The Senate’s second impeachment trial of Donald Trump on February 12 raced towards a conclusion with former President’s legal team finishing its presentation and senators taking their turn to pose written questions to the legal teams. According to CNN, Trump’s team showed lengthy montages of Democratic politicians saying they would “fight” - to argue Republican leader’s words on January 6 did not incite the rioters who attacked the Capitol building. The key Republicans who could vote to find Trump guilty also focused on the actions of the then-president as the riot unfolded and then-Vice President Mike Pence was endangered, a topic that Trump's lawyers did little to address during their argument or when the GOP senators posed the questions.
Trump’s team showed Democratic reactions to videos of protests and riots over police violence last year, comparing them to the attack on the US Capitol, while they argued the Trump’s language telling his supporters to “fight like hell” was merely “ordinary political rhetoric”. Further, on Friday, Trump’s lawyers also falsely suggested Antifa was responsible for the deadly riots, rather than Trump supporters, and praised Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in Georgia.
Now, Trump’s lawyers expect to already have the votes they need for acquittal, as most Republican Senators are saying that they will vote to acquit Trump because they believe the trial is unconstitutional. Senate, on the other hand, could vote on conviction Saturday, when the trial resumes. At that point, the House managers could request witnesses, though they are unlikely to do so. However, it is worth noting that if no witnesses are sought, the two sides would each get to make a closing argument, and a final vote could occur, though that is not locked in.
Meanwhile, the impeachment manager on Thursday rested their case of Trump’s day three of impeachment trial after concluding that the deadly Capitol attack was incited by him throughout his presidency beset by lies and violent rhetoric. The impeachment managers, in front of Senators who are acting as both jurors and witnesses, warned gravely that Trump would remain a grave threat to the American democracy if not convicted during the second historic impeachment trial and barred from holding any federal office in the future.
The impeachment managers declared that the former Republican President is “overwhelmingly guilty” of inciting the insurrection on January 6 riot in one of the most secure buildings of the nation. Congressman, Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager questioned the senators seated silently before him after witnessing graphic visuals of the attack on US Capitol, “If you think this is not impeachable, what is? What would be?”. Raskin further added, “If you don’t find this a high crime and misdemeanour today, you have set a new, terrible standard for presidential misconduct in the United States of America”.