Friday February 12, 2021
“We fight for Trump”
Democrats let rioters have their say
Trump prosecutors use the votes of the Capitol mob to prove the influence of the ex-US president. Again, the video material does not leave much room for interpretation: “We were invited by the President of the USA,” they say. Trump’s defenders want to be very short.
According to the prosecutors in the impeachment process, the Capitol attackers were convinced that they were acting on behalf of the then US President Donald Trump. “The attack was carried out for Donald Trump, on his instructions and to grant his wishes,” said Democratic MP Diana DeGette in the Senate. “Donald Trump sent them.”
As in the previous days, the Democratic prosecutors showed extensive video footage to support their arguments. It shows how radical Trump supporters explicitly refer to the then president when they storm parliament on January 6th. Among other things they shouted “fight for Trump”. “We were invited by the President of the United States,” a Trump supporter yelled at police officers in front of the Capitol. In another video, an intruder inside the parliament building says, “Let’s call Trump. He’ll be happy. We’ll fight for Trump.”
DeGette also referred to court documents and interviews in which the attackers said they had followed Trump’s instructions. This also explains why the intruders filmed themselves during the attack and openly identified themselves on the Internet, the MP said: They were simply convinced that they could not be punished for acting on behalf of the President.
The danger of Trump mob still exists
They warned that the threat from fanatical Trump supporters persisted. The team also argued that Trump has already encouraged his supporters to use violence in the past. Video recordings of earlier statements by Trump were shown, in which Trump, for example, called for violence against troublemakers during an election campaign and promised that he would pay the legal fees if someone got into trouble because of it.
The Democrats hold Trump responsible for storming the Capitol and accuse him of “inciting a riot”. Right before the attack, the then president had called on his supporters to march on the Capitol and urged them to “fight the hell out of it”. On Wednesday, prosecutors showed harrowing footage of the January 6 violence, including previously unpublished footage from congressional surveillance cameras.
These also showed how Vice President Mike Pence and senators like Democrat Chuck Schumer and Republican Mitt Romney narrowly escaped the attackers. The Democrats want to convince the Republican senators to vote for a condemnation of Trump.
Biden sees a chance Republicans will change their minds
New US President Joe Biden said the prosecutors’ impressive speech could cause some Republicans to “change their minds”. However, a guilty verdict against Trump is still almost impossible: for the two-thirds majority required for a conviction, at least 17 Republican senators would have to vote together with the 50 Democrats. So far, however, only a few Republicans have indicated that they could vote against the ex-president, who is still very popular with large parts of the party and the grassroots.
After the prosecutors, it will be Trump’s defense attorneys’ turn to present their arguments on Friday. They reject the accusations of the prosecutors and describe the proceedings against the ex-president as unconstitutional. CNN reported, citing unspecified sources, that Trump’s lawyers only wanted one day for their presentation.
His lawyers Schoen and Castor had only been appointed to represent Trump ten days before the impeachment process began. The first appearance led to ridicule in the Senate. Castor and Schoen are certainly the “most incompetent legal representatives of a modern president”, whether they are still in office or have left office, mocked the historian Michael Decision, who specializes in US presidents. “When Castor and Schoen are done, the House of Representatives will likely demand a third impeachment (against Trump).”
It is expected that the procedure should be completed in a few days: depending on the course, at the earliest on the weekend or at the beginning of the coming week.