House impeachment managers built their case against former President Donald J. Trump on Wednesday, methodically using video and audio clips to argue that Mr. Trump was responsible for the deadly assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6. Throughout much of the day, the managers let Mr. Trump and his supporters do the talking, showing videos of Mr. Trump’s speeches, his Twitter posts and footage of his supporters answering his rallying cries that began months before the attack.
Here are some takeaways from the second day of the trial.
For a time on Wednesday, @realDonaldTrump was back.
In their efforts to prove that Mr. Trump was undeniably behind the attack, House impeachment managers let the former president tell the story in his own words, airing a Trump Twitter blitz worthy of the former tweeter in chief himself. This time, however, his posts were marked with a “PROSECUTORS’ EVIDENCE” stamp.
On Dec. 19, he wrote: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
The managers repeatedly referred to the Dec. 19 post as a “save the date” for Jan. 6.
On Dec. 26, he wrote: “The ‘Justice’ Department and the FBI have done nothing about the 2020 Presidential Election Voter Fraud, the biggest SCAM in our nation’s history, despite overwhelming evidence. They should be ashamed. History will remember. Never give up. See everyone in D.C. on January 6th.”
It’s been 33 days since the world has seen a new Trump tweet, after nearly four years of Mr. Trump using the social media platform to build his base of supporters and blast out his unfiltered messages.
- A trial is being held to decide whether former President Donald J. Trump is guilty of inciting a deadly mob of his supporters when they stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, violently breaching security measures and sending lawmakers into hiding as they met to certify President Biden’s victory.
- The House voted 232 to 197 to approve a single article of impeachment, accusing Mr. Trump of “inciting violence against the government of the United States” in his quest to overturn the election results. Ten Republicans joined the Democrats in voting to impeach him.
- To convict Mr. Trump, the Senate would need a two-thirds majority to be in agreement. This means at least 17 Republican senators would have to vote with Senate Democrats to convict.
- A conviction seems unlikely. Last month, only five Republicans in the Senate sided with Democrats in beating back a Republican attempt to dismiss the charges because Mr. Trump is no longer in office. Only 27 senators say they are undecided about whether to convict Mr. Trump.
- If the Senate convicts Mr. Trump, finding him guilty of “inciting violence against the government of the United States,” senators could then vote on whether to bar him from holding future office. That vote would only require a simple majority, and if it came down to party lines, Democrats would prevail with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote.
- If the Senate does not convict Mr. Trump, the former president could be eligible to run for public office once again. Public opinion surveys show that he remains by far the most popular national figure in the Republican Party.
Twitter banned Mr. Trump permanently on Jan. 8, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence” as its justification.
Seeing the collection of Mr. Trump’s posts was a reminder of just how much the former president has been silenced after losing his most powerful megaphone. By comparison, on the second day of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial a year ago, Mr. Trump posted or reposted 142 tweets.
This week, Mr. Trump has been largely hidden from view at his private club in Palm Beach, Fla. He was steaming after seeing his lawyers’ defense on Tuesday, people familiar with his reaction said.
Democrats let Trump and his supporters make their case to convict.
House impeachment managers delivered multimedia arguments on Wednesday as they started building their case that Mr. Trump was in no way an innocent bystander to the events of Jan. 6, rebutting an assertion Mr. Trump’s defense team made a day earlier.
The impeachment managers flashed outlines of their arguments and fleshed out each point with examples from Mr. Trump’s monthslong campaign to sow distrust in the country’s elections systems and his efforts to rile outrage from his supporters over what he repeatedly and wrongly called a fraudulent, stolen election.
Throughout the day, the managers let Mr. Trump and his supporters do much of the talking, showing footage of campaign rallies, screenshots of the president’s comments and clips of news interviews with supporters who said they went to Washington on Jan. 6 in response to Mr. Trump’s call.
One of Mr. Trump’s comments made repeat appearances on Wednesday, underscoring how important House managers took these specific words to prove their case.
The prosecution emphasized the role racism played in the riot and in the months before it.
The managers also identified rioters who had ties to white supremacist groups, including a far-right group, the Proud Boys, known for endorsing violence. Its members became loud supporters of Mr. Trump’s after the former president refused to denounce the group during a debate with Mr. Biden.
The lead House impeachment manager, Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland, quoted one of the Black officers who battled the mob that day describing his despair at being subjected to racist taunts from a crowd of attackers that was, according to witness accounts and video, overwhelmingly white.
Mr. Trump’s affinity for groups like the Proud Boys and his refusal to condemn them publicly and forcefully at multiple points throughout his presidency has long made many Republicans bristle, a reaction the impeachment managers may have been hoping to elicit in the Senate chamber on Wednesday.