Congressman Diana DeGette pointed to the insurrectionists’ own words to demonstrate how Donald Trump pushed them to storm the Capitol.
DeGette noted that the insurrectionists chanted phrases like “Fight for Trump!” and “Stop the steal!” that referenced the former president’s baseless claims of widespread election fraud.
“They came because he told them to,” DeGette said.
The impeachment manager also underscored the profound impact of that violent day, which has been felt around the world.
DeGette said members of the Capitol Hill community are “traumatized to this day” because of the insurrection, and she said the riot had done “damage to other nations, who have always seen us as a bastion of democracy”.
Congresswoman Diana DeGette cited several news reports that quoted insurrectionists who argued they were carrying out the wishes of Donald Trump by storming the Capitol.
The impeachment manager noted that some insurrectionists even questioned why Capitol Police officers were trying to block them from entering the building, when they were following the instructions of the commander-in-chief.
A BuzzFeed News reporter confirmed that he heard this line of thinking from many insurrectionists on the day of the riot.
The opening prayer of Senate chaplain Barry Black seemed intended to remind senators of the great responsibility facing them.
Kicking off the third day of the impeachment trial, Black said in his prayer, “Almighty God, our shelter from the storms, give our Senate jurors discernment that will rescue our nation from ruin.”
Black added, “Remind them that the seeds they plant now will bring a harvest.”
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said the schedule for today’s proceedings would mirror yesterday’s.
Impeachment managers will have eight hours to present arguments, and the Senate will take a break every two to three hours, with a longer break for dinner around 6 pm ET.
Congresswoman Diana DeGette is now speaking for the first time as an impeachment manager in this Senate trial.
The Colorado Democrat is making the argument that the Capitol insurrectionists clearly believed they were taking orders directly from Donald Trump.
The Senate has convened, and the third day of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial is now officially underway.
Today, the House impeachment managers will finish their presentation on why Trump should be convicted of incitement of insurrection.
Senior aides to the managers said today’s proceedings will focus on the the former president’s “lack of remorse” about inciting the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
The managers are also expected to introduce more new footage from the riot, a day after they showed chilling footage demonstrating how close the insurrectionists got to lawmakers on that violent day.
One of Donald Trump’s lawyers, David Schoen, was asked whether he and his colleagues plan to use all 16 hours available to them to present their arguments.
“Hope not,” Schoen told reporters on Capitol Hill.
Trump’s legal team is scheduled to start presenting their arguments tomorrow. They could theoretically continue their presentation on Saturday, but it’s unclear whether they will do so.
If Trump’s team wraps up early and impeachment managers choose not to call any witnesses, the trial could theoretically conclude on Sunday or Monday.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi disparaged arguments from some of Donald Trump’s allies that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional because he has already left office.
The Democratic speaker noted that the House approved the article of impeachment when Trump was still in office. At that time, the Senate was out of session, and then-majority leader Mitch McConnell declined to hold an emergency session to begin the trial.
“We were ready. They said ‘no,’” Pelosi said. “It’s a little disingenuous.”
The Senate held a vote on Tuesday over whether the trial was constitutional, and senators voted 56-44 to reject the jurisdictional argument from Trump’s lawyers.
Shifting back to the coronavirus relief package, Nancy Pelosi was asked whether the House legislation would include the proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15.
“Yes, it will,” the Democratic speaker said.
Pelosi said the chamber was “very proud” of the minimum wage hike, which would result in a raise for millions of Americans, most of whom are women.
Progressive lawmakers have insisted that the relief package include a minimum wage increase, but some Democrats, including Joe Biden, have voiced skepticism that the proposal will meet the requirements for reconciliation.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged that this week has been “such a sad time for us,” as the Capitol Hill community has relived the trauma and violence of January 6 through the impeachment trial.
The Democratic speaker said the evidence presented by the impeachment managers demonstrated “the extraordinary valor of the Capitol Police”.
The speaker announced she planned to introduce a resolution to award the Capitol Police with a Congressional Gold Medal for their brave actions on that horrible day. The award is the highest honor that Congress can bestow.
“They are martyrs for our democracy, martyrs for our democracy, those who lost their lives,” Pelosi said.
The Capitol Police officer who died as a result of his injuries from the insurrection, Brian Sicknick, was honored with a ceremony at the Capitol last week.
Two other police officers who were present for the insurrection, one from the Capitol Police force and another from the Metropolitan Police Department of DC, have died by suicide since January 6.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi is now holding her weekly press conference, her first one since the impeachment trial started on Tuesday.
“Quite a week,” the Democratic speaker said at the start of the press conference.
Pelosi then pivoted to discussing the need for Congress to pass another coronavirus relief package.
The speaker reiterated her hope that the House will pass a relief package by the end of the month, ideally allowing Joe Biden to sign the legislation before expanded jobless benefits expire on March 14.