachment trial has resumed for a second day, with Democrats blaming him for an "organised attack" on the US Capitol.
"He saw it coming and he was not at all surprised by the violence," said lead impeachment manager, Democrat Jamie Raskin.
"We will show you that he completely abdicated his duty as commander in chief and inflamed and incited his followers to descend on the Capitol, to 'stop the steal'."
Democrats have 16 hours over the next two days to present their opening case against Mr Trump and said they plan to show previously unseen footage of the rioters.
Mr Raskin said some of the video footage of the riot that will be shown as evidence against Mr Trump will be so graphic there will be warnings issued before the videos are played.
This footage is expected to be previously unseen security footage captured inside the building as the rioters swarmed the building on the hunt for congressmen and women.
Mr Raskin said the thousands who took part in the incursion travelled to Washington DC on January 6 at the invitation of Mr Trump, who had spent the past two months claiming the presidency was stolen from him.
"He told them to fight like hell and they brought us hell that day," said Mr Raskin, describing Mr Trump as "the inciter in chief".
Impeachment manager Joe Neguse said the prosecution would follow a three tier "road map" over the next two days that would take in "the provocation, the attack and the harm".
He said Mr Trump spent two months inspiring the attack on the Capitol, lying to his supporters that the election was stolen even after his legal challenges were defeated and recounts of ballots confirmed he had lost to Joe Biden.
The prosecution said Mr Trump urged his followers to "fight like hell to stop the steal".
"It was predictable and it was foreseeable," he said of the incursion.
"This mob was well orchestrated, their conduct was intentional.
"They believed, they truly believed, that they were doing this for him, that this was their patriotic duty.
"He had the power to stop them and he didn't."
Earlier, Mr Trump - who remains cloistered at his West Palm Beach home and is reportedly "fuming" at the shoddy first day performance of his new legal team - suffered another blow.
Twitter confirmed Mr Trump would never be permitted to post again on the social media platform, even if he runs for president again in 2024. His account was suspended on January 8, two days after the incursion.
"When you are removed from the platform, you are removed from the platform," said Twitter's chief financial officer Ned Segal.
"Whether you are a commentator, you're a CFO, or you are a former or current public official," he said on US TV network, CNBC.
"Our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence. And if anybody does that we have to remove them from the service. And our policies don't allow people to come back."
GIULIANI TRANSCRIPT REVEALED
The transcript of a call between Donald Trump's personal lawyer and the Ukrainian government has created another headache for the 45th president.
The 40-minute-long discussion reveals Rudy Giuliani speaking to two Ukrainian officials in July 2019, imploring them to open an investigation into the then presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, who once held a seat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.
"Let these investigations go forward," Giuliani said. "Get someone to investigate this.
"For our country's sake and your country's sake, we [need to] get all these facts straight," Giuliani said. "We fix them and we put it behind us."
Giuliani's call, which was obtained by Time magazine, came three days before Donald Trump placed a similar call to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and encouraged the Ukriainian government to "do us a favour" by investigating the Bidens in exchange for foreign aid.
Igor Novikov, a former aide to President Zelenskiy, released the transcript to Time, saying, "I believe Mayor Giuliani's actions in Ukraine threatened our national security."
The call by President Trump triggered his first impeachment.
GEORGIA BEGINS PROBE INTO TRUMP
Meanwhile, a prosecutor in the US state of Georgia revealed on Wednesday (local time) she was investigating Mr Trump's efforts to subvert its results in the November 3 election by pressuring local officials to alter the vote count.
In a letter to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she has opened an investigation "into attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election," according to copies of the letter published by local media.
While the letter did not mention the ex-president by name, Mr Raffensperger was on the receiving end of a lengthy phone call on January 2 in which Mr Trump pressured him to throw out tens of thousands of votes that helped deliver the state to Democrat Joe Biden.
"I just want to find 11,780 votes," Mr Trump told him, a recording of the hour-long call showed.
Mr Trump later in the call suggested Mr Raffensperger risked criminal charges if he did not oblige.
Willis says the investigation is focused on contacts between subjects of the investigation and Mr Raffensperger, the governor, state attorney general and the federal prosecutor for the area -- all of whom had contact with Mr Trump and his representatives after the vote.
The investigation will span potential charges of election fraud, false statements, conspiracy, racketeering and involvement in violence or threats related to the election, she said.
Mr Trump's pressure campaign on Georgia to reverse Mr Biden's win -- a key victory in the 2020 election -- was cited as evidence in the impeachment of Mr Trump for incitement to insurrection in the January 6 attack by his supporters on the US Capitol.
In her letter, Ms Willis, who represented the area around state capital Atlanta, told Mr Raffensperger to preserve any evidence, and said a grand jury would be convened next month to issue subpoenas in the investigation.
Meanwhile, a new transcript has surfaced of Mr Trump's former lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, putting pressure on the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into the Biden family.
In a new 40-minute transcript uncovered by Time Mr Giuliani seemingly urges Ukainian officials to proceed with investigations that could help Mr Trump win another term in office.
"Let these investigations go forward," Mr Giuliani told the presidential headquarters in Kyiv, Ukraine, Time reported.
"Get someone to investigate this."
Mr Trump was impeached the first time over a call the then-US President made to the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in which he suggested US military aid might depend on Mr Zelenskiy's willingness to "do us a favour" and launch an investigation that might darken the image of Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who was on the board of an Ukrainian energy company.
In both impeachment trials, Mr Trump is accused of using the power of the presidency in an attempt to secure a second term.
TRUMP'S TRIAL SO FAR
On Tuesday, the Senate voted that the prosecution of Mr Trump was constitutional and should continue.
The Senate voted 56-44 to press on with his impeachment for "incitement of insurrection", with six Republicans crossing the floor to vote for prosecuting the former president.
Earlier, one of Mr Trump's lawyers warned that America would erupt into more violence if the former president is convicted in his impeachment trial.
David Schoen argued that the Democrat-led prosecution was a continuation of their political pursuit of Mr Trump, playing a video clip to the Senate of his opponents calling for his impeachment from the opening moments of his presidency in 2017.
He said that if the impeachment continued, "everyone will look bad" and that it would "open up new and bigger wounds across the nation".
Mr Schoen seemed to indicate a second civil war was possible.
"This trial will tear this country apart, perhaps like we have only seen once before in American history," Mr Schoen said, ahead of a Senate vote on whether or not the trial is constitutional.
SHOCKING VIDEO OPENS TRIAL
Mr Trump's trial kicked off with dramatic video evidence of an armed mob storming the US Capitol interspersed with his words encouraging his supporters to march on the building.
The almost 15-minute-long video showed Mr Trump talking to thousands of flag-waving supporters at a "Stop the Steal" rally near the White House on January 6.
Grabs from the address included Mr Trump telling the crowd to "fight like hell" and march to where the Senate was certifying Joe Biden's election victory.
"We will never give up. We will never concede," the video showed Mr Trump saying.
"We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing.
"Today we will see whether Republicans stand strong for the integrity of our elections and whether they stand strong for our country," Mr Trump said.
The video also included chilling footage showing both houses of Congress being evacuated, as well as clips of screaming and chanting rioters in the Capitol.
The moment a Capitol police officer shot dead military veteran and Trump supporter Ashley Babbitt, 35, as she tried to climb through a window was also included in the video.
After it played, lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin said the evidence was clear that Mr Trump was responsible for what occurred last month.
"You ask what a high crime and misdemeanour is under our Constitution. That's a high crime and misdemeanour. If that's not an impeachable offence, then there's no such thing," Mr Raskin said.
A number of tweets and statements labelling the November election as fraudulent made by Mr Trump following Joe Biden's November win were also included by Democrats opening.
Democrat David Cicilline said Mr Trump not only prompted the mob to attack but also encouraged them during the mayhem, with messages of support on Twitter amid his lukewarm call on them to stand-down.
"The president of the United States literally incited an armed attack on the Capitol, our seat of government, while seeking to retain power in an election he lost - and then celebrated the attack," Mr Cicilline said.
It came after Democrats say Mr Trump and his lawyers were trying to shift the blame for the violence onto his supporters. Several supporters who have been arrested since the riot have said they were obeying the then President's words and following what they believed to be his orders.
Democrats said in a final pre-trial brief lodged ahead of the proceedings that Mr Trump "knew that many of his supporters, agitated by his barrage of lies about a stolen election, were prone to violence".
TRUMP LAWYER COPS SOCIAL MEDIA CANING
Meanwhile, social media was quick to react to the opening remarks of Mr Trump's lead lawyer, Bruce Castor, who started his impeachment defence with a rambling speech that ranged from his admiration of senators to praising the "outstanding presentation" of his opponents.
Mr Castor was tasked with responding to two hours of a prosecution-style opening from House Impeachment managers interwoven with dramatic video of the Capitol incursion and Mr Trump's apparent encouragement of the rioters.
But his first half-hour of a potential 120-minute rebuttal over whether or not the impeachment was constitutional was marked by stumbles, long pauses and vague assertions.
Mr Castor has had just over a week to prepare his case, signing on after Mr Trump's former legal team withdrew late last month.
He mentioned that he sometimes gets lost in the Capitol building but did not address the central question of whether or not the trial was constitutional.
Social media was quick to respond, saying Mr Castor appeared "unprepared" at best.
Former Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who advised Mr Trump's previous impeachment legal team, criticised the opening statements from Mr Castor.
"There is no argument. I have no idea what he is doing," Mr Dershowitz Newsmax.
"I have no idea why he's saying what he's saying.
"I have no idea what he's doing. Maybe he'll bring it home, but right now, it does not appear to me to be effective advocacy."
TRUMP'S TRIAL: WHAT WE CAN EXPECT
The proceedings for the second impeachment trial of Mr Trump began in the US Senate with his legal team and Democrats arguing over whether it is constitutional to prosecute a former president.
Each side will have up to two hours each ahead of a majority vote in the Senate on whether the trial will go ahead.
That tally is expected to mirror a similar vote last month that garnered 55-45 in favour of impeachment continuing, when five Senate Republicans crossed the floor in opposition of Mr Trump.
It came after Senior Republicans and Democrats agreed late Monday night on the rules of the trial, which marks a number of historic firsts.
Mr Trump is the only president in the history of the United States to be impeached twice, and the first to face such a prosecution after leaving office.
He is accused of "incitement of insurrection" after the violent US Capitol incursion on January 6 that left five dead.
Each side will have 16 hours to present its case, limited to eight hours each day.
Senators will be given four hours to ask questions after these opening statements after which a further four hours for questions could be allowed, divided between the sides.
After this, the issue of whether or not documents can be subpoenaed and witnesses called will be decided by a majority vote in the Senate.
If no further evidence is presented then each side has up to four hours to give their closing arguments.
The trial, which is scheduled to start at 1pm each day, is widely anticipated to run until early next week.
After closing arguments a vote will be held in which a two-thirds majority is necessary to reach a guilty verdict.
This would require 17 Republicans to side with Democrats and is currently considered likely to fail.
However, should Mr Trump be found guilty, a second, simple majority vote would be held on whether or not he can ever again run for president.
"If the former president is convicted, we will proceed to a vote on whether he is qualified to enjoy any office of honour, trust, or profit under the United States," said Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer late Monday, local time.
"The structure we have all agreed to is eminently fair. It will allow for the trial to achieve its purpose: truth and accountability. That's what trials are designed to do: to arrive at the truth of a matter, and render a verdict.
"And following the despicable attack on January the 6th, there must be truth and accountability if we are going to move forward, heal, and bring our country together once again. Sweeping something as momentous as this under the rug brings no healing whatsoever."
Mr Trump has been at his new home in his Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, since leaving the White House on the morning of January 20, hours before Joe Biden was inaugurated.
He has been spotted golfing several times and while he remains locked out of his social media accounts, he will reportedly spend the week glued to the televised impeachment proceedings.
Mr Trump's legal team last week refused a request by House Impeachment Managers for the former president to testify.
Mr Biden has sought to avoid commenting on the trial, saying he was leaving the matter to be decided by the Senate.
Both sides are understood to want a brisk end to proceedings.
Mr Trump still enjoys the support of the vast majority of Republicans and has indicated he may run again for president in 2024.
Democrat leaders are weighing a broad desire to hold Mr Trump accountable and further damage his future prospects with the urgent need to confront the dual challenges of a stuttering COVID vaccination program and delivering economic relief, as well as freeing up Congress to confirm the full Biden administration.
Originally published as Unseen video shows Trump's rioters: 'Hunt them down'