Kamis, 11 Februari 2021

Donald Trump's impeachment trial live: Joe Biden thinks 'minds may have changed' -

The prosecution is wrapping up its case today, and is expected to focus on Mr Trump’s “lack of remorse” for the Capitol riot. After that, we’ll get to hear from the former president’s defence team.

Read on for all the latest updates.

Live Updates

The lead impeachment manager, Jamie Raskin, took over after Diana DeGette to talk about Donald Trump's history of, in his telling, encouraging violence from his supporters.

"This pro-Trump insurrection did not spring into life out of thin air," said Mr Raskin.

"We saw how Donald Trump spent months cultivating America's most dangerous extremist groups. We saw how he riled them up with corrosive lies and violent rhetoric, so much so that they were ready and eager for their most dangerous mission: invalidating the will of the people to keep Donald Trump in office.

"January 6 was a culmination of the president's actions, not an aberration from them. The insurrection was the most violent and dangerous episode so far in Donald Trump's continuing pattern and practice of inciting violence. But I emphasise, so far."

He played a montage of relevant remarks from Mr Trump going back years.

Here's a video montage of Trump praising violence from his supporters

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 11, 2021

Diana DeGette has been moving through several examples of rioters who have blamed Donald Trump for their actions in court after being arrested and charged.

"More and more insurrectionists are admitting that they came at Trump's direction," she said.

Obviously these people have a legal interest in shifting the blame, given the potential punishments they are facing.

We're hearing from a new impeachment manager, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, to start the day.

"I want to step back from the horrors of the attack itself and look at January 6 from a totally different perspective: the perspective of the insurrectionists themselves," she said.

"Their own statements before, during and after the attack made clear the attack was done for Donald Trump, at his instructions, and to fulfill his wishes. Donald Trump had sent them there.

"They truly believed that the whole intrusion was at the president's orders. And we know that, because they said so.

"The president told them to be there, and so they actually believed they would face no punishment."

She played some previously seen footage from the riot, intended to show that Mr Trump's supporters believed they were acting on his behalf.

"We are listening to Trump. Your boss," one of them told a Capitol Police officer, for example.

Or there was this clip of a rioter bellowing at law enforcement: "We were invited here! We were invited by the president!"

"We were invited here! … We were invited by the president of the United States"

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 11, 2021

“Their own statements before, during and after the attack make clear, the attack was done for Donald Trump, at his instructions and to fulfill his wishes,” House impeachment manager Rep. Diana DeGette says about Capitol rioters.

— ABC News (@ABC) February 11, 2021

One of Donald Trump's most committed supporters in the Senate, Alabama's Tommy Tuberville, revealed an important piece of information when he spoke to reporters last night.

During his phone call with Mr Trump during the Capitol, shortly after 2pm, Mr Tuberville says he told the then-president that vice president Mike Pence had just been evacuated from the chamber.

"I said, 'Mr President, they just took the vice president out, I've got to go," Mr Tuberville told Politico.

Why does this matter? Because it shows when Mr Trump was made aware that Mr Pence was in danger – something we didn't previously know. And it strongly suggests Mr Trump knew of that danger before he sent his tweet at 2.24pm attacking Mr Pence.

Politico's Kyle Cheney lays out the timeline here.

Seems significant that a senator is acknowledging telling Trump *directly* that Pence was under threat, and Trump still didn't say anything publicly about it.

— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) February 11, 2021

From what I can establish from the record:

-Trump spoke to Tuberville sometime between 2-2:15 (Deseret News)
-Pence was evacuated at 2:15pm, prompting Tuberville to relay this to Trump and end the call (Tuberville comment)
-Trump tweeted his attack against Pence at 2:24pm

— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) February 11, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been holding her weekly media conference, where she obviously addressed the impeachment trial.

First, she announced a push to give Capitol Police officers who protected Congress on January 6 a prestigious honour.

"I am introducing legislation to pay tribute to the Capitol Police and other law enforcement personnel who protected the Capitol by giving them a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honour that Congress can bestow," Ms Pelosi said.

I can't imagine there being much opposition to that idea.

Amid the hours of evidence yesterday, we saw new security camera footage from the Capitol which showed, in even more detail, the acts of heroism from law enforcement.

Ms Pelosi also spoke about the Trump defence team's argument that the trial is unconstitutional because he is no longer president.

"We were ready. They said 'no'. It's a little disingenuous," she said.

She pointed out that the House of Representatives passed the article of impeachment on January 13, a week before Donald Trump left office. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, who was majority leader at the time, declined to recall the chamber for an emergency session to hold the trial before Joe Biden's inauguration.

Her argument, essentially, is this: the Senate could have tried Mr Trump when he was still in office, but the Republicans stopped that from happening. Now they're using the delay they themselves caused as an excuse to acquit him.

Joe Biden also told reporters about his phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping last night – the first time the pair have spoken since he took over from Donald Trump.

"Last night I was on the phone for two straight hours with Xi Jinping," Mr Biden said.

"It was a good conversation. I know him well, we spent a lot of time together over the years I was vice president.

"But they're – you know, if we don't get moving, they're going to eat our lunch. They have major, major new initiatives.

"So we just have to step up."

A readout of the call released by the White House last night said Mr Biden had spoken to Mr Xi about "Beijing's coercive and unfair economic practices", as well as the crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang province, and "increasingly assertive actions in the region".

President Biden on China: “Last night I was on the phone for two straight hours with Xi Jinping…if we don’t get moving they’re going to eat our lunch.”

— CSPAN (@cspan) February 11, 2021

Welcome to day three. We're about an hour away from the start of proceedings, where once again we'll be hearing from the House impeachment managers.

They have until the end of the day to finish presenting their case. Senior aides have briefed US media to expect a focus on Donald Trump's "lack of remorse" over the riot and his role in fomenting it.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has spoken to reporters in the Oval Office. Mr Biden has largely avoided commenting on the impeachment trial, but this morning he did offer a brief remark, suggesting yesterday's evidence may have changed some Republican senators' minds.

"I, like other Americans, watched the news. I didn't watch any of the hearing live because I was going straight through last night until after 9pm," he said.

"But I watched some this morning. I think the Senate has a very important job to complete, and my guess is some minds may have been changed. But I don't know."

A surprising view, perhaps, given we have seen no firm indication from any senator that their stance on conviction has changed since the trial started.

On Fox News last night, Senator Lindsey Graham said he hadn't seen "any compelling evidence", and claimed there was actually renewed momentum for an acquittal.

"The not guilty vote is growing after today. I think most Republicans found the presentation by the House managers offensive and absurd," Mr Graham said.

I don't think there's much to support that view either, as a couple of Republicans who went into the trial leaning towards conviction said they had found the evidence compelling when they addressed reporters yesterday.

The most likely situation here is that most senators' minds are firmly made up, and are not going to change whatever happens.

NEW: Pres. Biden says he didn’t watch impeachment trial live yesterday but saw news reports.

“My guess is some minds may have been changed, but I don’t know.”

— ABC News (@ABC) February 11, 2021

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2021-02-11 16:17:57Z

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