Live impeachment updates: Biden says videos shown at Trump impeachment trial may have changed some minds

President Joe Biden, who has avoided commenting on the impeachment trial of his predecessor, weighed in Thursday when asked whether he’d seen graphic videos of the Jan. 6 riots shown publicly for the first time during Wednesday’s proceedings.

Biden said he didn’t watch the trial as it was happening but saw news coverage of it after working all day on other issues.

“My guess is some minds may have been changed,” Biden told reporters before an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers about infrastructure. “But I don’t

Biden has maintained a busy schedule aimed in part at sending the message that he is not letting the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump distract him from working on the pandemic and other pressing issues.

“I’m focused on my job … to deal with the promises I made. And we all know we have to move on,” Biden said.

– Maureen Groppe

Prosecutors to argue Trump showed no remorse during riots

House prosecutors will end their opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump by trying to show how Trump failed to act as the Capitol riots grew worse and that his actions have done lasting harm to the United States.

House Democrats prosecuting the case, known as managers, will argue Thursday that Trump failed to take action to quell the violence and showed no remorse as the horrific events unfolded, according to aides.

The managers will also argue that Trump’s actions harmed the country beyond the immediate violence of that day, according to aides. In their written brief, managers said Trump harmed national security because rioters gained access to sensitive documents and stole a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. The brief also argued that Trump emboldened violent extremists.

Capitol security footage:Harrowing new footage shows how close the mob got to Pence, Congress and staff during Jan. 6 assault

Heads in hands, a whisper, a sigh:Senators react as violent footage of Capitol riot plays at Trump impeachment trial

The presentation follows Wednesday arguments where managers played video – some of it from security cameras or police body cameras that had never been seen before – to document the violence of rioters brawling with police and occupying the Senate chamber. Rioters rampaged through the building searching for Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Trump’s defense team and Republican senators have agreed that the riot was repugnant and horrific, but argued that Trump can’t be held responsible for the mob’s actions. The lawyers contend Trump’s speech to the crowd before it marched on the Capitol is protected by the First Amendment.

– Bart Jansen

House prosecutors to wrap up arguments Thursday

WASHINGTON – House prosecutors will complete opening arguments Thursday in the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, following a full day of presentations in which they played harrowing video of rioters clashing violently with police officers as former Vice President Mike Pence, staffers and members of Congress rushed to safety.

The video clips – some of it security footage that hadn’t been released before – were a pivotal part of prosecutors’ efforts Wednesday to connect the violence of the Capitol riots to the words and actions of Trump, who is charged with inciting the insurrection Jan. 6.

House Democratic prosecutors, known as managers, interspersed the videos into hours of presentations in which they described how Trump baselessly attacked the outcome of the 2020 election, called supporters to Washington to protest the Jan. 6 counting of electoral votes, then delayed action as his supporters broke into the Capitol in a deadly riot.

Capitol riot footage:Harrowing new footage shows how close the mob got to Pence, Congress and staff during Jan. 6 assault

Heads in hands, a whisper, a sigh:Senators react as violent footage of Capitol riot plays at Trump impeachment trial

Among the more arresting moments captured on camera were Pence and his family being ushered to safety as the mob breached the Capitol, Sen. Mitt Romney being redirected to a safer location by a vigilant police officer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s staff barricading themselves inside an office before the rioters invaded.

Five people died in the melee, including a police officer hit with a fire extinguisher and a woman shot by an officer outside the House chamber. Other officers were beaten, had their eyes gouged and one officer lost three fingers.

U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman watches never-before-seen security footage of rioters storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, during the second day of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial on Wednesday. Goodman, who has been lauded as a hero, warned Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the rioters were headed his way. Goodman also directed the mob away from the Senate chamber and toward other officers.

Impeachment manager Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., drew on Trump’s tweets and speeches to make Democrats’ case.

“Donald Trump for months and months assembled the tinder, the kindling, threw on fuel to have his supporters believe that the only way their victory would be lost was if it was stolen,” Swalwell said. “Instead of accepting the results, he told his base more lies. He doused the flames with kerosene.”

The nine managers will resume their arguments at noon in their final day of opening arguments. Managers said Wednesday they thought their evidence was compelling enough to convince more Senate Republicans to vote to convict Trump on the impeachment charge.

Takeaways from Day 2:New video, withdrawn comments: Takeaways from Day 2 of Trump’s impeachment trial

But a two-thirds majority of the Senate is required for conviction, which would require at least 17 Republicans joining the 50 lawmakers who caucus with Democrats.

After House managers finish, Trump’s defense team led by Bruce Castor Jr. and David Schoen will have up to 16 hours over two days to make their arguments. Castor said the videos were powerful, but he hadn’t heard the violence connected to Trump

“We know a mob breached the Capitol and wreaked havoc in the building,” Castor said. “I’m waiting for them to connect that up to President Trump and so far that hasn’t happened.”

– Bart Jansen

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