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Senate votes to acquit Trump

Donald Trump spoke at a rally outside the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 6.
Donald Trump spoke at a rally outside the White House on Wednesday, Jan. 6.PETE MAROVICH/NYT

Donald Trump was acquitted Saturday of inciting the horrific attack on the US Capitol, concluding a historic impeachment trial that spared him the first-ever conviction of a current or former US president but exposed the fragility of America’s democratic traditions and left a divided nation to come to terms with the violence sparked by his defeated presidency.

Trump remains dominant force in GOP following acquittal — 11:40 p.m.

Associated Press

The Republican Party still belongs to Donald Trump.

After he incited a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last month, the GOP considered purging the norm-shattering former president. But in the end, only seven of 50 Senate Republicans voted to convict Trump in his historic second impeachment trial on Saturday.


For Trump’s loyalists, the acquittal offers a vindication of sorts and a fresh connection to the former president’s fiery base. And for Trump’s GOP antagonists, it marks another alarming sign that the party is lurching further in a dangerous direction with little desire to reconnect with the moderates, women and college-educated voters Trump alienated.

Washington Post

Former president Donald Trump called the historic second impeachment case against him “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country,” while promising Saturday that he would not leave the political field.

Trump’s acquittal was never in serious doubt, although seven Republicans joined Democrats in voting to convict Trump for his role in urging on the deadly Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump did not mention the riot or his speech that preceded it, and criticized Democrats for a list of things that roughly matched what Trump himself had been accused of doing.

Associated Press

Donald Trump’s unprecedented second impeachment trial ended in acquittal Saturday, the Democratic-led prosecution failing to garner enough Republican support to convict the former president of inciting the deadly attack on the U.S Capitol.

Seven Republicans joined 50 Democrats, but they fell 10 votes shy of the 67 needed to find Trump guilty.

Here are some highlights from the concluding day of the trial.

Associated Press

President Joe Biden is responding to the acquittal of Donald Trump by stating that all Americans, especially the nation’s leaders, have a duty and responsibility “to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.”

Biden says that in doing so, “that is how we end this uncivil war and heal the very soul of our nation. That is the task ahead. And it’s a task we must undertake together.”

The new president also says “that violence and extremism has no place in America.”

The White House issued Biden’s statement late Saturday night, several hours after the Senate failed to muster the two-thirds vote needed to convict Trump of incitement in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. The 57-43 vote included seven members of Trump’s own Republican Party.

In looking back on the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and Trump’s role in it, Biden says “this sad chapter” in American history is a reminder that democracy is fragile and must always be defended. He also says that the nation “must be ever vigilant.”

Anissa Gardizy, Globe staff

Seven Republican senators voted to convict the former president in his second impeachment trial. Here is a list of the Republican senators who found the president guilty, as well as statements released by some of them about their decision.


New York Times

If nothing else, the Senate impeachment trial has served at least one purpose: It stitched together the most comprehensive and chilling account to date of last month’s deadly assault on the Capitol, shedding light on the biggest explosion of violence in the seat of Congress in two centuries.

Yet for all the heart-pounding narrative of that day and the weeks leading up to it presented on the Senate floor, what was also striking after it was all over was how many questions remained unanswered on issues like the financing and leadership of the mob, the extent of the coordination with extremist groups, the breakdown in security and the failure in various quarters of the government to heed intelligence warnings of pending violence.

And then, most especially, what the president was doing in the hours that the Capitol was being ransacked, a point that several wavering Republican senators tried to home in on through questions to the prosecution and defense and that briefly blew up the trial on Saturday.

Anissa Gardizy, Globe staff

When the Senate acquitted Donald Trump on Saturday, finding him not-guilty of inciting the deadly attack at the US Capitol, at least one group of individuals appeared to be outwardly joyful: The Trump defense team.

Photos of the group show lawyers posing for pictures and congratulating each other as they departed the Senate chamber following the 57-43 verdict. Trump attorney Michael van der Veen was overhead saying, “We’re going to Disney World,” according to a USA Today reporter Christal Hayes, who heard the comment. It’s a phrase often shouted by Super Bowl MVPs, but van der Veen used it to describe his state of mind as the Trump’s second impeachment trial came to an end.


Associated Press

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scoffed at the “cowardly” Senate Republicans who voted to acquit Donald Trump of inciting the Capitol siege. With the impeachment trial now over, some Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate have suggested censure as an option. Pelosi panned those efforts as grossly inadequate in the face of the violent attack on the nation’s seat of power. Five people died.

“What we saw in that Senate today was a cowardly group of Republicans who apparently have no options because they were afraid to defend their job,” she said at the Capitol. “We censure people for using stationary for the wrong purpose. We don’t censure people for inciting insurrection that kills people in the Capitol.”

Pelosi joined House prosecutors at a press conference at the Capitol following the Senate impeachment trial.

Associated Press

Trump lawyer jokes after acquittal: “We’re going to Disney World!”

Donald Trump’s legal team is taking a victory lap after securing his acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial.

Addressing reporters after the trial concluded, the team thanked the Senate for finding the former president not guilty of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Michael van der Veen, who presented the bulk of the defense, fist-bumped a colleague as he departed the Capitol. He joked: “We’re going to Disney World!”

The vote on Trump’s impeachment was 57-43, with seven Republicans joining all Democrats to vote for Trump’s conviction.

Two thirds of the Senate, or 67 votes, was needed for conviction.


Associated Press

Minutes after voting to acquit Donald Trump of the impeachment charge, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said there is still “no question” that Trump was “practically and morally responsible for provoking” the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.

McConnell said he could not vote to convict Trump because he is “constitutionally not eligible for conviction” because he is no longer president.

By Anissa Gardizy, Globe staff

The Senate voted on Saturday to acquit former president Donald Trump, bringing an end to his second impeachment trial.

Seventeen Republicans would have needed to join Democrats in the evenly split Senate to reach the two-thirds majority required for conviction. The final vote was 57 to convict and 43 to acquit, with seven Republican senators voting to convict Trump.

Associated Press

The Senate’s top Democrat says Jan. 6 will live as a “day of infamy” in American history and that the vote to acquit Donald Trump “will live as a vote of infamy in the history of the United States Senate.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, took to the Senate floor on Saturday to decry the Senate’s acquittal of the former president on a charge that he incited the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

He applauded the seven Republicans who joined all 50 Democrats in voting to convict Trump.

He called the day of the riot the “final, terrible legacy” of Trump and said the stain of his actions will never be “washed away.”

Associated Press

Former President Donald Trump is welcoming his second impeachment acquittal and says his movement “has only just begun.”

Trump in a lengthy statement is thanking his attorneys and his defenders in the House and Senate, who he said “stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country.”

He is slamming the trial as “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country.” And he is telling his supporters that, “Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun” and that he will have more to share with them in the months ahead.

While Trump was acquitted by the Senate, seven Republicans voted to convict him, making it the most bipartisan vote in the history of presidential impeachments.

Associated Press

The Senate voted to acquit former president Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. The vote was 57 to convict, 43 to acquit.

The House of Representatives impeached Trump for inciting the attack on the US Capitol that occurred Jan. 6 as Congress was finalizing Joe Biden’s election victory over Trump.

A two-thirds majority was required for conviction, meaning 17 Republicans were needed to join Democrats in the evenly split Senate.

Associated Press

A lawyer for Donald Trump says everyone acknowledges the horror of the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last month but that the former president wasn’t responsible for it. Michael van der Veen gave his closing arguments on the Senate floor on Saturday in the impeachment trial of Trump.

He says there is no evidence that Trump incited an “armed insurrection” to “overthrow the U.S. government” and to think that Trump would have wanted that is “absurd.” He says the event on Jan. 6 was supposed to be peaceful but that a small group “hijacked” it for their own purposes.

Associated Press

Lead Democratic impeachment manager Jamie Raskin told the Senate that “this is almost certainly how you will be remembered by history.” Raskin said that “none of us can escape the demands of history and destiny right now” as the House managers argue that Trump incited the violent Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and the Senate decides whether to convict him. He said the trial is not about Trump, but “about who we are.”

Trump’s lawyers, and many Senate Republicans, have argued that the trial is unconstitutional. They also say Trump did not intentionally incite the riot when he told a mob of his supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn his election defeat and march to the Capitol as Congress was counting the electoral votes. The House managers laid out video evidence of the violent assault, in which five people died. Raskin said they proved that Trump betrayed his country and “betrayed his oath of office.”

Associated Press

Senators resumed Donald Trump’s impeachment trial without calling witnesses after agreeing to accept new information from a Republican congresswoman about his actions on the day of the deadly Capitol siege.

After a delay of several hours, the trial is back on track with closing arguments and Saturday’s session heading toward a vote on the verdict.

Under the deal, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s statement on a phone call between Trump and House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy as rioters stormed the Capitol was entered into the trial record as evidence. No further witnesses were called.

Senators brought the proceedings to a standstill when a majority voted Saturday morning to consider potential witnesses.

The information from Herrera Beutler sparked fresh interest on Trump’s actions that day.

Associated Press

Closing arguments have begun in Trump’s impeachment trial after the Senate reached a deal to skip witness testimony in Trump impeachment case, allowing trial to proceed.

Associated Press

Republican senators are warning that any vote to allow witnesses at the impeachment trial of Donald Trump will significantly prolong the case, and that they have their own lists of people they would want to hear from.

Sen. Ted Cruz told reporters that if there are witnesses called by Democrats, the process “won’t be one-sided” and the former president will be able to have his own witnesses, too.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was among five Republicans who joined Democrats in voting to consider witnesses, said that although he’d like to see the case go to trial, he’ll insist on multiple witnesses if Democrats get to have theirs. He says he would want to hear from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

A Trump adviser was seen holding a sheet of paper showing that Trump’s lawyers are prepared to call more than 300 witnesses.

The vote Saturday to consider witnesses upended the trial, which had been racing toward closing arguments and a vote on whether to acquit or convict Trump.

New York Times

Five Republicans joined Democrats in a 55-45 Senate vote to hear witnesses in the Trump impeachment trial. The vote was a surprise and will lengthen the duration of the trial. The timing of a final vote is uncertain.

The senators who joined with Democrats are: Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.

The vote on witnesses came Saturday morning after a push by Democrats to summon a Republican congresswoman who has said she was told that the former president sided with the mob as rioters were attacking the Capitol.

Associated Press

In a surprise move, senators have voted to consider witnesses in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

Closing arguments were expected Saturday with no witnesses called. But lead Democratic prosecutor Jamie Raskin of Maryland asked for a deposition of Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler over fresh information.

She has widely shared a conversation she had with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy over Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 as the mob was rioting over the presidential election results.

Raskin said it was necessary to determine Trump’s role in inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot. There were 55 senators who voted to debate the motion to subpoena, including Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who changed his vote in the middle of the count.

Trump’s attorney Michael van der Veen balked at the request, saying he’d then call 100 witnesses and said it was not necessary.

Associated Press

Democratic prosecutors ask Senate to subpoena a House Republican for ‘corroborating evidence’ about Trump’s actions.

Associated Press

The Senate is gaveling open as the court of impeachment is expecting to wrap up Donald Trump’s trial over the Capitol siege.

Senators were speeding toward an expected vote in the rare Saturday session on whether to convict or acquit the former president on the charge of incitement of insurrection in the Jan. 6 attack.

Some senators want to consider witnesses, but it’s unclear if any will be called to testify, or if there would be enough support in a vote to do so.

The weeklong impeachment trial is the first of a former president.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell will vote to acquit Donald Trump in the former president’s impeachment trial.

That’s according to a source familiar with McConnell’s thinking who was not authorized to publicly discuss the decision and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Word of McConnell’s decision came Saturday before what is expected to be a final day in the historic trial on the charge that Trump incited the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

The Republican leader’s views are closely watched and carry sway among GOP senators, and his decision on Trump is likely to influence others weighing their votes.

While most Democrat are expected to convict Trump, the two-thirds vote needed for conviction appears unlikely, given that the Senate is evenly split 50-50 between the parties.

Anissa Gardizy

Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and former president Donald Trump engaged in a heated phone call during the attack on the US Capitol, according to new information reported by CNN.

The California congressman is said to have asked Trump to call off his supporters from breaching the building, telling him that they were breaking into his office through windows. Republicans briefed on the Jan. 6 phone call told CNN that Trump told McCarthy the violent mob cared more about the results of the election than he did. “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump said.

Sen. Chuck Schumer asks the senate to award Officer Eugene Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal. (Video via C-SPAN)

The Associated Press

The Senate has voted to give the Congressional Gold Medal to Eugene Goodman, a Capitol Police officer who led a violent mob away from the Senate doors on Jan. 6 as they hunted for lawmakers during the presidential electoral count.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called the vote at the end of the day’s impeachment proceedings, noting Goodman’s “foresight in the midst of chaos, and his willingness to make himself a target of the mob’s rage so that others might reach safety.”

By The Washington Post

A Republican senator who expressed doubts about former president Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team and suggested he might ultimately vote to convict him was seen in the Capitol on Friday holding the draft of a statement indicating he planned to acquit Trump.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., told reporters Tuesday that “one side is doing a great job and the other side is doing a terrible job,” just moments after breaking with most Republicans to confirm the constitutionality of trying an ex-president on impeachment charges - buoying hopes of House managers that at least some GOP votes could be shifted.

On Friday, however, Cassidy held a document in public view that appeared to indicate he may have made up his mind.

“The events of January 6 are a stain on our country. President Trump and many others certainly contributed to the environment. The former president did engage in excessive and unnecessary rhetoric before and after the election,” the draft statement said in part. “However, the House Managers did not connect the dots to show President Trump knew that the attack on the Capitol was going to be violent and result in the loss of life.”

A Cassidy spokesman, Ty Bofferding, said the draft statement did not mean that Cassidy’s decision is final.

By The Associated Press

The lead House prosecutor in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial appears to have had enough of the defense argument that the former president wasn’t responsible for inciting the deadly Capitol siege.

“Get real,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland.

The defense lawyers have been arguing that Trump didn’t mean it when he told a rally to go to Congress and “fight like hell” for his presidency as lawmakers were certifying Joe Biden’s election.

Rep. Jamie Raskin said they know President Trump summoned the mob, and lit the match. (Video via C-SPAN)

“How gullible do you think we are?” Raskin said Friday. “We saw this happen.”

The defense has tried to compare his words to those used by other Democratic politicians fighting for health care or other priorities. The argument is drawing eyerolls from the senators on the Democratic side of the aisle.

Senators are posing questions to the lawyer as the trial heads toward a vote on whether to convict or acquit the former president on the charge of incitement of insurrection.

Trump lawyer appears to confuse Raffensperger and Roethlisberger during defense arguments — 5:52 p.m.

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

A member of Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team on Friday appeared refer to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger as Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, one of a handful of verbal missteps during the proceedings.

Bruce Castor made the error as he railed against what he called an “absurd and conflated allegation” from House Democrats on Trump’s phone call to Raffensperger in which Trump asked the Georgia elections official to “find” enough votes to overturn President Biden’s victory.

“President Trump’s phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Ben Roethlisberger — surreptitiously recorded, by the way — and included multiple attorneys and others on the call.” he said. “The private call that was made public by others cannot really be the basis to claim that the president intended to incite a riot because he did not publicly disclose the contents of the call.”

It was one of a series of missteps from Trump’s legal defense team, which was brought in just a week before the start of the trial after the former president parted ways with different set of lawyers who had been set to represent him during the Senate proceedings.

During his arguments, Trump attorney Michael van der Veen misstated Representative Ayanna Pressley’s first name as “Anya,” and mispronounced the first name of Vice President Kamala Harris.

The defense team has drawn criticism several times this week. Trump was reportedly furious with his lawyers after they presented a meandering argument on the first day of the trial that drew criticism from Republican senators, including Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who called it “disorganized” and “random.”

Elizabeth Warren hits back in tweet after being featured in Trump defense video — 5:01 p.m.

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday appeared to hit back at Donald Trump’s legal team after she was featured prominently in a video montage of Democrats saying the word “fight” during Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.

Warren tweeted a 1 minute, 30 second video from her campaign account Friday that featured her making “pinky promises” with dozens of children, some adults, and a pug named Ziggy while on the campaign trail during the Democratic primary.

By The Associated Press

A House impeachment manager says she questions why lawyers for former President Donald Trump played multiple video clips of people of color or women talking about fighting in a political context.

Del. Stacey Plaskett of the U.S. Virgin Islands told senators Friday that she noted a particular focus in the lawyers’ presentation on “Black women like myself who are sick and tired of being sick and tired for our children, your children, our children.”

Trump’s lawyers have argued that his words exhorting his supporters to fight the election are protected by the First Amendment. They repeatedly showed clips on Friday of Rep. Maxine Waters of California, who is Black.

Democratic impeachment managers say Trump’s Jan. 6 speech was the culmination of a monthslong campaign to sow doubt about his election loss to President Joe Biden and that he should be found guilty of inciting the riot.

The former president’s counsel also used a video montage that created a false equivalency between the Capitol riot and Black Lives Matter protests that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May, invoking race in arguments for the president’s innocence.

Plaskett told senators Friday: “I thought we were past that. I think maybe we’re not.”

By The Associated Press

Senators are submitting written questions to the prosecution and the defense in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

One of the first questions came from Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who have been critical of Trump’s actions. They asked Trump’s lawyers to lay out in detail what Trump did to stop the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and when Trump first learned the building had been breached.

Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen did not answer directly, instead accusing Democrats of denying Trump due process during the impeachment process.

“The House managers did zero investigation and the American people deserve a lot better than that,” he said.

Trump’s defense wrapped up their opening arguments earlier Friday, telling senators the impeachment is unconstitutional and politically motivated.

Senators will have up to four hours to submit their questions.

By The Associated Press

The defense attorneys for Donald Trump have wrapped up their presentation in the former president’s impeachment trial.

Lawyers argued for three hours Friday that Trump didn’t incite the Jan. 6 rally crowd to riot at the U.S. Capitol and that his words were merely figures of speech. They say the case against Trump was a political witch hunt by Democrats and was not valid because he is no longer in office.

Their truncated defense barely used the full time allotted, 16 hours over two days. Many senators minds appear already made up.

Trump is accused of incitement of insurrection in the mob siege at the Capitol. Five people died. Senators will next be able to ask the lawyers questions when the trial resumes.

By The Associated Press

Democrats in the Senate chamber chuckled and whispered among themselves as Donald Trump’s defense team played videos of them saying “fight” over and over again at the former president’s impeachment trial -- an effort to counter Trump’s call to his supporters to “fight like hell” before they laid siege on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Arguing that Trump did not incite the insurrection, as the House has charged, the lawyers played videos of Democrats saying the word “fight” without any context, calling for protests after Black men and women were killed by police officers and challenging the results of the presidential elections that Republicans won. At a break in the proceedings, Democrats said it was a distraction and a “false equivalence” with their own behavior.

“Donald Trump was warned, if you don’t stop talking about a stolen election, people will be killed,” said Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine. “He was specifically warned that. He kept talking about it, and a violent mob attacked the Capitol and seven people are dead who would be alive today, had he just followed their advice. That’s what I thought about those videos.”

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennett said it felt like the lawyers were “erecting straw men to then take them down rather than deal with the facts” and the events of Jan. 6.

Republicans watched intently as the Trump lawyers presented. Some praised them afterward, including Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who has been harshly critical of Trump’s role in the riots and panned the lawyers’ previous arguments on Tuesday.

“They are putting on a good defense today,” Murkowski said, adding that the first two hours “were well put together.”

President Trump's lawyer David Schoen showed a video montage during the impeachment trial that included politicians using the word "fight." (Video via C-SPAN)

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

Donald Trump’s defense lawyers played a lengthy video compilation Friday of various Democrats saying the word “fight” over the years in speeches and at rallies.

They aimed to demonstrate that Democrats’ words were no different than Trump’s when he called on his supporters during his Jan. 6 rally to “fight like hell.”

But the extended video included comments from politicians urging “fights” for policy goals or amorphous aspirations. House impeachment managers have argued Trump’s comments were directed at members of Congress holding proceedings just yards away.

In one clip, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was seen emphasizing that the US was “fighting the health crisis of COVID.” In another lengthy series of clips, Senator Elizabeth Warren was seen repeating portions of her presidential campaign slogan, “Dream big, fight hard.”

Trump lawyers attack Democrats with series of video clips at trial — 1:21 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Donald Trump’s lawyers have opened their arguments in the former president’s impeachment trial with a direct attack on Democrats.

Arguing that Trump did not incite the Jan. 6 insurrection of his supporters at the U.S. Capitol, lawyer Michael van der Veen said that the trial is “constitutional cancel culture” by Democrats trying to retain power. He played a video of Democrats calling for protests after Black men and women were killed by police officers and objecting to Trump’s election in 2017.

Trump’s supporters violently attacked the Capitol last month after he falsely claimed the presidential election was stolen from him for months and then told them to “fight like hell” as Congress counted the votes.

The lawyers are arguing that the trial is unconstitutional, that Trump is protected by freedom of speech and that he did not intend to incite the deadly riot.

Van der Veen said the case “poses a serious threat to freedom of speech for political leaders of both parties at every level of government.”

Trump lawyers present defense at trial — 12:11 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Defense lawyers have begun their opening arguments in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump as the case speeds to an expected conclusion this weekend.

The Trump legal team is expected to argue that the former president did not incite the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and that his speech was protected by the First Amendment. The lawyers have also raised questions about the trial’s constitutionality because Trump is no longer in office.

Trump’s lawyers are not expected to use anywhere close to their allotted time and will wrap up their arguments later Friday. After that, senators who are serving as jurors will have an opportunity to ask questions of lawyers for both sides, followed by closing arguments.

The case is likely to conclude as soon as Saturday.

Trump’s lawyers prepare to take floor — 8:35 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Now it’s the Trump team’s time.

House prosecutors at former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial relied on emotion and violent images on video to make their case in arguments over the past two days.

The Senate trial is shifting to Trump’s defense lawyers on Friday, and they’re prepared to acknowledge that the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was every bit as traumatic, unacceptable and illegal as Democrats say.

But Trump’s lawyers plan to say Trump had nothing to do with it. They want to pivot to what they see as the core and more winnable issue of the trial: whether Trump can be held responsible for inciting the deadly riot.

The argument is likely to appeal to Republican senators who themselves want to be seen as condemning the violence without convicting the former president.

Trump lawyers aim to avoid losing Republican votes — 7:45 a.m.

By The Associated Press

Donald Trump’s lawyers have a simple objective as they open their defense at the former president’s impeachment trial: Don’t lose any Republican votes.

Most Republican senators have indicated they’ll vote to acquit Trump on the House charge of incitement of insurrection. They say the trial is unconstitutional and that Trump didn’t incite supporters to lay siege on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 when he told them to “fight like hell” against the certification of Joe Biden’s White House victory.

If Republicans hold the line, Democrats will fall well short of the two-thirds of the Senate needed for conviction.

Trump’s two top lawyers, Bruce Castor and David Schoen, risked losing one Republican vote on Tuesday after Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said they did a “terrible” job arguing that the trial is unconstitutional.

Cassidy, who had voted with his party two weeks earlier to stop the trial, switched his vote to side with Democrats.


Friday, Feb. 12


House impeachment managers conclude case — 4:26 p.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

House impeachment managers have ended their presentation of arguments for Donald Trump’s conviction, with lead manager Jamie Raskin urging senators to use “common sense” when they cast their votes.

“Senators, I’ve talked a lot about common sense because I believe that’s all you need to arrive at the right answer here,” Raskin said. “We need to exercise our common sense about what happened. Let’s not get caught up in a lot of outlandish lawyers’ theories here. Exercise your common sense about what just took place.”

Prosecutors summarize arguments for Trump’s conviction — 4:05 p.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

Prosecutors summarized the arguments they made in the case for Donald Trump’s conviction in the Senate, recounting how Trump pushed the lie that the election was stolen and ignored threats of violence that culminated in the Capitol attack.

House manager Joe Neguse argued that the former president’s repeated assertion that his supporters’ “rights, their voice as Americans were being stolen from them,” with claims of a fraudulent election made them angry enough to “stop the steal, to fight like hell to stop the steal.”

Trump knew “he created this powder keg at the rally, knew how combustible the situation was,” Neguse said, and Trump knew those in attendance at the rally were armed and prepared and would “jump at any signal that he needed them to fight.”

A video of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani speaking at the rally played, with Giuliani saying “let’s have trial by combat,” and Trump praising Giuliani as doing “a great job.”

“His message was crystal clear and it was understood immediately, instantly by his followers. It’s pretty simple: He said it and they did it,” Neguse said of the Capitol invasion.

“We know this because they told us,” Neguse continued, citing news reports and affidavits of members of the mob saying they were following the president’s orders when they attacked the Capitol.

In closing, Neguse argued Trump endangered the lives of former Vice President Mike Pence and law enforcement officials who could not evacuate or seek cover because they were protecting members of Congress.

“The evidence is clear,” he said. “We showed you statements, videos, affidavits that prove President Trump incited an insurrection. An insurrection that he alone had the power to stop. And the fact that he didn’t stop it, the fact that he incited a lawless attack and abdicated his duty to defend us from it … requires conviction and disqualification. We humbly ask you to convict President Trump for the crime for which he is overwhelmingly guilty of, because if you don’t, if we pretend this didn’t happen or worse, if we let it go unanswered, who’s to say it won’t happen again?”

Trump’s lawyers can’t argue he wasn’t afforded due process during impeachment process, prosecutors say — 3:39 p.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

House managers said they anticipate Donald Trump’s lawyers will raise the argument that the former president was not afforded due process in the impeachment process, a claim Representative Ted Lieu said is “without merit.”

Lieu said Trump’s actions were not a crime that needed to be investigated for months or years because it was “committed in plain view.”

There was no reason for the House to wait “to impeach the man at the very top that incited the violence,” and the body had “good reason to move quickly,” Lieu said, because there was no hidden conduct or conspiracy that required significant inquiry, and the case doesn’t raise complicated legal issues.

“The gravity of the president’s conduct” commanded impeachment, Lieu said.

He argued that there must be no doubt that Congress “will act decisively against a president that incites violence against us,” which is another reason why the House moved quickly to impeach.

The House also did not intentionally delay the transmission of the article of impeachment to the Senate, as Trump’s lawyers have argued, because the Senate was not in session at the time the House passed the measure.

House managers dismiss potential First Amendment argument by Trump’s lawyers — 3:18 p.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

House impeachment managers sought to poke holes in Donald Trump’s defense before his lawyers presented it, arguing the assertion that Trump can’t be held accountable because his actions are protected by the First Amendment is a “distraction.”

Trump’s lawyers are not concerned with the facts, House manager Joe Neguse said, but with an “alternative set of facts where Trump only delivered a controversial speech ahead of the rally,” and that his impeachment was because he said things some may disagree with.

“Their argument would flip the Constitution upside down,” Neguse said.

Neguse argued that Trump is not just some guy with a political opinion who showed up at a rally and said controversial things, as he anticipates the former president’s lawyers will argue.

“He was the president of the United States, and he had spent months using the unique power of that office… to spread that big lie that the election had been stolen to convince his followers to stop the steal.”

Neguse said Trump’s defense team will offer a “radically different version of that day that is inconsistent with evidence and then insist if that alternate reality is true, he’d be protected by the First Amendment.”

“You are here to adjudicate real evidence, real facts, not hypothetical ones,” Neguse said to the group of senators.

Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin continued the argument and said the First Amendment defense is an “irrelevant distraction to a president who has violated his oath of office.”

The First Amendment doesn’t protect inciting a riot, Raskin said, arguing “nobody in America would be protected by the First Amendment if they did all the things Donald Trump did.”

Raskin: It's not a free speech question
Rep. Jamie Raskin dismisses the potential First Amendment argument by Trump’s lawyers during the impeachment trial. (Video via C-SPAN)

Prosecutors argue attack threatened US national security, weakened international standing — 3:01 p.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

House impeachment manager Joaquin Castro argued Donald Trump knew the risk of a breach of the Capitol, a building that contains sensitive and classified information, yet he incited the mob to break in, and the attack posed a threat for future attacks on government buildings and institutions.

Castro said the attack has weakened the country’s international standing. He displayed statements from adversaries that criticized the United States and suggested the US is “hypocritical” in condemning unrest abroad when it is dealing with it at home.

“The world is watching and wondering whether we are who we say we are,” he said.

Rep. Castro talks about national security risks
Rep. Joaquin Castro spoke during the impeachment trial on national security risks because of the insurrection and the country's weakened international standing. (Video via C-SPAN)

Castro cited charging documents against a woman who allegedly stole a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and allegedly intended to give it to a foreign adversary and reports that documents were taken from Senator Mitch McConnell’s desk.

The United States has spent trillions building the military and billions on weapons “to prevent the kind of attack that occurred Jan. 6,” Castro said.

Trump lawyer says House presentation ‘offensive’ — 2:32 p.m.

By The Associated Press

One of Donald Trump’s lawyers is calling the presentation by House impeachment managers “offensive.”

David Schoen told reporters on Thursday that Democrats were “making a movie” and had yet to tie the Jan. 6 siege at the US Capitol to the former president.

He contended that the use of chilling video of the riot shown repeatedly by House Democrats during Wednesday’s arguments was impeding efforts to bring unity.

Democratic House impeachment prosecutors have used their time to air searing video footage of the attack on the Capitol building and to build their case that Trump was responsible for the rioters’ conduct that day.

Trump’s legal team is expected to present opening arguments on Friday.

Trump defense team expects to take a day or less — 2:17 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Lawyers for former president Donald Trump are planning to begin and wrap up their defense in his impeachment trial in less than a day, using far fewer than their allotted argument hours.

That’s according to his senior adviser Jason Miller, who said there could even be enough time left over for planned questioning to begin.

The rules for the trial gave both sides two days for arguments, lasting up to eight hours each day. Democratic House impeachment prosecutors have used their time to air searing video footage of the January 6 attack on the Capitol building and to build their case that Trump was responsible for the rioters’ conduct that day.

Friday is the day Trump’s lawyers are set to begin. It remains unclear when the final vote will take place, but Republicans have expressed a desire to wrap the trial quickly, even by Saturday.

South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds said he thinks most senators “would like to have this completed by Saturday.”

Cicilline describes threats of violence, close calls to highest-ranking members of Congress — 2:11 p.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

The Capitol attack posed “a threat to the continuity and succession” of the United States government, House manager David Cicilline argued, citing calls from insurrectionists to harm Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Rhode Island Democrat said Pence and Pelosi were “purposely targeted,” and played video of the mob chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” as they broke in to the Capitol.

Two rioters charged in the attack were caught on tape, according to federal charging documents, saying they were looking for Pelosi “to shoot her in the friggin’ brain,” Cicilline said, arguing the mob came “perilously close” to reaching the first people in line to the presidency in an attempt to overthrow the government.

But the threats extended to every member of Congress, Cicilline said, displaying an indictment that described Facebook messages from attackers in which one said “all members are in the tunnels under capital seal them in. Turn on gas.” The comment was a reference to the tunnels under the building where multiple members of Congress were taken for their security.

Members of Congress faced these threats because Trump could not accept the results of the election, Cicilline argued.

Cicilline also played videos of members of Congress describing the fear, anger, and trauma they felt while hiding from the violent mob, including a Colorado congressman comparing what he experienced to his service in Afghanistan.

Trump’s actions ‘emboldened and escalated domestic violent extremists,’ House manager says — 1:47 p.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

House impeachment managers turned to the online forums where violent conversations took place, threats of violence during President Biden’s inauguration, and armed protesters surrounding state legislatures in the days following the attack to argue that Donald Trump’s actions caused long-term harm for domestic security.

“Intelligence agencies confirmed that Trump’s conduct emboldened the same groups that initiated the attack,” Representative Diana DeGette said. “These groups believe that they’re following his orders” and believe that their actions are “patriotic.”

DeGette cited a bulletin from the FBI released on Jan. 13 that stated that violent online rhetoric about the inauguration has increased since the Jan. 6 attack, including some calling for “unspecified justice” for the death of Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot by police in the Capitol. She also cited warnings from the FBI that armed protests were being planned in all 50 states in the days up to Jan. 20, and more than 20 states activated National Guard troops in response to potential attacks.

“This is what Donald Trump has done to America,” she said.

House managers play clip of Governor Baker denouncing Trump’s actions during Jan. 6 attack — 1:21 p.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

House impeachment managers played a video clip of Massachusetts’ Republican governor Charlie Baker condemning Donald Trump’s actions after the Jan. 6 attack to illustrate how elected officials in Trump’s own party denounced his actions.

“It’s important to remember that they were the culmination of months of President Trump repeating over and over again that the American electoral system is a fraud,” Baker said in a clip from a Jan. 7 press conference. “After he stoked the flames of outrage for weeks leading up to the events of yesterday he refused to adequately prepare the US Capitol for the possibility of violence and left it nearly defenseless. His remarks during and after the travesty of the attack on the Capitol were disgraceful.”

Gov. Baker quote used in impeachment trial
House impeachment managers used a clip of Gov. Charlie Baker talking about the insurrection during the impeachment trial on Thursday. (Video via C-SPAN)

The video compilation also included statements from Republican Governors Spencer Cox, Larry Hogan, Mike DeWine, and Phil Scott.

Lieu highlights video of Trump in which he calls insurrectionists ‘very special’ — 1:03 p.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

California Representative Ted Lieu sought to illustrate Donald Trump’s actions during the attack and in the hours after by highlighting the video Trump posted to Twitter in which he called members of the violent mob “very special” and said “we love you.”

“That was his message to people who perpetrated this violent, gruesome attack: ‘we love you,’” Lieu said. “And two hours later he tweets: ‘Remember this day forever.’ This is not a man who showed remorse.”

Trump did not once condemn the attack on the day it took place, Lieu said, and it took him another full day to denounce it. He was “eerily” silent during the day after, Lieu said, until that evening.

Lieu also noted Trump’s delay in deploying the National Guard to assist with clearing the members of the mob from the Capitol, including a statement from the Pentagon that listed the officials, such as then-Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who had been consulted in the decision.

“President Trump was not on that list,” Lieu said. “And as a veteran, I find it deeply dishonorable that our commander in chief did not protect us.”

Raskin says Capitol attack was ‘culmination of the president’s actions’ — 12:51 p.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin argued the Jan. 6 Capitol attack was “the most violent and dangerous episode so far in Donald Trump’s continuing pattern and practice of inciting violence.”

“These tactics were road tested,” he said.

The Maryland Democrat said Trump’s “encouragement of violence against other public officials” long predated the 2020 campaign, saying inciting violence is always dangerous but it is “uniquely intolerable when done by the president of the United States of America.”

Raskin played video clips of Trump from as far back as 2015, from rallies as a presidential candidate, to Trump praising a congressional candidate for assaulting a reporter, to Trump’s “fine people on both sides” remark after the white supremacist march in Charlottesville in 2017, followed by clips of Trump justifying his past statements, including those on Jan. 6, as “appropriate.”

Prosecutors aim to show how members of Capitol mob were ‘just following Trump’s orders’ — 12:35 p.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

Representative Diana DeGette focused the opening minutes of her argument on the connection between what motivated members of the violent mob and Donald Trump, saying the invasion was “at the president’s orders.”

“Leading up to the attack, the insurrectionists said they were coming to D.C. for President Trump,” DeGette said. “He invited them with clear instructions for a specific time and place and with clear orders: to fight to stop the certification in Congress by any means necessary.”

House impeachment manager: They came because he told them to
Rep. Diana DeGette said that the attackers came to the capitol "because he told them to." (Video via C-SPAN)

DeGette played video footage that showed multiple members of the mob saying they were there at Trump’s direction. One of the videos included Trump’s speech during the rally that took place before the mob invaded the Capitol, in which Trump encouraged the crowd to “show strength,” highlighting how members of the mob chanted the same phrases inside the Capitol that Trump had said shortly before.

She argued that the insurrectionists began to leave the Capitol after Trump posted a video to Twitter in which he said the insurrectionists were “special” and told them it was time to go home.

“Today is ours, we won the day. That’s right, Donald Trump has asked everybody to just go home. You can look it up on his Twitter,” one man can be heard saying to other Trump supporters in a video DeGette played.

Third day of Trump’s impeachment trial begins — 12:00 p.m.

By Amanda Kaufman, Globe Staff

Donald Trump’s impeachment trial continued Thursday, as House managers began wrapping up their arguments for why Trump should be convicted.

Managers were expected to turn the focus of their case to Trump’s actions during and after the Capitol attack. On Wednesday, senators were shown chilling security footage that had not been publicly shown before that showed how close members of Congress came to facing members of the violent mob.

Representative Diana DeGette of Colorado began the prosecutors’ presentation by describing the previous day of arguments as “emotionally wrenching,” saying her own experiences of that day flooded back to her.

DeGette said her focus would be on the perspective of the insurrectionists, who in statements made it clear they were there “for Donald Trump, at his instructions, and to fulfill his wishes.”

“Donald Trump had sent them there,” she said.

Trump’s team will begin presenting their defense on Friday.

Biden says minds may change at impeachment trial — 11:20 a.m.

By The Associated Press

President Joe Biden says he believes “some minds may be changed” in former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial after the display of searing, graphic videos of the assault on the U.S. Capitol.

Biden told reporters in the Oval Office on Thursday that he didn’t watch any of the previous day’s proceedings live but later saw news coverage. The Democratic House impeachment managers used security video as part of their case, and the violent images of the riot shook senators and TV viewers alike.

Biden has steadfastly refused to weigh in on the trial and again on Thursday said his focus was on fulfilling his campaign promise to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Biden says the nation has “to move on.” Aides have said Biden will address the proceedings after a verdict is reached.

The House is continuing its case Thursday. Trump’s lawyers are expected to launch their defense by week’s end.

This is what happens every time Congressman Cicilline goes on TV to talk about Trump — 9:11 a.m.

By Dan McGowan, Globe Staff

It didn’t take long after US Representative David Cicilline popped up on television Wednesday evening for the calls to start flooding his office.

While Cicilline was making the case to the US Senate to convict former President Donald Trump of inciting the Jan. 6, insurrection, supporters of Trump called to give the congressman a piece of their minds. It’s become a common theme for Cicilline, who has received multiple threats for criticizing Trump in recent years.

By The Associated Press

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney say they are deeply disturbed by the evidence shown by Democrats against former President Donald Trump at his second impeachment trial.

Speaking to reporters during a break Wednesday evening, Murkowski said the Democrats’ presentation was “pretty damning.” She added: “I just don’t see how Donald Trump could be reelected like this to the presidency again.”

Romney said he was brought to tears watching a video shown of Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman directing him away from the mob. He called the video “overwhelmingly distressing and emotional.”

Both Romney and Murkowski voted to advance the impeachment trial, though impeachment managers appear far short of the minimum 17 Republican votes they would need to convict Trump.

By The Associated Press

Democrats at former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial are playing audio recordings of police officers begging for more help against rioters storming the Capitol, the fear and panic apparent in many of their voices.

As the mob breached the Capitol, one officer told dispatch, “We’re still taking rocks, bottles and pieces of flag and metal pole.”

In another recording, an officer says, “We have been flanked, and we’ve lost the line.”

Democratic impeachment managers on Wednesday showed videos of badly outnumbered officers trying to fight rioters and protect the building. One clip shows Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman directing Republican Sen. Mitt Romney to safety.

Capitol Police officers have previously told The Associated Press that they were not warned ahead of time of the potential of violence that day and were not trained or equipped to stop thousands of assailants trying to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump.

Security footage shown during the impeachment trial shows Senator Mitt Romney running to safety after being warned by Officer Eugene Goodman. (Video via C-SPAN)

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

House impeachment manager Delegate Stacey Plaskett presented previous unseen security footage from the US Capitol as she made the case that Donald Trump was responsible for inciting a mob on Jan. 6.

Capitol police Officer Eugene Goodman, who has been credited for luring members of the mob away from the Senate, was seen in new security footage encountering Senator Mitt Romney as Goodman raced to respond to the attack.

As he ran through a hallway, Goodman can be seen encountering Romney, and then Romney turns around and jogs away in the direction he came.

“Officer Goodman passes Senator Mitt Romney and directs him to turn around in order to get to safety. On the first floor, just beneath them, the mob had already started to search for the Senate chamber,” Plaskett said.

Other security footage shows Vice President Mike Pence being evacuated to a secure location with his family.

Democrats use rally footage to argue incitement — 4:35 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Prosecutors at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial are using footage of the rally he headlined ahead of the riot on the Capitol to argue he incited the crowd.

Rep. Madeleine Dean says that one of Trump’s key defenses is that he says during his speech: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

But Dean says that was a “few seconds” in a nearly 11,000-word speech and that it was the “only time President Trump used the word peaceful or any suggestion of nonviolence.” She says that wasn’t the overarching message.

She said, “President Trump used the word ‘fight’ or ‘fighting’ 20 times, including telling the crowd they needed to ‘fight like hell.’”

Choking back emotion, she said, “So they came, draped in Trump’s flag, and used our flag, the American flag, to batter and to bludgeon. And at 2:30, I heard that terrifying banging on House chamber doors. For the first time in more than 200 years, the seat of our government was ransacked on our watch.”

Many GOP senators indifferent to Democrats’ case — 3:35 p.m.

By The Associated Press

At a break in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, many Republicans appeared indifferent to the Democratic prosecutors’ case that the former president incited the violent attack on the Capitol Jan. 6 — and made clear they were unlikely to convict.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said the prosecutors’ case was “predictable” and included information that was already public.

An NBC reporter said on Twitter Hawley could be seen in the Senate gallery with his feet up on the chair in front of him, appearing to be reading paperwork while House impeachment manager Joe Neguse spoke on the floor. Another NBC reporter spoke with Hawley, who said he was reading trial briefs.

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, another close ally of Trump, said the trial “is going to be pretty tedious.” He said the two sides would be better served to make their case “in a couple hours, and be done with this.”

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe said Democrats have “put a real good team together,” but said he didn’t think anything had been said “by either side that has changed any votes.”

Only six Republicans voted not to dismiss the trial on Tuesday, signaling that Democrats won’t have the minimum of 17 Republican senators they need to convict Trump.

Democrats argue Trump ‘built’ the mob that attacked the Capitol — 2:46 p.m.

By The Associated Press

Democrats are arguing that former President Donald Trump “built” the mob that attacked the Capitol.

Prosecutors at Trump’s impeachment trial on Wednesday said Trump fired up his supporters with lies about a stolen election and followed up with an invitation to a Jan. 6 rally near the White House.

House impeachment manager Eric Swalwell detailed how Trump announced the rally on Twitter, writing on Dec. 19: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

Swalwell said Jan. 6 was Trump’s “last chance to stop a peaceful transition of power.” Swalwell said Trump’s tweet wasn’t a “casual, one-off reference or a single invitation.” Swalwell said for the next 18 days, he reminded his supporters “over and over and over” to show up.

Swalwell said, “This was never about one speech. He built this mob over many months with repeated messaging until they believed that they’d been robbed of their vote, and they would do anything to stop the certification.”

Prosecutors trace Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric — 1:28 p.m.

By The Associated Press

House Democrats prosecuting Donald Trump’s impeachment trial are methodically tracing his monthslong effort to undermine his supporters’ faith in the election results. They say they will show he is responsible for last month’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

During arguments Wednesday, impeachment managers showed a flurry of excerpts from Trump speeches in which the then-president told supporters the only way he could lose is if the election results were rigged.

The effort to challenge the results continued after the election, with Trump telling his supporters the election had been stolen and that they shouldn’t accept the results.

Impeachment managers also pushed back at defense team arguments that Trump’s words were protected by the First Amendment. They said the case was not about protected political speech but rather about Trump’s incitement of violence.

Opening arguments kick off with discussion of Trump tweets — 12:17 p.m.

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

Opening arguments kicked off in Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial Wednesday, with House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin reviewing Trump’s remarks and tweets on Jan. 6, the day of the attack on the US Capitol.

Raskin argued that Trump’s statements praising the insurrectionists amounted to a “rallying cry” for future violence.

In a video posted to Twitter immediately following the attack, Trump told those who attacked the Capitol that he loved them, and in a tweet urged them to “remember this day forever.”

McConnell signals to GOP Trump conviction is a conscience vote — 9:31 a.m.

By Bloomberg News

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is signaling to fellow Republicans that the final vote on Donald Trump’s impeachment is matter of conscience and that senators who disputed the constitutionality of the trial could still vote to convict the former president, according to three people familiar with his thinking.

The Kentucky Republican has also suggested that he hasn’t made up his mind how he’ll vote, two of the people said, even though he voted Tuesday to declare it unconstitutional for the Senate to hear the case against a former president.

By The Associated Press

Opening arguments begin Wednesday in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial after an emotional first day that wrenched senators and the nation back to the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Trump’s attorneys sought to halt the trial on constitutional grounds, but lost that bid on Tuesday. Their arguments were meandering at times, leaving Trump fuming over his lawyers’ performance and allies questioning the defense strategy. Some called for yet another shakeup to his legal team.

By James Pindell, Globe staff

The rules of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, as agreed upon by both Republican and Democratic leaders, allowed for an opening day Tuesday that was largely a law school class about one question: Was it constitutional for the US Senate to vote to convict the president even after he has left office?

The impeachment trial began on Tuesday with 3 1/2 hours of debate on this question and a subsequent vote about whether the Senate should even be allowed to proceed. (In fairness, Trump’s lawyers were so bad arguing this point that reportedly Trump was even screaming at the television.) In the end, the Democratic-controlled Senate voted they could continue. The vote was 56-44, with six Republicans joining Democrats.

The day foreshowed the talking point that Republicans will likely repeat on Wednesday and throughout the proceedings: the trial itself is on trial. To them, the question isn’t whether Trump should be convicted, it is whether he can be convicted.

Dan McGowan Globe Staff

US Representative David Cicilline took center stage Tuesday during the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, making the case to senators that Trump “sided with the bad guys” last month following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

Cicilline, who is serving as an impeachment manager, was the third representative to speak during the trial, after his Democratic colleagues, Representatives Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Joe Neguse of Colorado.

He was tasked with explaining to senators why Trump can be tried despite no longer holding public office. Trump’s attorneys intend to question the constitutionality of the trial.

By The Associated Press

Senators in Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial have agreed to consider the case, rejecting an attempt by the former president’s defense team and some Republican allies to halt the trial because he is no longer in office.

The vote was 56-44 on Tuesday on the question of whether the Senate has jurisdiction and could proceed. It came after four hours of arguments from Trump’s lawyers and the Democratic impeachment managers, who are arguing that the former president incited the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

The impeachment managers managed to pick up one additional vote from Republicans — Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy. Two weeks ago, he voted in favor of an effort to dismiss, but on Tuesday he voted with Democrats to move forward. Cassidy joined Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Mitt Romney of Utah in dismissing the Trump team’s claims.

Cassidy told reporters earlier that the impeachment managers’ arguments were “strong arguments” and it was a “very good opening.”

Cassidy said, “I have always said I was approaching this with an open mind.”

By The Associated Press

Senators in Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial have agreed to consider the case, rejecting an attempt by the former president’s defense team and some Republican allies to halt the trial because he is no longer in office.

The vote was 56-44 on Tuesday on the question of whether the Senate has jurisdiction and could proceed.

Trump is facing a charge of incitement of insurrection for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

By The Associated Press

One of the lawyers heading former President Donald Trump’s defense at his second impeachment trial is conceding that Trump lost the election to Joe Biden, a fact that Trump himself has refused to acknowledge.

In opening remarks Tuesday, lawyer Bruce Castor said: “The American people are smart enough to pick a new administration if they don’t like the old one. And they just did.”

Later, Castor referred to Trump, saying: “He was removed by the voters.”

Trump has repeatedly disputed the results of the election, falsely claiming he won in a “landside.” He kept up the baseless claim during a speech before the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, which set in motion his trial on a charge of incitement of insurrection.

There was no widespread fraud in the election, as has been confirmed by election officials across the country and former Attorney General William Barr. Dozens of legal challenges to the election put forth by Trump and his allies were dismissed.

By The Associated Press

Democrats are using various arguments to make their case for why the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is constitutional.

During arguments Tuesday, they said there is historical precedent for former officials to be tried before the Senate. They said the framers of the Constitution would not have intended for presidents to be let off the hook for conduct committed in their final weeks in office. And they say the Senate should not give in to Trump’s efforts to deprive them of the power to try the president.

The impeachment managers are also invoking the public statements of leading conservative legal scholars who in recent days have come forward to support the idea that the trial is constitutional and that the Senate has jurisdiction.

By The Associated Press

President Joe Biden is planning to largely ignore the impeachment trial of his predecessor and plans to focus on the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday said Biden would not be watching the trial of former President Donald Trump and would not “opine on back and forth arguments” taking place during the proceedings.

Biden, and Psaki on his behalf, have for weeks steadfastly refused to address much of the trial, saying they believed the process had to be done but have avoided weighing in on the particulars.

The White House has also made clear that it intends to focus on the business of government while the trial continues.

Pushing for the passage of his COVID-19 relief package, Biden was to meet with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday. He also plans visits to the Pentagon and National Institute of Health later this week.

By Christina Prignano, Globe staff

Rep. Jamie Raskin presented a video of the insurrection during the his opening statement during the U.S. Senate Impeachment Trial. (Video via C-SPAN)

House Democrats opened Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial with a damning video compilation of scenes from Trump’s rally and the violence that followed.

Democrats highlighted Trump’s urging of his supporters to “fight like hell” and followed with clips of members of the mob violently attacking the Capitol building as members of Congress were forced to adjourn their proceedings and flee.

The video ended with Trump’s tweet, which was removed by Twitter, that appeared to excuse the mob’s actions.

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!” Trump tweeted.

Impeachment manager Jamie Raskin presented the video as Democrats made the argument that Trump had committed an impeachable offense in inciting the mob.

By The Associated Press

Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial has opened in the Senate, the first for an ex-president. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont is presiding over the proceedings.

By The Associated Press

House Democrats prosecuting the impeachment case against Donald Trump say in a final pre-trial brief the former president’s lawyers are trying to “shift the blame onto his supporters” as they argue he’s not to blame for the Capitol insurrection.

The Democrats say the lawyers’ argument that Trump did not incite the Jan. 6 riot ignores Trump’s earlier false statements that there was widespread fraud in the election and his attempts to rally his supporters.

Trump’s team says he was protected by freedom of speech when he told his supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn his election defeat. It says Trump was using “fight” as a general term, not a direction to be violent.

Democrats say the Republican former president “knew that many of his supporters, agitated by his barrage of lies about a stolen election, were prone to violence.”

The Democrats prosecuting the case this week plan to show videos of the riot and tell graphic and personal stories of the rioting, in which five people died.

Trump’s lawyers say they also will have video.

The trial starts Tuesday.

By Christina Prignano and Amanda Kaufman, Globe staff

House impeachment managers and former president Donald Trump’s legal team each submitted legal documents in recent days detailing their arguments ahead of the impeachment trial.

The Democrats serving as impeachment managers called Trump’s actions leading up to Jan. 6 a “grievous constitutional crime,” while Trump’s lawyers are largely attacking the process, calling it unconstitutional.

You can read each side’s legal briefs here.

House impeachment managers say their case is ‘devastating’ — 11:21 a.m.

By The Associated Press

House impeachment managers plan to lay out a “devastating” case that is similar to a criminal prosecution in former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial. That’s according to senior aides familiar with the managers’ arguments.

The managers are nine House Democrats chosen by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to argue the case. The aides say the managers will lay out a succinct story that shows Trump’s “singular” responsibility for the deadly Jan. 6 riot, starting with his false claims about election fraud and culminating with the assault on the Capitol. They say the managers will use videos and personal stories to argue that Trump is guilty of inciting the riot, including evidence that hasn’t been seen before.

The aides work on the impeachment managers’ team and were granted anonymity to discuss their upcoming arguments.

Trump’s lawyers plan to argue that Trump did not incite the riot, even though he told his supporters to “fight like hell” just before they laid siege to the Capitol.

The trial will start Tuesday with arguments over whether it should be dismissed. Republicans argue it is not constitutional because Trump is out of office. Democrats say there is no “January exception” in the constitution if a president commits impeachable offenses.

Trial to kick off with arguments about legitimacy — 9:43 a.m.

By The Associated Press

With senators gathered as the court of impeachment, the trial will begin Tuesday with a debate and vote on whether it’s constitutionally permissible to prosecute the former president, an argument that could resonate with Republicans keen on voting to acquit Trump without being seen as condoning his behavior.

Under an agreement between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican leader Mitch McConnell, the opening arguments would begin at noon Wednesday, with up to 16 hours per side for presentations.

After that there are hours for deliberations, witnesses and closing arguments. The trial was set to break Friday evening for the Jewish Sabbath, but Trump’s defense team withdrew the request, concerned about the delay, and now the trial can continue into the weekend and next week.

By James Pindell

The second impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump, set to begin in earnest on Tuesday, will happen in two speeds. For Democrats, the question is how quickly they get the trial over with. For Republicans, it’s a question of how long they can drag this thing out.

Both parties are acting out of logic.