Prosecutors lay out pattern of rhertoric as Trump impeachment trial continues


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The House Democrats charged with presenting the impeachment case against former President Donald Trump to the Senate wrapped up their oral arguments Thursday, finishing with evidence of Jan. 6 rioters’ state of mind and Trump’s pattern of rhetoric.

“Folks, this was not a hidden crime,” Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., told senators.

She laid out a series of tweets, videos and statements made by members of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress tried to certify Electoral College votes in favor of President Joe Biden.

“They truly believed that the whole intrusion was at (Trump’s) orders,” DeGette argued. “Many of them actually posed for pictures, bragging about it on social media, and they tagged Mr. Trump in tweets.”

Lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., outlined what he described as Trump’s long history of encouraging violence.

“Jan. 6 was not some unexpected, radical break from his normal law-abiding and peaceful disposition. This was his state of mind. This was his essential M.O.,” Raskin said. “What makes you think the nightmare with Donald Trump and his violent mobs is over?”

Most Republicans who have said they won’t convict say the case put forth by the House has not changed their mind.

“While we are also creatures of emotion, our decision making largely is not,” Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said. “They still have to make this leap from Donald Trump and his persuasive powers to these actions. They have the steep hill to climb.”

Sharing his first thoughts on the trial since its beginning, Biden on Thursday said that his “guess is some minds may be changed,” though he qualified, “I don’t know.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he hopes so.

“The presentations were extremely powerful,” he said.

The House impeachment managers wrapped up their oral arguments four hours early. Trump’s attorneys will launch their arguments Friday. A final vote could come Monday.

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