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Kamis, 11 Februari 2021

Trump impeachment LIVE updates: Trial continues against former US president Donald Trump over Capitol Hill riot - The Sydney Morning Herald

Summary

  • Democrats are resuming their case against Donald Trump in the US Senate on the third day of the former president’s second impeachment hearing.
  • Senators are being asked to convict Trump of inciting insurrection via his comments and tweets prior to a violent mob of his supporters storming the Capitol on January 6.
  • The Democrats have made extensive use of previously unseen and graphic security footage during the trial.
  • Trump is expected to be acquitted because conviction requires two-thirds of senators to vote in favour, and the Senate is made up of 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans.
  • Trump-supporting Republicans have remained unswayed by the evidence presented to date.
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Watch live: Day three of Trump’s impeachment hearing

By Latika Bourke

If you’d like to watch along as you follow our live coverage, you can keep this tab open.

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Trump’s First Amendment defence ‘wrong completely’

By Latika Bourke

House impeachment manager Joe Neguse is now taking on the First Amendment argument that has been put forward by Donald Trump’s team.

The First Amendment states that: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Put simply, Trump is arguing that his right to free speech nullifies the charges of inciting an insurrection over which he was impeached by the House.

House impeachment manager Joe Neguse.

House impeachment manager Joe Neguse.Credit:Senate Television

But Neguse says that is “wrong completely”.

“To hear his lawyers tell it, he was just some guy at a rally expressing unpopular opinions,” Neguse said.

“They would have you believe that this whole impeachment is because he said things that one may disagree with. Really?”

Jamie Raskin, another House impeachment manager, adds: “It is a bedrock principle that nobody can incite a riot, the First Amendment doesn’t protect it.”

Riot compromised US national security

By Latika Bourke

The impeachment hearing has resumed after a break.

House impeachment manager Joaquin Castro is outlining how the riot, which they say was incited by Donald Trump, compromised the United States’ national security by showing how the Capitol building could be breached, as well as allowing the interior of usually secret parts of the building to be broadcast to the world.

House impeachment manager Joaquin Castro.

House impeachment manager Joaquin Castro.Credit:Senate Television

Castro quoted responses from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and state propaganda to show how the unrest had been exploited by rivals.

“President Trump gave the Chinese government an opening to create a false equivalency between Hong Kongers protesting for democracy and violent insurrectionists trying to overthrow it,” he said.

Castro also pointed to criticism from Russia and Iran.

“They’re using President Trump’s incitement of an insurrection to declare that democracy is over,” he told jurors.

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Five more Proud Boys associates charged

By Latika Bourke

A group that has received a lot of attention from House impeachment managers is the far-right group Proud Boys.

Many members attended the rally and identify as supporters of Donald Trump.

People march with those who claim they are members of the Proud Boys as they attend a rally in Washington.

People march with those who claim they are members of the Proud Boys as they attend a rally in Washington.Credit:AP

Police have arrested and charged five more members, bringing to 18 the number who have been charged in relation to the riot.

Read more: Five more linked with Proud Boys charged for Capitol riot

Trump lawyers will only use one day to mount defence

By Latika Bourke

The hearing is taking a 15-minute break.

While senators refresh, it’s worth bringing your attention to a comment from Jason Miller, an adviser to Donald Trump.

Miller has confirmed a report by CNN that Trump’s legal team will only use one of their two days to mount their defence. Each side has 16 hours, over two days, to make their arguments.

The Democrats were allocated Wednesday and Thursday, leaving Friday and Saturday for Trump’s team.

But Miller said on Twitter: “We will finish up our presentation tomorrow/Friday.”

That could mean we might see a vote as early as Saturday, making this the fastest impeachment trial in history.

Officers ‘sustained brain injuries’ in riot

By Latika Bourke

House impeachment manager David Cicilline is now giving a presentation about the injuries caused to the Capitol building staff, including cleaners and police officers, during the riot.

At least 81 Capitol Police members and 65 members of the Metropolitan Police suffered injuries.

Evidence presented to Donald Trump’s impeachment trial details the loss of life and injuries sustained by police officers guarding the Capitol building.

Evidence presented to Donald Trump’s impeachment trial details the loss of life and injuries sustained by police officers guarding the Capitol building.Credit:Screengrab/CNBC

He said these included brain injuries, smashed ribs and, in one instance, an officer lost the tip of their finger.

Cicilline also detailed how officers reported instances of self-harm in the days after the riot and one female officer turned in her gun because she was afraid of what might happen.

Trump supporters beat down barricades and attacked police in a violent riot that left at least five dead, including two Capitol Police officers.

Trump supporters beat down barricades and attacked police in a violent riot that left at least five dead, including two Capitol Police officers.Credit:AP

Impeaching Trump not aimed at punishing him, Dems say

By Latika Bourke

House impeachment manager Diana DeGette has concluded her second presentation of the day by declaring that impeaching Donald Trump would be an act of patriotism.

The link is clearly aimed at Republicans who regularly describe themselves as patriots.

House impeachment manager Diana DeGette.

House impeachment manager Diana DeGette.Credit:Senate Television

DeGette said that the intention of convicting Trump was not to serve as punishment but prevention.

“President Trump told them repeatedly that their insurrectionist activities were the pinnacle of patriotism,” De Gette said.

“Well let today be the day that we reclaim the definition of patriotism.

“Impeachment is not to punish but to prevent, we are not here to punish Donald Trump, we are here to prevent the seeds of hatred that he planted from bearing any more fruit.”

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Cost of National Guard exceeded half a billion dollars

By Latika Bourke

House impeachment manager Diana DeGette is back making her second presentation of the day.

She is highlighting the increased activity and violent chatter online by far-right Trump supporters after the Capitol riot.

She showed senators an intelligence bulletin published on January 13 that said since the January 6 event, “violent online rhetoric regarding the 20 January Presidential inauguration has increased”.

An intelligence bulletin shows reports of increased violet rhetoric online as a result of the January 6 Capitol riot.

An intelligence bulletin shows reports of increased violet rhetoric online as a result of the January 6 Capitol riot.Credit:Screengrab/CNBC

DeGette also showed another slide outlining the cost of deploying the National Guard to the Capitol and across several other states in the days after the riot.

The costs are at least $US483,988, 816 ($624,505,288).

Documents presented at Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial show the cost of deploying the National Guard after the January 6 riot totalled nearly half a billion US dollars.

Documents presented at Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial show the cost of deploying the National Guard after the January 6 riot totalled nearly half a billion US dollars.Credit:Screengrab/CNBC

National Guard soldiers protecting the US Capitol on January 16, four days before Joe Biden’s inauguration as President.

National Guard soldiers protecting the US Capitol on January 16, four days before Joe Biden’s inauguration as President.Credit:AP

Republicans’ response to riot under scrutiny

By Latika Bourke

Interestingly, House impeachment manager Ted Lieu has spent the final portion of his presentation focusing on the criticisms made of Trump by senior Republicans.

Given many of the GOP Senators being asked to convict Trump have positioned themselves with the former president so as not to upset the Republican base, this is a more surprising tactic from the Democrats.

Lieu has played comments from Trump’s former aides, including his former national security advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton, chief of staff John Kelly and former envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney.

Former US national security adviser John Bolton.

Former US national security adviser John Bolton.Credit:AP

Lieu pointed to the string of resignations from the Trump administration that came after the riot (and only two weeks before Joe Biden’s inauguration).

Trump effectively derided his former aides after falling out with them, meaning their criticisms of him have carried little weight with other Republicans over time because of the former president’s dominance over the GOP.

Trump has not ruled out running again, but Lieu said that was not his main fear.

“I’m not afraid of Donald Trump running again in four years,” he said.

“I’m afraid he’s going to run again and lose— because he can do this again.”

Trump’s lack of remorse poses ‘continuing danger’

By Latika Bourke

Now House impeachment manager Ted Lieu is homing in on what he describes as Donald Trump’s lack of remorse about the deadly riot on January 6.

Lieu is quoting Trump’s video message in which he praised the rioters as “very special” and told them to go home, but that they should “remember this day”.

House impeachment manager Ted Lieu.

House impeachment manager Ted Lieu.Credit:Senate Television

“President Trump’s lack of remorse and refusal to take accountability after the attack poses its own unique and continuing danger,” Lieu told senators.

“It sends a message that it is acceptable to overthrow the will of the people ... that’s why we have to hold president Trump accountable.”

Lieu also played a clip of Trump saying after the riot that he was “only just beginning”.

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2021-02-11 20:10:00Z
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