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tv   The 2nd Trump Impeachment Trial  CNN  February 12, 2021 8:00am-4:00pm PST

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hello and welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. you're watching cnn special live coverage of the history making event, the second impeachment trial of donald j. trump. >> and i'm jake tapper. the president's legal team giver their rebuttal about an hour from now. aids and advisers said they spent last night running the arguments past former president trump hoping to avoid a repeat of this week when a rather bumbling and befuddling presentation questioned basic competence from republicans
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and -- sorry wolf. >> the former president trump's legal team and advisers hint that today's rebuttal will not last long, that potentially pushes the finish of the impeachment trial to tomorrow. we're talking about saturday. >> republicans ran for their lives on january 6th when that taste maga mob breached the capitol. most say they were moved by the security camera footage that forced the nation to relive some of the horrors of that day. but more remain unwilling to say that president trump shoulderers the blame for provoking, for inciting this terrorist attack. president biden this morning weighed in. >> i'm anxious to see what my republican friends do, if they stand up. >> and you're not planning to speak with any of them about what to do -- >> no, i am not. >> first let's revisit the arguments team trump has to try to recounter today. pamela brown is here live with
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us in studio. break down the key pieces of the democrats case so far against donald trump. >> well one of the main points throughout the presentation is that donald trump spent months spreading false election fraud claims. here is what congressman neguse said about that. >> he was president of the united states and he had spent months, months using the unique power of that office, of his bully pulpit to spread that big lie that the election had been stolen, to convince his followers to stop the steal. >> in addition they focused on the new video that came out showing just the severity of the attack and the danger to high-profile politicians like senator schumer and mitt romney and you see there where officer eugene goodman told him to turn around and of course vice president pence who the rioters
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were going around saying they wanted to execute and hang and even so the president had tweeted out, former president trump tweeted out that he lacked courage during all of that knowing the danger that the vice president was in. so they wanted to focus on that as well. and then also they wanted to focus on trump's role in terms of directing the rioters to go inside and take over the capitol building. they claimed they were taking their direction from trump. here is what one manager said. >> don't feel a sense of shame or guilt for what i was doing. i thought i was following my president, i thought i was following what we were called to do. he asked us to fly there and be there, so i was doing what he asked us to do. >> so that was one of many examples used and they argue that not convicted trump sets a dangerous precedent. here is what one of the managers said about that. >> i'm not afraid of donald trump running again in four
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years. i'm afraid he's going to run again and lose. because he could do this again. >> and they also focused on counter trump team's claims on first amendment. of course, team trump said that that he was just exercising his first amendment rights and here is what one of the managers said about why that wasn't the case. >> the first amendment does not create some super power immunity from impeachment for a president who attacks the constitution in word and deed while rejecting the outcome of an election he happened to lose. >> and they raised several key questions and we'll see how the defense team answers those questions today. one is, why didn't he tell supporters to stop the attack immediately. he tweeted attacking pence and it wasn't until hours into the riots that that video was released by trump telling them to go home. also, another question, why the delay in deploying the national
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guard. as we know, this is been raised repeatedly. why did it take so long for the national guard to arrive on scene? and they raised how is this a constitutional argument when the senate voted on that question on tuesday. of course, that is one of the key aspects of the defense team arguments, they claim that this trial is unconstitutional, they raise the question that democrats -- the democrats raised a question, that is already settled, why is that coming up. back to you, jake. >> wolf. >> i want to turn right now to what we could expect next in the impeachment trial of the former president of the united states. his legal defense team will begin presenting their arguments before the senate and the nation indeed the world less than one hour from now and we're getting new details of their plan. our chief white house correspondent kaitlan collins is joining us now. you're hearing the former president's defense team expected to make this relatively brief. >> reporter: yeah, wolf, it is going to be i lot shorter than what you saw with democrats who spread their arguments out over
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two days. this is expected to wrap up by today. maybe about four hours of arguments is what we're expecting from the former trump's legal team that is going to come out here. and they're framing it as a day of redemption for the former president's legal team because on tuesday it was a widely panned performance by one of his attorneys at least, maybe both of them as well. so what they're framing it as today is when they are going come out and make the arguments in defense of the former president and his actions around january 6 and the riot and what led up to that. you're likely to see four attorneys on the floor. that is david schoen, who you saw this week. bruce castor, that is the one po gave the widely panned performance at the beginning when he said he wasn't expecting to speak and michael vander veen and william brennan, those are the other people that we're expecting to hear from. it is not clear that all four are going to speak but those are the ones who are on the agenda right now and they have a slew of topics that will include
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videos and democratic lawmakers they say using this inflammatory rhetoric, what they said will set up the false equivalency and they're going to talk about the constitutionality of having this impeachment trial for a pr president who is no longer in office. they're going to claim that his words were protected by first amendment rights and a key line that he used in the speech on theel i-- the ellipse and they'e not likely to include the other statements that the democrats pointed to so many times this week. we should note one other thing, wolf, as they've been preparing for this, the president has been complaining about his legal team every day this week, ever since they first got started on tuesday. and last night just before everyone was leaving to go home from capitol hill, you saw they republican senators who were closely aligned with former president trump going into the room where his defense team has been working out of during this trial. that was mike lee, ted cruz, and
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lindsey graham all going into there, raising questions because they are jurors in this impeachment trial and why they were going in there to talk to the president's defense team and now i've learned that while they were in the room, wolf, they were giving the strategic advice for the former president's defense team of how they should operate during the rebuttal to help them frame the arguments for what it is going to look look and that not only raises questions because they are jurors in this trial, but it really does show the unease in the president's world, the former president trump's world, i should say, about how his legal team is going to do today. because he was very upset with how bruce castor performed on tuesday, he's been complaining about his basically every single day since then. so some of his allies clearly felt the need to go in there and try to give them advice for how they should proceed because those three republican senators know the audience very well, and it is their colleagues so we'll wait to see what is going to look like today but we are told that we should expect crisper, tighter arguments from the former president trump's team
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because, of course, they certainly were not on tuesday. >> they certainly were pretty awful on tuesday. so they have 16 hours, over two days to make the legal defense for the former president but everybody expected make three or four hours and i wouldn't be surprised if it is even less than that. kaitlan, thank you very much. anderson, over to you. we want to talk to our political team. we have laura coates and ross garber, we're expecting three or four hours from the defense team. how much is focused on the -- this is unconstitutional, which is a fig leaf that republicans could use without having to address the other stuff and how much trying to convince them that the president was not inciting a riot. >> i think it is a combination with the majority on that procedural issue. because that is the safe fig leaf for them, they would say, quit while you're ahead, not try to muddy up the waters by introducing things that the house impeachment managers have put to rest. it is very clear from the house
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impeachment managers' case they have a method cal approach by the former president engage in a big lie, to summon and assemble and instruct a mob. if they focus on the idea he has already left office, he'll find por traction with the already receptive republican senators. however, it is really nonsense cal if you think about the reason that they're doing it, because they've already decided the issue of it being constitutional. it was a simple majority vote and they've gone through that hurdle so to not address the merits is a way of dismissing what so many people across the globe are viewing as absolutely ab abhorrent behavior. >> and they'll be making the statement the what about-ism. i want to play something is that senator schumer said last year that they may point to. >> i want to tell you, gorsuch,
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i want to tell you cavanaugh, have you released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. you won't know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions. >> clearly there is no insurrection there. >> i was going to say. >> the supreme court got raided right after he said that. right. so it breaks down at that point. but remember, the trump lawyers are focused on two audiences. one are the republican senators who were with them on that jurisdictional vote, trying to appeal to them. and they're trying to appeal to the republican base and the trump base. and clips like that are -- are red meat for those audiences. and it is sort of this -- it is also a slippery slope argument. it is like, look, this is about free speech, it is about
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political speech, it is about, you know, the trump lawyers will say, when the democrats say this, nobody has a problem with it. when republicans say it, well, now all of a sudden people have problems it. so it is going to be that kind of slippery slope argument that almost borders on cancel culture. >> it is just -- but what the house lawyers were talking about was not one speech on january 6th, they're talking about a president who, from the night of the election, was saying this is rigged, and -- >> from even before the election. >> well before the election he predicted it would be rigged if he lost and after he lost he said it was rigged and talked about it and talked to americans how your vote was taken away so the notion that they're going to play one stupid speech by someone compared to donald trump who the house attorneys really methodically laid out this whole case about how the president,
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the former president has been doing this for months it kind of a difficult case to make to the american public. and by the way, the lawyers on the house side could say, wait a minute, has he admitted that joe biden is the free and fairly elected president of the united states? did he ever tell those people inside to stop while it was going on. they have a lot of really good questions to ask. why did he wait so long, et cetera. s so i don't think it works. >> it is a double-edged sword, but this is the kind of thing that i've been saying for weeks and months and years and so -- and so it shouldn't have surprised. >> at the rally. >> and the thing that the managers did so well, and it doesn't only speak, ross talked about the audiences, it doesn't only speak to the jurors on both sides but to america, is the evidence that after those fighting words on january 6th,
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now what we've seen powerful evidence that the president doubled down through his inaction, through his action when he knew mike pence was under danger, he tweeted an attack on pence. he told the insurrectionists that he loved them. he perpetuated the big lie that had so inflamed them and that is the core of the case and it is a case to america now as raskin said. >> do you think that the president's -- the former president trump's attorneys will take the questions which the house managers pose to them at the end of their presentation yesterday, which was as pam brown went through, what was the president doing during this time? why didn't he speak out for several hours? why didn't he condemn it that day? do they address that or do you think they just try to ignore them. >> i think they've got to address it. if they're prudent about their defense, they're go to have to be able to address -- they raise it in their briefs. it said that it is a lie that he
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was just sitting there twiddling his thumbs and clapping gleefully and said there was a flurry of activity try toing counter act this insurrection. now it is their job to prove it and to undermine the case that said he was sitting there knowing that mike pence was leaving, calling him a coward, having it then be played on a mega phone and the delay, even his own son, donald trump jr., did tweet something before his own father tweeted about the crowd. so you wonder how he's going to address it. the problem here, anderson, is if they put it out there and certainly resort the actual claims, well, will there be witnesses there to show if there is a factual dispute? what was is going to have the ultimate credibility ruling at that point and if both sides are saying, no, we did, who is going to be the one to resolve the dispute. >> let's go back to jake. jake? >> the house impeachment managers used donald trump's own words and tweets to argue the
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case that he incited the mob of his supporters to attack the capitol on january 6th. the house impeachment managers emphasize that for months before the election, during the election, after the election, trump tweeted conspiracy theories and misinformation and disinformation about alleged voter fraud in order to stoke anger among his supporters to convince them to come to washington at the end there. take a listen. >> at 1:42 in the morning, our commander-in-chief tweeted, big protest in d.c. on january 6. >> president trump tweeted his save the day for january 6th. >> he tweeted it will be the greatest rigged election in history. >> president trump tweeted, can you imagine if the republicans stole a election from the democrats. >> the endless tweets. >> here with me to discuss, cnn
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chief political correspondent dana bash and correspondent abby phillips. and dana, i have to say jack dorsey and the team at twitter, in my view, and also all of the gang at facebook, they did donald trump a huge favor by banning him. because i cannot even imagine what he would be tweeting right now. >> absolutely. there is a huge sigh of relief for those remaining people around donald trump that he can't live tweet this. that he is spending time on the golf course and not finding ways to make his frustration known in public. because it would only hurt his case. and everybody around him knows that and they've been trying to convince him of that. but, look, as much as we're going to hear today from his lawyers, the what about-ism and sound bite after sound bite probably like the one we heard that anderson played from chuck schumer and others from people from maybe from bernie sanders on down saying fight and so on
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and so forth, it isn't the same. but that is almost besides the point. because as we've been talking about now for several days, the republicans are looking for a life raft and they just need the president's attorneys to provide one and they think that is their best bet. >> so, abby, back to the point i was making before about the tweets. one of the reasons that it is a favor to trump that he can't tweet or facebook post because the legal team is putting forth arguments that are not true. they're just false. and everybody knows it. for example, they intend to deny tra donald trump was trying to interfere with the electoral college vote and they wrote in this briefing february 2nd, it is denied that president trump intended to interfere with the counting of electoral votes. but look at trump tweets.
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here is the former president on on january 6. states want to -- never received legislative approval all mike pence has to do is send them back to the states and we win. do it mike. this is the time for extreme courage, trying to get the electoral vote reversed. and he tweeted if mike pence comes through for us, we'll win the presidency. many states want to decertify the mistake in certified incorrect and fraudulent numbers not approved by their state legislatures. mike can send it back. the lawyers are arguing lies that donald trump, if he were tweeting, would be refuting in realtime, probably. >> in addition to the tweets, there is the now infamous tweet during the riot in which he condemned mike pence for not attempting to over turn the results of the election and stopping the certification, which is what he wanted pence to do in the first place. if trump had his twitter feed
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right now, he would be tweeting throughout this. and in the last impeachment, he was tweeting throughout that impeachment proceeding. and was widely perceived to have been threatening one of the witnesses as she was testifying during that hearing. so not only would he be tweeting things that contradict his own lawyer but he might be creating evidence for the impeachment managers to add to their case which is something that he typically does at moments like this. one thing that i do think that we'll see with the trump lawyers doing is hinging their entire argument on one word stated by trump during the riot which was with he said you should peacefully go down to the capitol. so the question is, will republican senators hinge their entire vote for acquittal on one word out of the entire speech against dozens and dozens of words tweeted and said during,
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after and before the riot, before the rally, before everything that transpired. >> and real quick, aside from that, which i think you're absolutely right, we're going to hear that word a lot today, abby, is that even though they put up what you just put up on the screen in their brief, i have a hard time believing that they're going to lean into that argument when they're in front of the senators. because it is so specious. it is so specious. the idea that the president didn't really you know foment the big lie. of course he did. my sense is that they're going to try to avoid substance for the most part as much as they can and talk about process and talk about -- try to put it in a context that, you know, won't be that legitimate but they're going to try. >> we shall see. they don't have a lot to work with. >> no. >> that is probably why we won't hear from them very long. >> wolf. >> good point. coming up, a gop divide. nikki haley criticizing donald trump and said that the former president has no future in the republican party.
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plus three republican senators talk strategy with trump's lawyers the night before they present their case. and this historic impeachment trial could wrap up as early as this weekend. we'll have a closer look at the time line, that is coming up. ol? olay regenerist faced 131 premium products, from 12 countries, over 10 years. olay's hydration was unbeaten every time. face anything. find out more at olay.com research shows that people remember commercials with exciting stunts. so to help you remember that liberty mutual customizes your home insurance, here's something you shouldn't try at home. insurance is cool. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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helps keep baby's skin dry and healthy. so every touch is as comforting as the first. pampers. the #1 pediatrician recommended brand . the second trump impeachment trial is exposing a republican party fracture over the former president of the united states. nikki haley, the former u.s. ambassador to the united nations worked for trump as his ambassador, now she's saying her former boss should be exiled, exiled from the republican party, from republic politics
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an and i don't think he'll in the picture. he told politico, he went down a path he shouldn't have and we shouldn't have followed him. we shouldn't have listened to him. we can't let that happen ever again. john king is with us right now. john, pretty powerful words from the woman who was his ambassador to the u.n. and had been pretty loyal to him. >> and so every republican has to make this choice. trump has brought them to yet another cross roads and now is choosing time. for the senators it is vote to convict and for people for nikki haley, it is what do you do? do you try to straddle or make a clean break. do you say the insurrection was wrong, this was wrong, or do you say, all of it was wrong? and frankly there is other stuff in there, i'll get alittle bit ahead and read that she said the person that i worked with is not the person that i have watched since the election. that is a straddle. what you just read is a break. she'll have to choose which one she wants here. the person that i worked with is
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not the person i watched since the election. the person she worked with is the same person that said mexico sends us murderers and there are fine people on both sides of charlottesville. and it is trump derangement syndrome and now they'll try to go through trump rationalization syndrome. let's try to keep his supporters. you can't have it both ways. the person she worked with said some very reprehensible things so watch the progression of all of these republicans. >> and she often defended him over the course of the past couple of years. she was really angry at the former president for going after the vice president mike pence. when i tell you i'm angry, it is nnd understatement. mike has nothing but loyal to that man and nothing but a good friend to that man. i'm so disappointed in the fact that despite the loyalty and friendship he with mike pence, that he would do that to him. like, i'm disgusted by it.
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>> that is an honest candid statement. nikki haley has comes from the conservative wing of the party and she worked with vice president pence and everything is true. vice president pence was as loyal as you could be to donald trump even at times when trump then was doing things outside of mike pence's box or his comfort zone, mike pence stood by him. and the house managers have tried to play this up in the prosecution, focusing on how president trump treated his own vice president when his life was at risk in the capitol building. that is a clean break. if you read through this wonderful article, there are times when she's making a clean break and i'm disgusted, there are other times when she's in the straddle. and whether your mike pence, you might want to run in 2024 or mike pompeo, or nikki haley, when mike pompeo became secretary of state, she decided i'm going to get out and she got out of a time to try to protect
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herself if you will. but every republican, including senators who will cast a vote in the next 24 to 48 hours, this is the decision they are making. donald trump has brought us so many times to a horrible, toxic place. what choice do we make now. and then are you consistent? because we've also seen lindsey graham as one example, they're ping pong ball. he's a cancer, but he's great and he's terrible but he's awesome. and could you make a choice and stick with it consistently. >> and in the interview, they said never did i think he would spiral out like this. i don't feel like i know who he is any more. the person that i worked with is not the person that i have watched since the election. but she did say this, we have a clip from an interview that she gave on fox news right after a couple of days after the january 6th insurrection on capitol hill. >> we don't want to go back to the republican party before trump because he added people to
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the fold. he brought in a part of america that had not been heard, had not been seen and had not been understood. >> so that is sort of the ping pong you're talking about. >> it is. and look, it is hard for them. give them a little bit of grace, it is hard for any republican how do you navigate this because donald trump got 74 million votes. he won 25 states. donald trump has power over the republican base. but which is more powerful, and that is the question that the senators will vote and it is a challenge for somebody like nikki haley as they move forward. she does say we should not have followed him. good for her. good for her. will she consistently say i'm one of the people who made a mistake. i'm one of the people who did not stand up to him and get right in front of him and say stop it when you're lying about an american election. stop it. you lost. stop it, be a man. stop it and acknowledge the facts. because those republican senators voting, very few of them did it and the republicans who supported it, it is hard
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because he's the leader of your party but he was telling a lie to the country that turned into an insurrection. and will she say that and look trump voters in the eye when we see here in two years, will she look at republican voters and say he lied to you. you need to think about that. you need to check your sources even when they are the president united states or a candidate that you support because he lied to you and we did some wrong things. will she be consistent. >> and she was saying awful things about the candidate when she was supporting marco rubio for the presidential nominee but things changed. >> we could play that tape for ten years. >> for ted cruz and a lot of those guys. jake, back to you. >> thanks, wolf. coming up next, they will try to different a defense of the former president after meeting with three key republican senators who are also supposedly serving as impartial jurors in the impeachment trial. into plus the quick presentation
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welcome back. before this impeachment trial got underway, senators took an oath to attempt to be impartial jurors. but we are now learning that at leefrt three republican senators, ted cruz, lindsey graham and mike lee, all never trumpers huddled with the former president trump's legal team yesterday. >> we spent, i don't know, 45 minutes, an hour, in there talking with them and i just wanted to sit down and say what are you looking to put forward and to share our thoughts in terms where things are. >> cnn is now learning that while finside of the meeting thy gave the legal team for trump the suggestions for how to best proceed today. they talked strategy, dana and abby are back with me. look, i mean, we shouldn't pretend this is the same as a jury in a courtroom, it is not. these are all inherently
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political operators. still it is kind of odd. >> yeah, it is not a good look. it is not a good look to be overtly walking into a room where everybody could see you as a member of a jury even though it is inherently political to walk in with members of the legal team who are trying to make an argument that is supposed to persuade you, technically. having said that, you know, we don't know the level of coordination that went on between the house managers and the senate democrats, and that would be -- as close to equivalent as you could get. manu raju was on a call with aides to the house managers just this morning and asked, was there coordination and they side stepped the answer to that. so we don't know. but it is -- it is just a very blatant illustration of the fact that the jig is up in so many ways on what we're seeing. >> while we're on the subject of ted cruz, i would like to get your reaction, abby, to
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something that ted cruz said in 2016, as i noted earlier, all three of these republican senators who are now advising the trump legal team, mike lee, lindsey graham, and ted cruz, all three of them used to be ardent never trumpers and are now among the most devoted trump supporters in the senate. take a listen to some things that ted cruz said back when he was running against donald trump in 2016 that are jermaine to this idea of whether or not trump incited violence. >> when the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence, to punch people in the face, the predictable consequence of that is that it escalated. >> donald trump now as a consistent pattern of inciting violence. of dond and his henchman pushing for violence. >> no politician has a right to
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threaten violence against american citizens. even left any numb skills that are american citizens and you don't threaten violence against them. >> what is the saying about a foolish consistency. >> oh, i had almost forgotten how on the nose ted cruz's old comments were. all three of the senators who condemned trump for the very tings he's being impeached over. so, you know, just -- it just shows you how far the republican party has come. but forgive me if i'm not as concerned whether they're coordinating with the trump legal team. to me the meeting yesterday shows that they're worried that the trump legal team is not going to be prepared. >> they are, very. >> to do what they're supposed to do. i think it tells you more about what we're about to see over the next few hours which is that if they were so concerned that they spent 45 minutes bucking them up, i think it just indicates that they're worried that this
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does have to be a little bit more than just phoning it in in order to close the deal. obviously trump doesn't want to be convicted and i don't think they would have gone into the room if they thought it wasn't necessary for them to make sure that what they said today was more than just well frankly a little bit more than what we saw the first time around when people couldn't figure out what on earth they were trying to do with their legal arguments. >> and that is a main reason why they went in there. i mean, it doesn't take a political expert to see that what happened the first and only time that they have spoken was a disaster and every republican few that and so they went in not just to buck them up but to talk to them from a political point of view and from a legal point of view. because we're talking earlier, the house managers are lawyers, but they're also politicians and so they bridge those two worlds
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and these guys who president trump hired, they're lawyers without much of a political sensibility. >> and just quickly, this is also being broadcast to the american public. and i think we're used to kind of thinking about republicans only thinking about their base. but i do think there are some republicans who are worried that this will penetrate to the american people and damage them. and so it is not just about whether trump will be acquitted or convicted, but it is also about what is being conveyed to the rest of the world about trump's culpability and their culpability in what happened on january 6th. so there is -- it is a political consideration, but it is about the broader world of public opinion, not just about the narrow band of, you know, maybe 25 to 28% of americans who are registered republicans. >> and anderson, i can't help but think about the fact that the very first impeachment hearing, impeachment trial that
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i watched was the one against bill clinton, and one of the house impeachment managers at the time was now senator lindsey graham, who was very upset and distressed that president clinton lied under oath, suborned perjury and i'm not mocking in any way his outrage at that. i understand where president clinton was impeached over all of that. but i can't wrap brain around how somebody could be upset, about that a supporting perjury, alleged by a president committing perjury, allegedly, and not upset about this. i can't -- i guess this is why i don't belong to a political party. i can't comprehend adjusting one view's of indecent behavior based on the party affiliation of the person who does it. >> looking for consistency for lindsey graham is sadly an
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uphill battle. this was a man would the night of the insurrection said he was done with trump. that he was out. and then, you know, he was heckled by trump supporters and now he's back in the worm embrace of donald trump. we shall see what happens today. jake, thanks. coming up trump's legal team delivers the defense as we've been talking about and the presentation is expected to be quick. what the trial time line looks like as they take the senate floor. plus the house impeachment managers could seek a vote on hearing witnesses' testimony and the potential risk and rewards of that move ahead. still fresh.. unstopables in-wash scent booster. downy unstopables. [ heavy breathing ] allergies with nasal congestion overwhelming you? breathe more freely with powerful claritin-d. claritin-d improves nasal airflow two times more
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we're moments away from the former president's legal team laying out its defense now that the former attorneys said they don't plan to use as much time as the impeachment managers and will likely move at a much faster pace and could end this weekend. manu raju joins us now, chief congressional correspondent on capitol hill. let's take a look at the remaining timeline and what happens next. walk us through it. >> it's going to go pretty quickly, as you said, the democratic impeachment managers
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are done and now the trump team has the chance to make their case. they have up to 16 hours, eight hours today, eight hours tomorrow. they're not going to go anywhere near that 16 hours. we're told three to four hours are all they need to make their case. they are already coming under withering creditism from the managers, that being a meandering case. they will now wrap up their case focusing on the constitutionality, in their view, unconstitutional proceedings, and in their view how donald trump is not responsible for the riot here. as soon as that is done, we're expected to go into the question and answer period as soon as tonight. that's when senators on both sides will have the opportunity for up to four hours to ask questions to each side. i'm told democrats and republicans submitting their questions. we're not expecting them to use the full four hours, and at that
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point a key question is going to be whether or not they will seek witnesses. the democratic impeachment managers had been numb. even this morning they refused to say if they needed witnesses to go further on their arguments. but there is a feeling among democrats and republicans, but particularly democrats, that there is no need to go that far to have witnesses. democrats believe the case is already made, so, anderson, this may mean we can get to that final vote on whether to convict donald trump by tomorrow. >> you're also learning what democrats might do if the former president gets acquitted. sd >> there is a debate that's ongoing about whether to do anything else here, whether to censure donald trump. the debate goes on and whether taking such an action, to censure donald trump, would add up to anything or give democrats a cover of sorts. one democratic senator said
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there is two ways of looking at it. one is to get some kind of condemnation, but the other one, do you give the president a chance to have some kind of impact in terms of accountability? there has been an idea floating around to keep donald trump from ever running for office again by using the 14th amendment. they have not yet embraced that idea and some just want to move on to the democratic agenda of president biden and not talk about this. will republicans go along with it? one republican, senator marco rubio, wouldn't answer it when i asked him if he would support censuring donald trump. he said that's not the question before us. >> i want to ask you about something in the "washington post." they're reporting that
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impeachment managers eyed possible testimony from senior officials such as mark short, senior staff adviviser to mike pe pence. do you think that is a possibility? >> if this were the goal, i think everyone would expect to see witnesses. that's how you get to those things. that's not what this exercise is. this is a political constitutional exercise, and they can count votes. and they see that they don't have the votes for conviction, and they're unlikely to get the votes for a conviction, and so i think it's very unlikely we're going to see witnesses. >> and there would have been -- the legal thicket, that's real.
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just because marc could be called, it doesn't mean -- >> if he didn't want to show up, then a subpoena would be issued, and he could refuse to show because of a claim of executive privilege, and then it would wind up in court. >> the problem is, then, laura was talking about this before, things go unanswered. you had mark meadows on fox, and i want to play this because somebody can say anything, make any claim about what was going on in the white house, and there is no way to check it. let's show what mark meadows said last night. >> he was trying to send in the national guard to make sure all the rioting that was going on, that actually was quelled. he did the same thing on january 6. he didn't delay at all. he wanted our national guard to be on the ready for any civil unrest. he condemned it and wanted to make sure that we respected law and order and was very forceful in that. >> the idea that he was condemning it in realtime is not the case. >> sure. and so there are holes. and you would like to hear
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witnesses. if this were a movie, mike pence would come in in the 11th hour, or marc short would come in in the 11th hour or mark meadows would come in at the 11th hour and say, i testify that this is what i saw, and pence might say, well, i didn't get a call from the president and this is why. but that's not going to happen, and i think if they start going to senators like ben sasse who has said he spoke with somebody at the white house, he's a juror. so what do you do? you know, he's a juror. can you compel him as a witness? it's a difficult situation. >> laura? >> besides the procedural issues and how it can delay, witnesses are loose cannons. witnesses are not always the most reliable if you're trying to have a very methodic trial strategy. they introduce new elements, new bias. they might run off at the mouth in ways that might require you
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to address additional factual disputes, so there is a strategy behind not calling witnesses. but there is also the issue that every single one of those members of the senate are witnesses. so calling witnesses could seem redundant and superfluous in the sense that you all saw what happened, america saw what happened, and according to your own watches, how quick did help come? was it immediate? was it expeditious? it was none of those things. they can use their own memories probably as the best form of a witness. >> there are still factual issues. laura, you were a prosecutor. how many cases did you prosecute where you said, we're good, we don't need any witnesses. >> none, because there has to be a result. >> we saw what was going on in the white house minute by minute while the attack was occurring. >> i suspect they're not going to call witnesses to find out, but we shall see. they're getting ready in the next couple minutes and they've been pretty much on time in
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starting. the president pro tem, richard leahy, would bring it to order, the chaplain would have the prayer and then the pledge of allegiance. they will then make their defense. >> and they will make their defense after potentially damning evidence laid out by the impeachment managers. he said, if i lose, it's a fraud. the ramp-up he made for two months and the things he said, and more importantly, perhaps the things he didn't say and didn't do as the insurrection was playing out. how does the defense, how does the trump team counter that? do they just argue we shouldn't be here? in a court of law, the judge would say, not relevant, shut up, say something else. this is different because there's different rules.
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they already argued that the senate has constitutional grounds to do this. how much of it is process? do they defend donald trump? you just saw his former chief of staff lying on fox news last night saying the president was rushing to send in the national guard, the president was rushing to condemn this. he was not. there is zero evidence of that. if there was evidence of that, welted see the video, we would see the tweets. it doesn't exist. so do the trump lawyers try to do what trump often did, just have fantasy and fiction, or do they try to come up with some argument against this? they're going to argue he didn't tell them. he didn't specifically say, crash the capitol, hurt people, revolt against your own government. that's what their argument is going to be. he was not that specific. the managers tried to do their best in, okay, but we have seen years of the president understanding what happens when he tweets certain words. we have seen years of the president saying, after violent episodes, i love you, or thank you, or you were peaceful when they were not. it's going to be fascinating to see what argument do they try,
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and i think the fact they are planning to be brief is on the advice of those republican senators they met with last night. as of now, it appears the math is in their favor no matter what they say. this is almost -- lawyers take an oath to follow the constitution, doctors take an oath to do no harm. >> they're going to start in the next minute or two. the four lawyers, two of them we heard in their not so impressive performance earlier in the week, david castor and mike schoen. the other two lawyers, i don't know much about them, but we are told it will be much more scripted and won't just be vamping from the top. >> it's about to begin. >> the chaplin will lead the senate in prayer. >> let us pray.
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mighty god, unseiurpassed in bo power and understanding, we worship you. lord, when there is nowhere else to turn, we lift our eyes to you. as, again, this senate chamber becomes a court and our senators become jurors. guide these lawmakers with your wisdom, mercy and grace. lord, infuse them with the spirit of nonpartisan patriotism. unite them in their efforts to do what is best for america. as they depend on your providence and power, may they
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make choices that will be for your greater glory. we pray in your sovereign name, amen. >> please join me in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, one god, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. >> senators, will you please be seated, and if there is no objection, the journal of
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proceedings of the trial are proven to date. i ask the sergeant in arms to make the proclamation. >> hear ye, hear ye, hear ye. all persons are commanded to keep silence on pain of imprisonment while the senate of the united states is sitting for the trial of the article of impeachment exhibited by the house of representatives against donald john trump, former president of the united states. >> for the information of all senators, we plan to take short breaks approximately every two hours and a longer dinner break around 5:00 p.m. >> pursuant to the provisions of senate resolution 47, the counsel for the former president has 16 hours to make the presentation of their case. and the senate will hear counsel
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now. we recognize mr. vander veen to make the first presentation. go ahead. >> good afternoon, senators, mr. president. the article of impeachment now before the senate is an unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance. this appalling abuse of the constitution only further divides our nation when we should be trying to come together around shared priorities. like every other politically motivated witch hunt, the left
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has engaged in over the past four years, this impeachment is completely divorced from the facts, the evidence, and the interests of the american people. the senate should promptly and decisively vote to reject it. no thinking person could seriously believe that the president's january 6th speech on the ellipse was in any way an incitement to violence or insurrection. the suggestion is patently absurd on its face. nothing in the text could ever be construed as encouraging, condoning or enticing unlawful activity of any kind. far from promoting insurrection of the united states, the president's remarks explicitly
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encouraged those in attendance to exercise their rights peacefully and patriotically. peaceful and patriotic protest is the very antithesis on the united states capitol. the impeachment brief says the president fully intended for the crowd at the ellipse to, quote, interfere with the joint session's constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. this is manifestly disproven by the plain text of the remarks. the president devoted nearly his entire speech to an extended discussion of how legislators should vote on the question at hand. instead of expressing a desire that the joint session be prevented from conducting its business, the entire premise of his remarks was that the
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democratic process would and should play out according to the letter of the law, including both the constitution and the electoral count act. in the conclusion of his remarks, he then laid out a series of legislative steps that should be taken to improve democratic accountability going forward, such as passing universal voter i.d. legislation, banning ballot harvesting, requiring proof of citizenship to vote, and turning out strong in the next primaries. these are not the words of someone inciting a violent insurrection. not only president trump's speech on january 6th, but indeed, his entire challenge to the election results was
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squarely focused on how the proper civic process could address any concerns through the established legal and constitutional system. the president brought his case before state and federal courts, the u.s. supreme court, the state legislatures, the electoral college, and ultimately the u.s. congress. in the past, numerous other candidates for president have used many of the same processes to pursue their own election challenges. as recently as 2016, the clinton campaign brought multiple post-election court cases, demanded recounts and ridiculously declared the election stolen by russia. many democrats even attempted to persuade the electoral college delegates to overturn the 2016
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results. house manager raskin objected to the certification of president trump's victory four years ago, along with many of his colleagues. you'll remember it was joe biden who had to gavel them down. >> i have an objection because 10 of the 29 electoral votes cast by florida were cast by electors not lawfully certified. >> i object to the objection of the senator. >> mr. president, i object to the state of the georgia that the electoral grounds -- >> there's no debate. >> i object to the ticket from the state of north carolina. >> i object. >> i object to the certificate from the state of alabama. the electors were not lawfully certi certified. >> was it signed by a senator? >> no, it wasn't. >> then it cannot be
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entertained. there is no debate in order. is it signed by a senator? there is no debate in joint session. >> there is no debate. there is no debate. please come to order. your objection cannot be received. section 18, title 3 of the united states code prohibits debate in the joint session. >> i do not wish to debate. i wish to ask, is there one united states senator who will join me in this letter of protection? >> there is no debate. the gentleman will suspend. >> in 2000, the dispute over the outcome was taken all the way to the supreme court, which ultimately rendered a decision. to litigate questions of election integrity within the system is not incitement to resurrection, it is the democratic system working as the
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founders and lawmakers have designed. to claim that the president in any way wished, desired oren kurjd lawl-- encouraged violent behavior is a preposterous and monstrous lie. in fact, the first two twitters sent were, stay peaceful with no violence because we are peaceful with law and order. the gathering on january 6 was supposed to be a peaceful event, make no mistake about that. and the overwhelming majority of those in attendance remained peaceful. as everyone knows, the president had spoken at hundreds of large rallies across the country over the past five years. there had never been any moblike or riotous behaviors, and, in
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fact, a peaceful event was devoted to celebrating the rule of law, protecting our constitution. and honoring the men and women of law enforcement. contrast, the president's repeated condemnations of violence with the rhetoric from his opponents. >> i am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters. >> the vast majority of the protesters were peaceful. >> republicans stand for law and order, and we stand for justice. >> i just don't even know why there aren't uprisings all over the country, and maybe there will be. >> my administration will always stand against violence, mayhem and disorder. >> there needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there is unrest in our lives. >> i stand with the heroes of law and order. >> and you tell them they're not
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welcome! anymore, anywhere. >> we will never defund our police. together we will ensure that america is a nation of law and order. >> we need to take him out back and beat the hell out of him. sd >> i think you need to punch him in the face. >> everybody wants law and order. >> i want to tell you, cavanaugh, you have released a whirlwind, and you will pay the price. >> we have to have law and order. >> tell me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful. >> we believe in safe streets, secure communities, and we believe in law and order. >> tragically, as we know now, on january 6th, a small group who came to engage in violent and menacing behavior hijacked
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the event for their own purposes. according to publicly available reporting, it is apparent that extremists of various different stripes and political persuasions preplanned and p premeditated an attack on the capitol. one of the first people arrested was the leader of antifa. sadly, he was also among the first to be released. from the beginning, the president has been clear. the criminals who infiltrated the capitol must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. they should be imprisoned for as long as the law allows. the fact that the attacks were apparently premeditated, as alleged by the house managers, demonstrates the ludicrousness of the incitement allegation against the president.
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you can't incite what was already going to happen. law enforcement officers at the scene conducted themselves heroically and courageously, and our country owes them an eternal debt. but there must be a discussion of the decision by political leadership regarding forced posture and security in advance of the event. as many will recall, last summer the white house was faced with violent rioters night after night. they repeatedly attacked secret service officers, and at one point pierced a security wall, culminating in the clearing of lafayette square. since that time, there has been a sustained negative narrative in the media regarding the necessity of those security measures on that night, even
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though they certainly prevented many calamities from occurring. it must be investigated whether the posture was not initiated due to the political events stemming from lafayette square. consider this. on january 5th, the mayor of the district of columbia explicitly sk discouraged the national guard and federal authorities from doing more to protect the capitol saying, and i quote, the district of colombia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment. this sham impeachment also poses a serious threat to freedom of speech for political leaders of both parties at every level of government.
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the senate should be extremely careful about the precedent this case will set. consider the language that the house impeachment article alleges to constitute incitement. if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. this is ordinary political rhetoric that is virtually indistinguishable from the language that's been used by people across the political spectrum for hundreds of years. countless politicians have spoken of fighting for our principles. joe biden's campaign slogan was "battle for the soul of america." no human being seriously believes that the use of such metaphorical terminology is incitement to political
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violence. while the president did not engage in any language of incitement, there are numerous officials in washington who have indeed used profoundly reckless, dangerous and inflammatory rhetoric in recent years. the entire democratic party and national news media spent the last four years repeating without any evidence that the 2016 election had been hacked. and falsely and absurdly claimed the president of the united states was a russian spy. speaker pelosi herself said that the 2016 election was hijacked, and that congress has a duty to protect our democracy. she also called the president an imposter and a traitor and recently referred to her
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colleagues in the house as the enemy within. moreover, many democrat politicians endorsed and encouraged the riots that destroyed vast swaths of american cities last summer. when violent left wing anarchists conducted a sustained assault on a federal courthouse in portland, oregon, speaker pelosi did not call it an insurrection. instead she called the federal law enforcement officers protecting the building storm troopers. when violent mobs destroyed public property, she said, people will do what they do. the attorney general of the state of massachusetts stated, yes, america is burning, but
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that's how forests grow. representative anya pressley declared, there needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there is unrest in our lives. the current vice president of the united states, kamala harris, urged supporters to donate to a fund that bailed out violent rioters and arsonists out of jail. one of those was released and went out and committed another crime, assault. he beat the bejesus out of somebody. she said, of the violent demonstrations, everyone beware! they're not going to stop before election day in november, and they're not going to stop after election day. they're not going to let up, and they should not.
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such rhetoric continued even as hundreds of police officers across the nation were subjected to violent assaults at the hand of angry mobs. a man claiming to be inspired by the junior senator from vermont came down here to washington, d.c. to watch a softball game and kill as many senators and con congressmen as he could. it cannot be forgotten that president trump did not blame the junior senator. the senior senator from maine has had her house surrounded by angry mobs of protesters. when that happened, it unnerved her. one of the house managers, i forget which one, tweeted, cry me a river.
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under the standards of the house impeachment article, each of these individuals should be retroactively censored, expelled, punished or impeached for inciting violence by their supporters. unlike the left, president trump has been entirely consistent in his opposition to mob violence. he opposes it in all forms, in all places. just as he's been consistent that the national guard should be deployed to protect american communities wherever protection is needed. for democrats, they have clearly demonstrated that their opposition to mobs and their view of using the national guard depends upon the mob's political views. not only is this impeachment case preposterously wrong on the
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facts no matter how much heat and emotion is injected by the political opposition, it is also plainly unconstitutional. in effect, congress would be claiming that the right to disqualify a private citizen no longer a government official from running for public office, this would transform the solemn impeachment process into a mechanism for asserting congressional control over which private citizens are and are not allowed to run for president. in short, this unprecedented effort is not about democrats opposing political violence. it is about democrats trying to disqualify their political opposition. it is constitutional cancel culture. history will record this
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shameful effort as a deliberate attempt by the democrat party to smear, censor and cancel not just president trump, but the 75 million americans who voted for him. now is not the time for such a campaign of retribution. it is the time for unity and healing and focusing on the interests of the nation as a whole. we should all be seeking to cool temperatures, calm passions, rise above partisan lines. the senate should reject this divisive and unconstitutional effort and allow the nation to move forward. over the next -- over the course of the next three hours or so,
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you will hear next from mr. schoen who is going to talk about due process and a couple other points you'll be interested to hear. i'll return with an analysis of why the first amendment must be properly applied here. and then mr. castor will discuss the law as it applies to the speech of january 6th and then we'll be pleased to answer your questions. thank you.
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>> mr. president, mr. schoen, leaders, senators. throughout the course of today, my colleagues and i will explain in some details the simple fact that president trump did not incite the horrific, terrible riots of january 6. we will demonstrate that to the contrary, the violence and looting goes against the law and order message he conveyed to every citizen of the united states throughout his presidency, including on january 6th. first, though, we would like to discuss the hatred, the vitriol,
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the political opportunism that has brought us here today. the hatred that the house managers and others on the left have for president trump has driven them to skip the basic elements of due process and fairness and to rush an impeachment through the house claiming, quote, urgency, closed quotes. but the house waited to deliver the articles to the senate for almost two weeks, only have democrats had secured control over the senate. in fact, contrary to their claim that the only reason they held it was because senator mcconnell wouldn't accept the article, representative clyburn made clear they had considered holding the articles for over 100 days to provide president biden with a dlclear pathway to implement his agenda. our constitution and any basic sense of fairness require that every legal process with significant consequences for a
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person's life, including impeachment, requires due process under the law, which includes fact finding and the establishment of a legitimate, evi evi evidenciary record. even last year it required investigation by the house. here president trump and his counsel were given no opportunity to review evidence or question its propriety. the rush to judgment for a snap impeachment in this case is just one example of the denial of due process. another perhaps even more vitally significant example was the denial of any opportunity ever to test the integrity of the evidence offered against donald j. trump in a proceeding seeking to bar him from ever holding public office again and
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that seeks to disenfranchise some 75 million voters, american voters. on wednesday this week, countless news outlets repeated the democrat talking point about the power of never before seen footage. let me ask you this. why was this footage never seen before? shouldn't the subject of an impeachment trial, this impeachment trial, president trump, have the right to see the so-called new evidence against him? more importantly, the riot and the attack on this very building was a major event that shocked and impacted all americans. shouldn't the american people have seen this footage as soon as it was available? for what possible reason did the house managers withhold it from the american people and president trump's lawyers? for political gain? how did they get it? how were they the ones releasing it? it is evidenced in hundreds of
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pending criminal cases against the rioters, why was it not released through law enforcement or the department of justice? is it the result of a rushed snap impeachment for political gain without due process? house manager raskin told us all yesterday that your job as jurors in this case is a fact-intensive job. but, of course, as several of the house managers have told you, we still don't have the facts. speaker pelosi herself on february 2nd called for a 9/11-style commission to investigate the events of january 6th. speaker pelosi says that the commission is needed to determine the causes of the events. she says it herself. if an inquiry of that magnitude is needed to determine the causes of the riot, and it may very well be, then how can these
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same democrats have the certainty needed to bring articles of impeachment and blame the riots on president trump? they don't. the house managers facing a significant lack of evidence turned often to press reports and rumors during these proceedings, claims that would never meet the evidenciary standards of any court. in fact, they even relied on the words of andrew feinberg, a reporter who recently worked for sputnik, the russian propaganda outlet. you saw it posted. by the way, the report they cited was completely refuted. the frequency with which house managers relied on unproven media reports shocked me as i sat in this chamber and listened to this. >> there is a lot we don't know yet about what happened that day. according to those around him at the time, trump reportedly -- >> reports across all major media outlets.
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>> major news networks, including fox news, reported -- >> reported -- >> reportedly not accidental. according to reports, president trump was reportedly -- >> reportedly spoke to the guard. >> it was widely reported. >> according to reports -- >> reportedly -- >> as any trial lawyer will tell you, "reportedly" is a euphimism for, i have no real evidence. "reportedly" is not the standard in any american setting in which any semblance of due process is afforded and recused. "reportedly" isn't even, here's some circumstantial evidence. it's exactly as reliable as, "i googled this for you." if you're worried you might ever be tried based on this type of evidence, don't be. you get more due process than this when you fight a parking
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ticket. one reason due process is so important with respect to evidence offered against an accused is that it requires an opportunity to test the integrity, the credibility, the reliability of the evidence. here, of course, former president trump was completely denied any such opportunity, and it turns out there is significant reason to doubt the evidence the house managers have put before us. let me say this clearly. we have reason to believe the house managers manipulated evidence and selectively edited footage. if they did, and this were a court of law, they would face sanctions from the judge. i don't raise this issue lightly. rather, it is a product of what we have found in just the limited time we have had since we first saw the evidence here with you this week.
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we have reason to believe that the house managers created false representations of tweets, and the lack of due process means there was no opportunity to review or verify the accuracy. consider these facts. the house managers, proud of their work on the snap impeachment, staged numerous photo shoots of their preparations. in one of those, manager raskin is seen here at his desk reviewing two tweets side by side. the image on his screen claims to show that president trump had retweeted one of those tweets. now, members of the senate, let's look closely at this screen. because obviously manager raskin considered it important enough that he invited the "new york times" to watch him watching it. what's wrong with this image? actually, there are three things very wrong with it. look at the date on the very
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bottom of the screen on manager raskin's computer screen when we zoom into the picture. the date that appears is january 3rd, 2020, not 2021. why is that date wrong? because this is not a real screen shot that he's working with. this is a recreation of a tweet, and you got the date wrong when you manufactured this graphic. you did not disclose that this is a manufactured graphic and not a real screen shot of a tweet. now, to be fair, the house managers caught this error before showing the image on the senate floor, so you never saw it when it was presented to you. but that's not all. they didn't fix this one. look at the blue check mark next to the twitter user name of the account retweeted by the president. it indicates that this is a verified amount given the plough check by twitter to indicate it is run by a public figure. the problem?
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. us the user's account was not verified and had no blue check mark. are you just sloppy? if we had due process in this case, we would know the truth. but that's not all that's wrong with this one tweet. house manager swalwell showed you this tweet this week, and he emphasized that this tweet reflected a call to arms. he told you repeatedly this was a promise to call in the cavalry for january 6th. he expressly led you to believe that president trump supporters believed the president wanted armed supporters at the january 6th speech. paramilitary groups, the cavalry, ready for physical combat. the problem is the actual text is exactly the opposite. the tweeter promised to bring the calvary, a public display of christ crucifixion, a symbol of
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her christian faith with her to the president's speech. a symbol of faith, love and peace. they just never want to seem to read the text. words matter, they told you. but they selectively edited the president's words over and over again. they manipulated video, time shifting clips and made it look like the president's words were playing to a crowd when they weren't. let's take a look. >> after this, we're going to walk down, and i'll be there with you, we're going to walk down -- we're going to walk down to the capitol. -- we're going to walk down to the capitol! [ cheers and applause ] >> and we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congress men and women, and we're probably not going to be cheering so much for some of
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them, because you'll never take back our country with weakness. you have to show strength and you have to be strong. we have come to demand that congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. i know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. >> and we are going to walk down to the capitol. they showed you that part. why are we walking to the capitol? well, they cut that off. to cheer on some members of congress and not others peacefully and patriotically. the supreme court ruled in brandenburg that there is a path for incitement, that the speech
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was made to invoke action. go to the capitol and cheer on some members of congress and not others. they know it doesn't meet the standard for incitement, so they edited it down. we heard a lot this week about fight like hell. but they cut off the video before they showed you the president's optimistic, patriotic words that followed immediately after. >> we fight like hell, and if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. our exciting adventures and boldest endeavors have not yet begun. my fellow americans, for our moment, for our children, and for our beloved country, and i say this, despite all that's happened, the best is yet to come. >> there's that famous quote like one of the house managers said, a lie will travel halfway
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around the world before the truth has a chance to put its shoes on. well, this lie traveled around the world a few times, made its way into the biden campaign talking points and ended up on the senate floor. the charlottesville lie. very fine people on both sides. except that isn't all he said. they knew it then and they know it now. watch this. >> but you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. you had people in that group -- excuse me, excuse me, i saw the same pictures as you did. you had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming from robert e. lee to another name. >> george washington, too. >> george washington was a slave owner. will george washington lose his status? are we going to take down
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statues to george washington? how about thomas jefferson? what do you think of thomas jefferson? do you like him? >> i do. >> good, are we going to take down the statue? because he was a major slave owner. are we going to take down his statue? you know what, it's fine. you're changing history, you're changing culture, and you had people -- i'm not talking about the neo-nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. but you had other people in that group other than neo-nazis and white nationalists, okay? and the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and the baseball bats. you had a lot of bad people in the other group, too. >> i'm sorry, you were saying the president treated white nationalists unnecessarily? >> no, there were people in that
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rally, and i looked the night before. if you looked, there were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of robert e. lee. i'm sure in that group there were some bad ones. the following day, it looked like they had some rough, bad people. neo-nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. but you had a lot of people in that group who were there to innocently protest and very legally protest. i don't know if you know, they had a permit. the other group didn't have a permit. i only tell you this. there are two sides to a story. i thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country, a horrible moment. but there are two sides to the country. does anybody have a final -- you have an infrastructure. >> this might be today the first time the news networks played those full remarks in their context.
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and how many times have you heard that president trump has never denounced white supremacists? now you in america know the truth. here's another example. one of the house managers made much of the president's supposedly ominous words of, you have to get your people to fight. but you knew what the president really meant. he meant that the crowd should demand action from members of congress and support primary challenges to those who don't do what he considered to be right. support primary challenges, not violent action. i know what he meant, because i watched the full video, and so did the house managers. but they manipulated his words. you will see where they stopped it, and to give it a very different meaning from the meaning it has in full context. let's watch. >> you have to get your people to fight. he told them. >> you have to get your people
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it fight, and if they don't fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones who don't fight. you know who you are. i can already tell you, quite frankly. >> the people who need to fight are members of congress. why do we have to skip the necessary due diligence and due process of law that any legal proceeding should have? it couldn't be the urgency to get trump out of office. house democrats held the articles until he was no longer president, mooting their case. hatred, animosity, division, political gain, and let's face it, for house democrats, president trump is the best enemy to attack. >> i want to say this for donald trump who i may well be voting to impeach. >> donald trump has already done a number of things which legitimately raise the question of impeachment. >> i don't respect this president, and i will fight every day until he is impeached! >> that is grounds to start
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impeachment proceedings. those are grounds to start impeachment proceedings. >> yes, i think that's grounds to start impeachment proceedings. >> i rise today, mr. speaker, to call for the impeachment of the president of the united states of america. >> i continue to say, impeach him! impeach 45! impeach 45! >> so we're calling upon the house to begin impeachment hearings immediately. >> on the impeachment of donald trump, would you vote yes or no? >> i would vote yes. i would vote to impeach. >> we're going to go in there and impeach the [ bleep ]. >> but the truth is i introduced impeach the proceedings in july of 2017. >> we need to have an impeachment hearing. >> the representatives should begin impeachment charges against this president. >> it is time to bring impeachment charges against him.
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bring impeachment charges. >> my point of view is he richly deserves impeachment. >> we're here at an impeachment rally, and we are ready to impeach him! >> we can impeach him every day of the week for anything he does. >> that same hatred and anger has led house managers to ignore their own words and actions and set a dangerous double standard. the house managers spoke about rhetoric, about a constant drumbeat of heated language. which i'm sure everyone who is watching expected, we need to share some of their own words. >> i just don't even know why there aren't uprisings all over the country, and maybe there will be. >> there needs to be unrest in the streets as long as there's unrest in our lives. >> you have to be ready to throw a punch. >> donald trump, i think you should go back and punch him in the face. >> i think you should have punched him in the face. >> i would take him behind the gym if i were in high school.
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>> if i were in high school, i wish i could take him behind the gym. >> i will go and take trump out tonight, take him out now. >> when is the last time an actor assassinated a president? >> they'll have to go out and take a bullet for donald trump. >> show me where a president is supposed to be polite and peaceful? >> you tell him he is not welcome anytime, anywhere. >> i have thought an awful lot about blowing up the white house. >> please get up in the face of some congresspeople. >> people will do what they want to do. >> i want to tell you, cavanaugh, you have released a whirlwind, and you will pay the price. >> this is just a warning to you trumpers. be careful. walk lightly. and for those of you who are soldiers, make them pay.
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>> if you had to be stuck in an elevator with either president trump, mike pence or jeff sessions, who would it be? >> does one of us have to come out alive? >> and there's more. >> i promise to fight every single day. one, i'm a fighter and i'm relentless, but i'm a fighter and i'm relentless. a fighter and i'm relentless. i will fight like hell. >> the way i see it now is we pick ourselves up and we fight back. that's what i think it's all about. we stand up and we fight back. we do not back down, we do not compromise, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. you can whimper, you can crawl up in a ball, or you can stand up and fight back. that's what it's about. we do fight back, but we are going to fight back. we are not turning this country
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over to what donald trump has sold. we are just not. look, people are upset and they're right to be upset. now, we can whimper, we can whine, or we can fight back. me, i'm here to fight back! i'm here to fight back! because we will not forget. we do not want to forget. we will use that vision to make sure that we fight harder, we fight tougher, and we fight more passionately more than ever. we still have a fight on our hands. fight hard for the changes americans are demanding. get in the fight to winning the fight. we'll use every tool possible to fight for this change. we'll fight, we'll fight, fighting hard. i'm serious about fighting and
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fight. we have to fight back! problems, we call them out and we fight back! i'm in this fight! i am fighting. i am fighting. get in this fight! get in this fight! get in this fight! >> and fighting, we all need to be in the fight. we all need to stay in the fight. >> we fought back, we fought back. i am not afraid of a fight. i am in this fight all the way! you don't get what you don't fight for. our fight, our fight. we are in this fight for our lives. >> this is the fight of our lives. >> but we are going to make sure that this fight does not end tonight. >> this is a fight for our lives, the lives of our friends and family members and
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neighbors. it is a fight, and it is a fight that we're going to work to make sure continues. it is a fight. it is a fight. it is a fight, and that's what this fight is for. >> while i'm wired to fight anyone that isn't doing our job for us. i'm dan tester, and you're damn right, i approve this message. sd >> i'll have lots of fights ahead of us, and i am proud to stand up. i want to take the privilege of a few more fights, and we have the biggest fight of all. i will never stop fighting. i will fight like hell to fight back against anyone. >> we need to make it clear that we're ready to fight.
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>> it's so important that we need to fight. >> i was fighting very hard. >> time is of the essence both in terms of the fight -- >> i believe we should be fighting. >> we're simply not going to take this dying dpoun. >> we're both fighting. >> we're not just going to take this lined up. >> you have to rise up and fight back. >> we're going to fight and we're going to continue to fight. >> i am going to be fighting like hell. >> keep fighting, fighting, fighting, so we're going to keep fighting. >> we have to be fighting every single day. >> we have to fight back. we have no choice but to do that. i think we're doing the right thing to do that. >> i'm fighting. >> i'm fighting. >> my job right now is important to fight.
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>> i'm asking support he reme remembers -- >> i'm going to be on the floor fighting. >> we democrats are fighting as hard as we can. >> credit it any way, but we're fighting back. >> what we've got to do is fight in congress, fight in the courts, fight in the streets, fight online, fight at the ballot box. >> we need to continue to be brave and strong and keep fighting. we're getting people engaged in the fight. we've got to keep fighting and keep focused. continue to fight. >> this is going to be a fight. >> we'll also fight him and challenge anymore in every way we can. in the congress, in the courts and in the streets. >> -- to continue fighting. we each have an important role to play in fighting. this fight, like so many before it, it has been a fight.
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the american people are going to have to fight. >> and about the importance of fighting. i will always fight. fighting. but we also must fight. joe biden has a deep commitment to fighting. we always must fight. as our willingness to fight, continue the fight. as joe biden says, fight. it's about what we are fighting for. we will tell them about what we did to fight. >> truly, i do believe that we're in a fight. i believe that we are in a fight. i believe we're in a fight. i believe we are in a fight. >> so there's a fight in front of us, a fight for all of these things. so we're prepared to fight for that, and we know how to fight. our ongoing fight. we know how to fight. we like a good fight.
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we were born out of a fight. >> there's the fight, there's the fight and then there's the fight to defend. >> our mission is to fight. that is the guiding purpose of house democrats, fighting. he has never forgotten who he is fighting for. march and fought. >> we just have to fight. >> this is a fight for our country. >> fighting the health crisis of covid. >> i led the fight. continue to fight, never, never, never give up this fight. i am a citizen fighting for it. >> it means not only fighting the leader who fought for progressive changes, it's a lawyer who fought for people his whole life, and i'm proud to have tim in this fight with me. above all, it's time for america to get back up and once again fight. >> we will fight when we must fight. what kind of america are we fighting for? we've been fighting so we need to fight but also we need to fight for america.
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>> i am going to wake up every day and fight hard. >> we are going to fight, we're going to fight, we're going to fight. >> we're in the fight of our lives right now. >> we fight like hell. >> to fight. >> to fight. >> democrats are standing up to f fight. >> we're in this fight in a serious way. >> we're eager to take on this fight. >> i have taken on the fight. >> as representatives of the people, as legislators here in congress, our job is to fight. >> fight for this. >> every day i'm in the united states senate. i will fight. >> one of the things we do is should fight. >> because my constituents send me here each and every day to fight. >> we have been fighting this fight and we need to be side by side so we can succeed, so i hope you will all join us in our
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fight! a >> and as the next governor in office, we can fight something new. >> declaring us to fight, and fight we will. >> when we fight the fight that we are in, when we fight this fight. the strength of who we are is we will fight. we are in a fight, fight, fight, fight. it is a fight born out of patriotism. this is a fight fighting -- i say fight on, fight on, fight on, fight on. >> this is not a fight i wanted to take on, but this is the fight in front of us now. >> every single one of you and every one of you. that's okay. you didn't do anything wrong. it's a word people use.
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but please stop the hypocrisy. did you tone down last summer when all this was happening? did you condemn the rioters? or did you stand with nancy pelosi who said, people are going to do what they're going to do. >> this is a movement, i'm telling you. they're not going to stop, and everyone beware because they're not going to stop before election day in november and they're not going to stop after. >> show me where it says rioters need to be upright and peaceful. >> they shot and killed david in cold blood. >> destroying property which can be replaced is not violent.
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>> the building just collapsed. >> i have nowhere to go now. these people did this for no reason. >> this is just a snapshot of some of the damage people will be waking up to. >> i'm proud of new york and i'm proud of the protests. >> there is damage everywhere you look. honestly, it looks like a war zone. >> heartwarming to see so many people turn out peacefully. >> they keep doing it day after day after day. the patriots were protesters.jo. >> was it antifa? >> i hope somebody burns down your whole precinct with all of you inside. >> it is not shrinking.
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>> your people are not welcome anymore, anywhere. >> they're not going to let up and they should not. >> you claim it is wrong to object to the certification of elections results. you and your allies in the media attempted to censure your concerns. lead manager raskin, you had been in counsel only three days when you objected in 2017. it's one of the first things you did when you got here. >> i have an objection, because 10 of the 29 electoral votes cast by florida were cast by electors not lawfully certified? >> is the objection in writing and signed not only by the member of the house of representative but also by a senator? >> it is in writing. >> is it signed? >> no, it isn't. >> then it cannot be
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entertained. >> i robject to the certificate from the state of north carolina based on violations -- >> there is no debate in the joint session. >> i object because people are horrified by the overwhelming evidence. >> section 18, title 3 of the united states code prohibits debate. >> i object. >> i objected to the counting of the electoral votes of the state of ohio. >> i object to the certificate of the state of alabama. the electors were not lawfully certified. >> i object to the state of california because there are polling booths, and the amount of suppression for african-americans -- >> i have an objection to the electoral votes. >> the objection is in writing and i don't care that it's not signed by members of the senate. >> i do not wish to debate. i wish to ask, is there one united states senator who will join me in this letter of
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protection? >> the debate is signed by the house but not yet by a member of the senate. >> it is over. sdpl >> when the house managers realized the president's own words could not incite a riot, as you said to the senate, you cast the doubt that the impropriety of our elections was dangerous. one of the lawyers, mr. cicilline said this was not the words president trump used, but instead it was a big lie, that the election was stolen. the big lie was president trump's claim that the election was not a fair election or that the election was stolen. claiming an election was stolen, you were told, are words that are insightful to a candidate.
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claiming an election was stolen or not legitimate is something that a candidate should never do because he or she knows, or should know, that such a claim and such words can actually incite violent insurrection, you were told. well, it seeeeee that the house manager's position must be actually a bit narrower than that. the house's position is when they claim an election is stolen or a winner is illegitimate, it constitutes inciting insurrection. but candidates for electing office are perfectly entitled to claim that the election was stolen or that the winner was illegitimate or make any outrageous claim they can. it is their absolute right to do so. and it is their absolute right to do so irrespective of whether there is any evidence to support the claim. democratic candidates can claim an election was stolen because
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of russian collusion or without any explanation at all, and that is perfectly okay and is in no way incitement to an insurrection. and somehow when democratic candidates publicly cry that an election is stolen or illegitimate, it is never a big lie. you've been doing it for years. >> but can you imagine telling your supporters that the only way you could possibly lose is if an american election was rigged or stolen from you, and ask yourself whether you've ever seen anyone at any level of government make the same claim about their own election. >> if stacey abrams doesn't win in georgia, they stole it. it's clear. it's clear. i say that publicly. it's clear. >> you can run the best campaign. you can even become the nominee, and you can have the election stolen from you.
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>> he knows he's an illegitimate president. he knows. he knows that there were a bunch of different reasons why the election turn out the way it did. >> votes remain to be counted. there are voices waiting to be heard. >> and i will not concede. >> i respect where you're coming from, and i respect the issues you're raising. you're not answering the question. you're not using the word legitimate. >> there are still legitimate concerns over the integrity of our elections and of ensuring the principle of one person, one vote. >> i agree with tens of millions of americans who are very worried that when they cast the ballot on an electronic voting machine that there is no paper trail to record that vote. >> but constantly shifting vote tallies in ohio, a malfunctioning electronic machine which may not have paper receipts have led to additional
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loss of confidence by the public. this is their only opportunity to have this debate while the country is listening. and it is appropriate to do so. >> house manager castro no longer has to imagine it. it didn't have to be this way. the democrats promised unity. they promised to deliver the very covid relief in the form of $2,000 stimulus checks president trump called for. they should have listened to their own words of the past. i leave you with the wise words of congressman jerry nadler. >> the effect of impeachment is to overturn the popular world of voters. we must not overturn an election and remove a president from office except for our constitutional liberties against a dire threat. and we must not do so except in an overwhelming consensus of the
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american people. there should never be an impeachment supported by one of our major political parties and opposed by the other. such an impeachment will produce a divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions. the american people have heard the allegations against the american president, and they willingly oppose to impeaching him. they elected president clinton. they overturned him. we have to right to make judgment of the american people. mr. speaker, the case against the president has not been made. there is enough evidence to support the allegations, and the allegations do not rise to the level of impeachment. the person last year had just
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admitted lying to congress in a proceeding. the americans are watching and they will not forget. you may have the votes, you may have the muscle, but you do not have the legitimacy of a national consensus. this part is coup de gras. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you . >> good afternoon again,
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senators, mr. president. there are two fundamental questions for purposes of this free speech analysis. first, does the first amendment to the constitution apply in this chamber to these impeachment proceedings? second, if it does, do the words spoken by mr. trump at the ellipse on january 6th meet the definition of constitutional incitement so as to void the protections afforded by the first amendment? i will explain why the answers to both of these questions must be a resounding yes. the constitution in the first amendment must certainly apply these impeachment proceedings, and mr. trump's speech deserves full protection under the first amendment. but before getting into the legal analysis, some preliminary
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observations about the house manager's case should be made. first, this case, unfortunately, is about political hatred. it has become very clear that the house democrats hate donald trump. this type of political hatred has no place in our political institutions and certainly no place in the law. this hatred has led the house managers to manipulate and selectively edit mr. trump's speech to make it falsely appear that he sought to incite the crowd to violently attack the capitol. he didn't. and we will show you why. the hatred has also led the house managers to make some astounding legal arguments. they astoundingly urge you to disregard your oath by ignoring the first amendment of the
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constitution. they also ignore landmark binding, united states supreme court cases' precedent wood and bond. keeping them from engaging in the exact type of political speech which mr. trump engaged in. i was shocked the house managers not only spent a mere three pages on the first amendment analysis this their trial memo, but yesterday they spent a mere 10 minutes at the end of their case as a throwaway. what we have read and what we have heard is devoid of any constitutional analysisly for ls than i would expect from a first
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year law student. they left out landmark cases, total, intellectual dishonesty. and finally, hatred is at the heart of the house managers' frivolous attempts to blame donald trump for the criminal acts of the rioters based on double hearsay statements of fringe right wing groups based on no real evidence other than rank speculation. h hatred is a dangerous thing. we all have to work to overcome it. hatred should have no place in this chamber in these proceedings. the second observation, the senate is presented with an extraordinary task sitting in judgment of a former president's words in a speech that he gave at a political event. the house managers accuse mr. trump of using his words to
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incite the horrific events at the capitol on january 6th, but yesterday, they gave you a new and novel standard of insitement with an element of foreseeability, a negligence concept. they cite zero case law. they made it up. this task of applying a completely made up legal standard of incitement to an impeachment proceeding is truly an unprecedented task for the senate, and that is something the senate must seriously consider when deciding the issue. do you want to create a precedent where they will sit in judgment of a president's words or words of any elected official? will that allow and maybe
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encourage a majority party to weaponize the awesome power of impeachment against the minority to suppress a point of view? will the senate then have to deal with constant articles of impeachment by a majority party accusing minority presidents or other elected officials of so-called inciteful of false speeches? you can see where this would lead. sadly, we've all seen the political rhetoric get ratcheted up in recent years. we've all been privy to incendiary words at broadcast events, cast out over the internet. in each of those instances, will there now be senate impeachment hearings? one last observation.
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we agree with the house managers context does indeed matter. the inflammatory rhetoric from our elected officials must be considered as part of the larger context of mr. trump's speech at the ellipse on january 6th. the inflammatory language from both sides of the aisle has been alarming, frankly. but this political discourse must be considered as part of these proceedings to contentualize mr. trump's words. we ever some video to play that highlights some of what i'm talking about. i preface this video by noting i am not showing you this video as some excuse for mr. trump's speech. this is not what-aboutism. i am showing you this to make the point that all political
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speech must be protected. >> i just don't even know why there aren't uprisings all over the country, and maybe there will be. >> there needs to be unrest on the streets for as long as there is unrest in our lives. >> you have to be ready to throw a punch. >> donald trump, i think you need to go back and punch him in the face. >> i felt like pumnching him in the face. >> if i were in high school, i would take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him. >> i will go and take trump out tonight. >> take him out now. >> when was the last time an actor assassinated a president? >> they're still going to have to put a bullet in donald trump. show me where it says protesting has to be polite and peaceful? >> you tell them they're not welcome anywhere, any more. >> i have ought an awful lot about blowing up the white house. >> please, get up in the face of some congresspeople.
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>> people will do what they do. >> i want to tell you, cavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. >> this is just a warning to you trumpers. be careful. walk lightly. and for those of you who are soldiers, make them pay. >> if you had to be stuck in an elevator with either president trump, mike pence or jeff sessions, who would it be? >> do they have to come out alive? >> again, i did not show you their robust speech to excuse or balance out the speech of my client for i need not. i showed you the video because in this political forum, all robust speech should be
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protected and it should be protected evenly for all of us. as a brief aside, we should all reflect that the rhetoric has gotten to be too much and over the top. it is grating on the collective well-being of the body public, the citizens. most would like it to stop. but the point is, when you see speech such as this, you have to apply the first amendment evenly. blindly. she is blind, lady justice. question one. does the first amendment apply to this chamber in these proceedings? the house manager's position as stated in their trial brief is,
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and i quote, the first amendment does not apply at all to an impeachment proceeding. that's their position. this is plainly wrong. the text of the first amendment expressly restricts congress from regulating speech. it says, congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or bridging 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. to ignore the constitution would be contrary to the oath of office of a united states
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sen senator. i do solemnly swear or affirm that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. you all know the rest. no, the senate cannot ignore the first amendment. the constitution itself limits the ability of the house to impeach to limited items, such as high crimes and misdemeanors. the position advanced by the house managers is essentially an unlimited impeachment standard without constitutional guardrails unmoored to any specific legal test other than the unbridled discretion of
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congress. this is distinctly not the intent of the framers. the framers were aware of any endangerment of impeachment process directly from the framers while debating the impeachment process on the floor of the constitutional convention of 1787. the framers were fearful that any impeachment process that gave congress full discretion on the standard for impeachment would constitute nothing less than a violation, quote, a violation of the fundamental principle of good government. one founding father, james wilson, wrote extensively on the impeachment process. mr. wilson was a renowned legal scholar at the time, a law
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professor at the university of pennsylvania in philadelphia. he was a major force in drafting and adopting the constitution in 1787. he served as one of the first supreme -- one of the first six supreme court justices 1789 to 1798. he was appointed by president george washington. in fact, wilson taught the first d course on the new constitution to president washington and his cabinet. the first in the nation's history in philadelphia at the university of pennsylvania in 1789. wilson, in his law lectures, the first of their kind under the constitution, plainly states that the senate may not ignore the constitution in impeachment proceedings.
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he states that lawful and constitutional conduct may not be used as an impeachable offense. let me say that again. he states that lawful and constitutional conduct may not be used as an impeachable offense. read along with me. the doctrine of impeachments is of high import in the constitutions of free states. on one hand, the most powerful magistrate should be amenable to the law. on the other hand, elevated characters should not be sacrificed merely on account of their elevation. no one should be secure while he violates the constitution and the laws, everyone should be secure while he observes them.
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to be clear, james wilson is saying that the constitution does, indeed, apply when judging whether to convict an official by impeachment. if the complained-of conduct is constitutional, it cannot be impeachable. are we to ignore the words and teachings of james wilson? the house managers surely want you to. the house managers have made several references to this letter signed by 140 partisan law professors, calling mr. trump's first amendment defense legally frivolous. this is really an outrageous attempt to intimidate mr. trump's lawyers. whenever a lawyer advances a truly frivolous argument, they may violate professional, ethical rules and could be
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subject to discipline. this letter is a direct threat to my law license, my career, and my family's financial well-being. these law professors should be ashamed of themselves and so should the house managers. how dare you? do you really hate donald trump so much that you're willing to destroy good, hard-working people's lives, people that are only doing their jobs, and frankly, as counsel for an accused fulfilling a constitutional role? it's astounding, really. i'm a citizen, not a politician. i know these first amendment arguments are not anywhere close to frivolous, they are completely meritorious. interestingly, the law professor's letter was issued on february 5th, three days before
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we even filed our legal brief in this matter, and they ignored landmark bedrock supreme court cases directly addressing this issue. in our brief, we have a direct quote from james wilson, the founding father supporting our position. the direct quote was document in the founding father's original legal papers -- do i have those with me -- on the subject. he was a primary draftsmen of the constitution, taught the new constitution to president washington. he says so long as acts of elected officials like mr. trump are constitutionally protected, he should not be impeached. we have landmark u.s. supreme court decisions, wood and bonds, which i'll explain in detail supporting our position. all of this the house managers and the partisan law professors
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completely and misleadingly ignore. frivolous? hardly. the letter is a bully tactic, and i think evidences the house managers know they have a problem with the first amendment defense on the merits, so they're resorting to such tactics. the house managers' suggestion that the first amendment does not apply to this impeachment process is completely untenable. ignoring the first amendment would conflict with the senators' oath of office. it would also conflict with settled supreme court precedent and ignore the intent of the framers of the constitution such as james wilson. above all else, ignoring the constitution would adopt a new raskin common sense doctrine we
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heard yesterday, eroding hundreds of years of first appearedment protections. we are here under the constitution. it is illogical what the house managers say. the constitution does apply to this constitutional impeachment process. it's double talk. nonsense. illogical. if the house managers had their way, they would ignore all of the constitution. does that include the sixth amendment? the right to counsel? they would have mr. trump sitting here without lawyers. and who would be next? it could be anyone. one of you. or one of you. you must object this invitation to ignore the first amendment. it is anti-american and would
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set dangerous precedent forever. the law has developed over the years to clearly establish elected officials have the right to engage in protected speech. mr. trump is not just a guy on the street or a guy at a bar or a fire chief or a police officer, there were a few of them in there. all analogies given by the house managers, these sideways analogies are wrong. mr. trump was an elected official, and there is an entire body of law, supreme kco court landmark cases supporting the conclusion that mr. trump actually has enhanced free speech rights because he is an elected official. these cases are ignored by the house managers and the law professors. and that, too, is total
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intellectual dishonesty. the supreme court has long held that the first amendment's right to freedom of speech protects elected officials. two important on point decisions from the supreme court, wood versus georgia, and bond versus floyd, expressly contradict the house managers' position. the house managers do not even cite those cases in their brief. they barely acknowledge them in their reply, and they were mum on them yesterday. in wood versus georgia, the supreme court addressed a case vovrl involving a sitting sheriff whose re-election was being investigated by a judge in negro
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block voting. the sheriff spoke publicly in various public pieces calling the allegations racist, illegitimate and an attempt to illicit voters. he even did not want his party to stop any political attempt to i gnite voters. the sheriff even sent a letter to the grand jurors with these allegations which is an extraordinary step since laws in most states, including georgia, prohibit attempts to influence or intimidate jurors. the sheriff was charged and convicted of contempt of court and obstru obstruction of the g jury. but the supreme court, in a
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decision written by justice brennan, reversed. the court held that the first amendment protected an elected public official's speech because the voting controversy directly affected the sheriff's political career. g-29. the petitioner was an elected official -- read with me, please, everybody. the petitioner was an elected official and had the right to enter the field of political controversy, particularly where his political life was at stake. the role that elected officials play in our society makes it all the more imperative that they be allowed freely to express themselves on matters of current public importance. wood, thus, stands for the proposition that a difference of political opinion expressed in the speech on an issue of voting
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irregularity cannot be punishable where all that was done was to encourage investigation and peaceful political speech. just like mr. trump has done here. the legal scholars call that directly on point. a second case, bond versus floyd, involved a state legislature punishing an elected official for protected political speech. bond is particularly instructive here, too. in bond, the supreme court squarely addressed the question of an elected official's punishment by a legislature for statements alleged to have incited public violation of the law, the burning of draft cards. the court unequivocally rejected the idea advanced here by the house managers that an elected official is entitled to no protection under the first
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amendment. the supreme court held that the georgia house of representatives was, in fact, forbidden by the first amendment from punishing bond by not seating him, for advocating against the policy of the united states. there are three fundamental holdings in bond. one, the manifest function of the first amendment in a representative government requires that legislators be given the widest latitude to express their views on issues of policy. two, just as erroneous statements must be protected to give freedom of expression, the breathing space it needs to survive, so statements criticizing public policy and the implementation of it must be similarly protected.
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third holding. legislators have an obligation to take positions on controversial political questions so that their constituents can be fully informed by them and be better able to assess their qualifications. please, read along with me. -- their qualifications for office. also so they may be represented in governmental debates by the person to have elected to represent them. mr. trump enjoys this same first amendment protection from congress. the first amendment's protections guarantee free speech outlining the issues in his career that mr. trump has consistently advocated. the house managers argue that the first amendment, and i quote, does not shield the public officials who occupy
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sensitive policymaking positions from adverse actions when their speech undermines important governmental interests. that is flat wrong. they are, in essence, attempting to treat mr. trump as their employee. this is not the law under wood and bond. mr. trump was elected by the people. he is an elected official. the supreme court says, elected officials must have the right to freely engage in public speech. indeed, the supreme court expressly rejected the house managers' argument in wood versus georgia, holding that the sheriff was not a civil servant but an elected official who had core first amendment rights which could not be restricted.
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that's wood v. georgia, page 395, footnote 21. the house managers do not mention wood or bond in the trial brief or anywhere else? why? why not? because it does not fit their narrative or their story. they want to punish mr. trump for engaging in constitutionally protected free speech, and they do not want you to consider the issue. but you must. question two. does mr. trump's speech deserve protection under the first amendment? there is no doubt mr. trump engaged in constitutionally protected political speech that the house has improperly characterized as incitement of insurrection. the fatal flaw of the house's
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argument is that it seeks to mete out governmental impeachment based on first amendment political speech. speech for political purposes is the kind of activity to which the first amendment offers its strongest protection. these are bedrock principles recognized by our supreme court for decades. the court has stated in no uncertain terms the importance of these principles toward democratic principles. the general proposition that freedom of expression upon public questions is secured by the first amendment has long been settled by our decisions. the constitutional safeguard we have said was fashioned to ensure unfettered interchange of ideas for the bringing about of
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political and social changes desired by the people. "new york times" v. sullivan. our first amendment decisions have created a rough hierarchy in the constitutional protection of speech. core political speeches occupy the highest, most protected position. even political speech that may incite conduct, and they said if speech may be suppressed when it might inspire someone to act unlawfully, then there is no limit to the state's censorial power. the government may not prohibit speech because it increases the chances of an unlawful act will be committed at some indefinite
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time in the future. the house manager showed you a series of tweets going all the way back to 2015 in an effort to provie incitement. all of that evidence is totally irrelevant under the constitutional definition of incitement. b brandenburg versus ohio is really the case against incitement. in brandenburg v. ohio, the government may only suppress speech for advocating the use of force or a violation of law if such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing eminent lawless action and is likely to
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incite or produce such action. the prbrandenburg holding has bn interpreted as having three basic prongs to determine if speech meet the definition of in incitement. the brandenburg test precludes speech to being incitement to a riot unless, one, the speech explicitly or implicitly encouraged use of violence or lawless action. two, the speaker intends that his speech will result in use of violence or lawless action, and, three, the imminent use of violence or lawless action is likely result of the speech. the house managers cannot get past the first prong of the
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brandenburg test. they have not and cannot prove mr. trump explicitly or implicitly encouraged use of violence or lawless action, period. brandenburg requires a close examination of the words themselves. the words are either important or they're not. the house managers admitted that the incitement issue is not about the words. why not? because on the face of it, mr. trump's words are no different than the figurative speech used by every one of the senators assembled here today. if it is not about the words but about the big lie of a stolen election, then why isn't house
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manager raskin guilty since he tried to overturn the 2016 election? the more the house managers speak, the more hypocrisy gets revealed. hypocrisy. even though they say it's not about the words, the law under brandenburg requires a close analysis of the words to determine incitement. so we need to look at those words. mr. trump did the opposite of advocating for lawless action, the opposite. he expressly advocated for peaceful action at the save america rally. he explicitly stated, these are the words. i know that everyone here will
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soon be marching over to the capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. "to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard." that is how this president has spoken for years when he condemns violence, lawlessness and rioters. the house managers have played manipulated, selectively edited parts of mr. trump's speech. they focus heavily on the word "fight." the president used the word "fight" 20 times in his speech. they picked only two. why? why not the other 18? because they don't tell the story the way they want to tell
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it. here are all of them. listen to the context. >> and, rudy, you did a great job. [ cheers and applause ] >> he's got guts? you know what, he's got guts unlike a lot of people in the republican party. he's got guts. he fights. he fights, and i'll tell you, thank you very much, john, fantastic job. i watched -- that's a tough act to follow, those two. there's so many weak republicans, and we have great ones. jim jordan and some of these guys, they're out there fighting, the house guys are fighting. but it's incredible. many of the republicans, i helped them get in, i helped them get elected. how do you say, i want to get rid of america first? even if you're going to do it, don't talk about it, right? unbelievable what we have to go through. what we have to go through, and you have to get your people to fight, and if they don't fight, we have to primary the hell out
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of the ones that don't fight. you primary them. we're going to let you know who they are. i can already tell you, frankly. republicans are constantly fighting like a boxer with his hands tied behind his back. it's like a boxer. and we want to be so nice. we want to be so respectful of everybody, including bad people. and we're going to have to fight much harder and mike pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn't, that will be a dad day for for our country, because you're sworn to uphold our constitution. and the accountability says, if we see somebody in there that they steal, they rob, they do things bad. we say, joe, you're fired. get out of here.
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you couldn't do that before. so we've taken care of things, we we've done things that no one thought possible. that's probably partly the reason people don't like us, because we've done too much. we were going to sit at home and watch a big victory. now we're out here fitting. i told a few people. >> american does not talk about theirs anymore. i fight, you fight, they have their point of view, i have my point of view. but you would have an argument. now what they do is go silent. it's called suppression. that's what happens in a communist country. that's what they do. they suppress. you don't fight with them
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anymore. unless there is a bad story about me, make it tknown that with your help over the last four years, we built a great political movement in our country. i say that over and over and i never get challenged by the fake news, and they challenge almost everything we say. our fight with the social media, the big tech and others are just getting started. this is the greatest moment in history. there's never been a movement like that. our brightest days are before us, our greatest achievement still waits. i think one of our greatest achievements will be election security. i don't think anybody, before i came along, had any idea how corruptive those statements
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were. other politicians say, thank you very much, and they go on to their other life. i said something is wrong here. and we fought. if you don't fight like hell, you're going to lose. we fight for our beloved country, and i say this, despite all that's happened, the best is yet to come. a boxer fighting with one hand tied behind his back? members fighting? these are rhetorical uses of the word "fight." we all know that, right? suddenly the word "fight" is off
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limits? spare us the hypocrisy and false in indignation. it's a term that's used over and over and over again by politicians on both sides of the aisle. and, of course, the democrat house managers know that the word "fight" has been used figuratively in political speech forever. but don't take it from me. best to listen from them. >> our job is to fight. >> we are in a fight. >> democrats are fightering as hard as we can. >> democrats are standing up to fight. >> we know how to fight. we like a good fight. >> democrats are going to fight like hell. >> we fight like hell. >> going to fight like hell. >> i will fight like hell. >> we're going to fight like hell. >> i'm going to fight like hell. >> i will fight like hell. >> we have to fight like hell. >> many of the senators and members of the house will fight like hell. >> we are going to fight like
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hell. >> we're going to fight -- like hell. >> going to fight like hell. >> we just have to fight. >> we're going to fight. we are going to fight, we're going to fight! >> because we'll fight. >> political revolution, that means that millions -- >> millions. >> millions -- >> have got to stand up and fight. >> and fight and fight. >> stand up and fight back. >> to fight. >> and continue to fight. >> once again, fight back in the fight. >> we're fighting back. >> in my fight, to fight an administration. >> you don't get what you don't fight for. >> we'll fight him and challenge him in every way that we can. >> fight in the congress, in the courts, in the streets and -- >> there's the fight, there's the fight, there's the fight and then there's the fight to defend. >> we're eager to take on this fight. >> the american people are going to have to fight. >> get -- in -- this -- fight. >> get in this fight. >> around-the-clock fighting. >> we've got to keep fighting and keep focused. >> we will fight when we must
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fight. >> we've been fighting and we need to fight, but we also need to fight. >> uphill fight. >> a fight we always -- >> we always must fight. >> we're in the fight of our lives. >> we're going to be in for the fight of our lives. >> this is the fight of our lives. >> we are in this fight for our lives! >> we cannot ever give up fighting. >> hypocrisy. the reality is, mr. trump was not in any way, shape or form instructing these people to fight or to use physical violence. what he was instructing them to do was to challenge their opponents in primary elections to push for sweeping election reforms, to hold big tech responsible. all customary and legal ways to
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petition your government for redress of grievances, which, of course, is also protected constitutional speech. but the house managers don't want you to focus on those things, because, again, it does not fit their story. in the end, i leave you with this quote from benjamin franklin. "freedom of speech is a principle pillar of a free government. when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins." thank you.
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>> mr. president -- >> majority leader. >> i ask unanimous consent, the senate recess for a 15-minute break. >> without objection. a brief break in the proceedings there. the trump leagainst team is attempting to defend former president trump from the impeachment article that he incited the deadly mob, the deadly riot on the capitol on january 6th. you heard from a few of the president's attorneys making their presentation. let's talk about this with dana bash and abby phillip here in-studio with me while the group there, the senators and the house impeachment managers and the president's lawyers take a 15-minute break. not the most constitutionally
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sophisticated argument, fair to say. neither mr. schoen or mr. van der veen are constitutional scholars. van der veen a personal injury attorney. one thing i wanted to know is, i think that he made a couple points that probably landed okay. with the audience. first that the idea that president trump using the word "fight" didn't necessarily mean go to the capitol and commit mayhem. given the context of the other times the president used the word "fight" in that speech, but that's as if that speech and the word "fight" was the only evidence against donald trump, and it's not. >> exactly. >> we have months and months and months of the big lie of the election lie, and today was basically a legal demonstration of, what aboutism. what about the time that this congressman said this, the time that this it losing candidate said that?
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>> uh-huh. >> times that there was no violence that followed what they said. >> right. let's play along with that game. play the "what about?" game and follow down that path. what about all of those times so many taken out of context the democrats used the word "fight"? they weren't doing it to a rabid crowd many of them who were armed after as you said spending many, many weeks priming them in anger and in frustration, and, frankly, in violence, about some that was not true. it is the context that matters, and none of those democrats did what they did and said what they said in the context that donald trump is talking about, and most importantly, what they did not show there was the fact that so many people in that crowd, and we saw them on tape over and over again during the house
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managers' presentation, said that they believed that they were doing this violence in the name of donald trump, because he told them to do that. >> dozens and dozens of them have said that. >> dozens. >> during and after. some of them said it while at the capitol. >> exactly. >> so it's not as if this is something coming out of thin air. i also thought that the lawyers' argument also hinged on the complete falsehood. which is the idea trump didn't intend, discussed this earlier, that trump didn't intend to disrupt the electoral process on that day. that his whole point of gathering people on january 6th was simply to, you know, to express his grievances about fraud and the election, and that he didn't have any sort of intention about what was actually happening in the capitol that day. and that's not true. i mean, we know it's not true, because he was pressuring pence during his speech, and during the riots.
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>> yeah. >> to -- to stop the process of counting the electoral votes. so the only way that you sort of imply that trump was giving this speech in this vacuum and was just using ordinary political speech, literally what they said, if you take it out of the context, why were they gathered on that day? why on that particular day? why did his supporters interpret their orders, according to them, from trump as being, to stop that process? >> uh-huh. >> the last opportunity that they had and they knew it, and they knew it, because trump told them so. >> it was a very partisan argument. whereas the democrats even though the house impeachment managers are some of the most partisan democrats in the house. >> uh-huh. >> jamie raskin, eric swalwell, ted lieu. they have bent over backwards to try to not be partisan because they're trying to win over republican senators. trying to win over the mitt romneys, ben sasses and susan
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collins. this presentation was very partisan. a sean hannity mixed tape at times. >> almost literally. >> all the times democrats have said things that violated basic norms. >> yes. >> here are some evidence of hypocrisy by house democrats. all true. i mean, good arguments to make, but not particularly relevant to what donald trump did and what we all saw him do, and, in fact, abby, we talked about this while the presentation was going on. a couple of supporters of president trump, aim ipmy krame her daughter, very active, with the tea party before and now active with the women for trump movement and held rallies. buzzfeed did a great story on this. rallies across the country leading up to january 6th. were very violent things, violent things were said. apparently a couple of tweets they misspelled cavalry.
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the cavalry is coming, mr. trump. just for, as somebody who learned this the hard way about 15 years ago. the cavalry, cav, is the army fighters. and the calvary is a demonstration of christianity a crucifix. >> literally the place where christ was crucified. >> yes. anyway, my only point is they misspelled it and i'm not criticizing them, because i have done that, too. they misspelled it, but because they misspelled cavalry, rather than cavalry, shown as evidence that the house impeachment managers were being dishonest and disingenuous. look at the context of the tweets it was that they meant to say cavalry. no one says the calvary is coming. that's not a thing. >> not at all. and they made that argument
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actually twice by accusing the impeachment managers of misrepresenting trump's tweets, because they created a -- re-created a visual of a trump tweet. which they had to do. >> the tweets are gone. >> the tweets are gone! donald trump doesn't have a twitter feed. you can no longer take a screen grab of something e tweeted. you have to re-create it and they used it as evidence that the impeachment managers were trying to deceive the congress in their presentation. so -- i mean to say it was a grab bag of absurdities especially that segment is -- >> just to be clear. the criticisms they were making were not that the tweets were wrong or that donald trump didn't retweet such and such or that so and so didn't tweet such a thing. it was they mistakenly in their re-creation of the tweets put the wrong date initially. >> and then fixed it. >> and fixed it, and gave a
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verification check with somebody who didn't have a verification -- just stupid. >> there were some things that were just flat-out wrong. just one example. one of the trump attorneys said something about the fact that democrats for a long time said that russia hacked into the 2016 election, and that's not true. yeah, it is. it is true. and we know that, because the trump justice department prosecuted individuals for that. because the trump justice department released statement after statement about how they did that. that's different from the illusion, but one example of things that they said was just not right. >> hacking into the dnc servers to get the emails to be specific. >> exactly. wolf? >> jake, thank you. you guys make an excellent point, excellent points. john, one thing, though, what the two defense lawyers for trump, michael van der veen and david schoen did do, reassure the trump supporters out there,
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reassure the republicans who are going to vote to acquit the former president of the united states that they have some evidence, some case they can make, make some important points based on what these it two lawyers put forward. especially those long video clips, so many of them we've seen on, you know, hannity and other shows on fox. >> yeah. they came with a couple of goals. two primary goals were, please the client. mad at his legal team and mad at power of the presentation made by house managers and no question the former president's lawyers did in a. pleased the client. how? first thing said was a lie. about the antifa, the first person arrested. factual mistakes things taken out of context and the visual presentation gratuitous over the top representative about democrats using the word "fight." meant to do, number one, make the client happy. especially the long elizabeth warren segment, return of hillary clinton. make the client happy, but let's be honest here.
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the fact checkers will go through that. you will hear the democrats when they get their chance later, rebut some of the legal arguments in . i suspect some quite strong and powerful. however, remember the goal of the president's lawyers. five or six republican votes to convict. you need 17. their goal is to keep the republicans loyal republicans. one way to keep republicans loyal republicans is throw them a whole lot of democratic red meat. that is what that was about. not about some argument that's going to be taught in law school five years from now or 25 years from now or some way to present facts that, you know, professors are going to say whether communications of the law, this is how to do it. that was about keeping the republican convict count as low as possible, and i suspect in that regard it will help. >> and you're absolutely right. i'm sure the former president was watching. he was enjoying this. unlike the initial presentation the other day. these two lawyers, they were reading carefully scripted documents. they were not ad-libbing or
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venting. they were reading what had been prepared and they had these video clips. a little bit of repetition, because we've seen these video clips a few times, two or three times, playing the same clips. let me play this exchange, this slot, this little clip of the two lawyers van der veen and schoen making the case why the president, the former president, has the right to freedom of speech. >> this sham impeachment also poses a serious threat to freedom of speech for political leaders of both parties at every level of government. >> mr. trump's speech deserves full protection under the first amendment. you have to apply the first amendment evenly. >> blindly. she is blind. lady justice. >> that was just michael van der veen, obviously taking the lead now. he opened, then schoen
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continued, van der veen came back. we're told bruce castor will make a statement when they resume this trial. >> again, there are many of the republicans, number one, 44 republicans voted this was an unconstitutional proceeding. they're supposed to set that aside because they were out-voted. many won't. >> 66-44. >> a lot of republicans will stay behind process even though they lost the process vote. then the other argument they will make is, this was political speech. maybe you didn't like it. maybe the president was too far. maybe too coourse or provocativ but the protected by the first amendment. the president's oath, took an oath to the constitution and, therefore, had the right, had the responsibility, he took an oath, to defend the capitol. defend the country. not incite and insurrection. there's no doubt you will hear manager raskin have to come back and rebut the argument against the first amendment. because whether you agree or not, the first amendment argument, either legitimately
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holds sway or is the political place republican whose do not want to vote to convict, what they will choose. they wouldn't speak that way. they wouldn't say those things but in america the president had the right to say those things. where some of the republicans are staying. it was not a surprise that the president's lawyer's made that argument. they will continue to make it. former president's lawyers. i'm most interested if democrats are taking note. they've been called misleading, hypocrites, told they cheated in their presentation and told their argument of the first amendment is wrong. now the former president's lawyers get to finish and we get rebuttal and then we get into the -- >> i did some math timing what they were saying. michael van der veen, initial presentation 22 minutes. then david schoen spoke 42 minutes. a lot of it videotape. and then varnn der veen another2 minutes. basically first two hours. and bruce castor picks us up fo
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the defense when we resume. >> pick it up with attorneys here and political folks. laura coates, first impressions of the defense? >> really about, what aboutism, not in a way you expect. end of the day, raskin said, essentially, what about us? what about the members of congress? why did the president not concern himself with us our well-being? what they did here say, what about you? what about all of the people in this room from every senator they tried to outline, to members of the house as well, about their own contact? made it seem as they they were the ones now on trial for their own statements. what they've missed, this impeachment is what about thissism. it's not about every instance ever happening. it's not about every statement taken out of context but why this president with the unique position he's in to divide or quell incitement. why he chose not to, why his words on this occasion prompted the contact that actually
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resolved it? the more they stray away from that the more they risk alienated those waiting for the answer to that question. what about us, mr. president? what happened then? they haven't answered it. talked how they actually said, that the house impeachment manager failed to either show the president explicitly or impress italy called people to violence. thinking what did you hear the last 12 to 14 hours of statements about? it was all about that methic many approach taking about that, but people have an ear to the audience of one. >> essentially a small crowd hijacked an otherwise peaceful demonstration. >> on january 6th a small group who came to engage in violent and menacing behavior hijacked the event for their own purposes.
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>> small group, which when they attacked the michigan state house and confronted lawmakers and police the president praised them then. >> we saw the huge mob, anderson, with our own eyes that surrounded the capitol. the insurrectionists who invaded it, and you know the whole presentation today is like a parallel reality. we talked a lot about how careful the managers were. not only to lay out the evidence methodically but to talk to all the senators in terms they could understand and to america expressly addressing america at the end of the presentation. this was a fringe distortion of reality that the lawyers put forward with the repetitive videos over and over again, the same irrelevant videos. talking to a small slice of america, to an audience of one in trump, and it's the opposite of what we've seen before, and
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it is going to be devastating and alienating the vast majority of americans who we know already believe more than majority that the president is responsible for this contact. >> i mean, some people may see it that way. in terms of the supporters of the president, it's people who still back the president. >> yeah. >> they were given enough to hold on to. >> i think, you know, on the first day the trump lawyers botched the job. they really did. today it seems like a completely differ effort. you know, the audience is trump, yes, but it's also the republicans in the room, and it's also the trump base. and for all of those audiences, and those are the audiences for these lawyers, this was an appealing message. it really was, and really is the message they get on a, a fox program, on some of these other places. >> all of those things. and it gives these -- you know, the senators who might be
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wavering enough to hang their hats on. which is what the focus is. one thing i thought was also interesting is, this was sort of a gambit to the house managers. you know, they talked, the trump lawyers talked a lot more about the evidence or lack of evidence than i thought they would. the questions about the evidence. they essentially said, you know what? the evidence isn't there. the information that you've put on was lacking and unreliable. threw down a gambit to the house managers to call witnesses, and put on other evidence. i don't think they're going to take them up on it, but it was an interesting -- house managers asked for donald trump, should testify, and, of course, he said no. he's the one who perhaps could help -- >> his lawyers say that's not his burden. >> that's right. but what i heard today was a notion that donald trump was impeached by the house, because he said fight like hell. and everybody says fight like hell. so -- if donald trump said fight like hell he's just like you.
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and that's ridiculous. of course, he is the president of the united states, and it isn't just because he says "fight like hell" it's because of everything that occurred and everything that did not occur after, i.e., telling everybody, you know, calling in the national guard, et cetera, et cetera, and i think, to me, all the videos seem to me like they were put together by political people more than attorneys to appeal to the people you're saying it might appeal to, but it didn't seem to me to be more of a legal argument than it was a political advertisement. and i don't know if the long run if it's going to work for them or not. >> i want to bring in jeff zeleny at capitol hill. jeff, give us a sense if you can what was going on in the chamber? how did they react as the defense made their case? >> reporter: first and foremost republican side of the chamber much more full than yesterday. at the very beginning only three chairs empty. contrast to yesterday, house
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managers presenting their case at least 1500 to 15 empty. both sides paying careful attention. the most remarkable, democrats were intentionally trying not to react when they saw themselves on the screens. heard their own voices. really, a laundry list of senators. majority of democratic senators in the chamber from bernie sanders to elizabeth warren to jon tester from montana, shaheen from new hampshire, on and on, all found themselves saying, fight, fight like hell. some version of that, chuck schumer, of course, too. they largely didn't react. there was expressions of, "oh my gosh. can you believe this is happening" in there. largely, they didn't react. jamie raskin, lead prosecutor also on the senate floor and was taking notes furiously. of course, he also was played on the screen and again and again challenging the electoral results from previous elections. so clearly, he is making notes that he is going to add into his closing arguments, but anderson, definitely a sense from republicans they believe in a the president's lawyers are
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doing a much better job. actually senator lisa murkowski of alaska, who's likely expected to vote to convict praised the work of the senators coming out in the break telling reporters she thought they were doing a very good job. i talked to a republican senator before the proceeding and he said in fact they were worried about the type of defense that the president's lawyers would mount. without question, this gives republicans who are already likely to not vote to convict some bit of comfort here. anderson, in tern term of conte entirely eliminated playing long parts of the president's speeches not necessarily. they lived the last four years of the trump presidency. two presidential campaigns as well. literally there's a sound bite for everything he's said. also they lived the attack on january 6th. it was not just a few people as described. likely to agitate some of the democrats in the room, but so far at least paying much more attention than they were, and
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also expecting to wrap up at least this portion this afternoon and expect the question portion this evening. one republican senator told me planning to have dinner here in the capitol tonight. they still believe they can be out of town, could be all over, some 24 hours from now. >> jeff zeleny, thanks. take a quick break. awaiting for the trial to resume and we'll be right back. if your dry eye symptoms keep coming back, inflammation in your eye might be to blame.
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welcome back for cnn coverage of the second impeachment trial of donald trump. i want to go to capitol hill and bring in cnn manu raju. you're getting opportunities to
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talk to the jurors as they were, the senators during this break. what are they tell you? >> reporter: partisan reaction. republicans praising what they heard. democrats panning what they heard. republicans including senator ron johnson of wisconsin saying the trump team blew it out of the water. senator barrasso, john barrasso saying better prepared this time around and echoed by lease kaw murkowski. alaskan republican. likely vote to convict donald trump said the trump team is doing a better job than last time. democrats, the other hand, criticizing this sharply saying the video mannontage played readedly through the session of a false equivalent, because the trump team is trying to contend democrats said, fight, fight, fight, similar to what donald trump said before that january 6th rally that led to the violent mob that came to capitol hill, just a few sample manies
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of, a complete false ekwiv lative. i don't remember after any of those comments. he said to me. and chris coons from delaware, show me where pulled the person out of the crowd beat the living crap out of them and said good for you. and you're a patriot. and the vice president candidate in 2016 said it was a completely bogus argument and said donald trump was told if he didn't stop people would be killed and what happened? people were killed. so you're seeing how members are reacting. how will it impact votes? probably not by much. jake, we expect these arguments on the trump side to finish up quickly this afternoon and potentially moving quickly into the question and answer session, and the senators will answer questions, each team responds. don't expect that session to go particularly long and then be moving quickly to a vote to acquit or convict donald trump as soon as tomorrow. jake? >> all right. manu raju on capitol hill. thanks so much. you know, abby, when i said
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that the montage that the trump lawyers put together was like a sean hannity mixed tape, i didn't mean that the republican senators don't like sean hannity mixed tape. they like them. >> the fact that may be exactly what they want. >> right. >> i mean, i do think that so many of the arguments, in fact, the false equivalency may be exactly what some republican senators are looking for. they're looking for something to hang their hat on. >> exactly. >> and the main thing is going to be to say that trump's words were effectively no different from the words utilized by any other person. and corollary to that, constitutionality argument. put that in quotes, because what they're saying, air quotes, they're emphasizing today the idea the proceeding is unconstitutional, because trump has a first amendment right to say effectively whatever he wants. because of that, he can't be impeached, because he was using his free speech rights.
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i think republicans are going to hang on that and use it much as they can. >> you could chip away with that, at that, without a law degree, but that isn't the point. the point is that of all of the arguments we heard this morning, that was the most focused and dedicated to "the law." argue for and against it, but it was the one focus on the law as opposed to, you know, mixed tape. i think they actually took from some things that sean hannity and others at forx have made an added to it on the floor. >> underline that point. have democrats said stupid things. >> of course. >> and useds bellicose language that they should not have said? i mean, i think the use of the word "fight," it's overall criticizing without the context. sure, leader schumer's context reaping what you sow, wasn't
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smart. dumb. followed by attacks on neil gorsuch and neil kavanaugh? >> no. by the way i don't remember the last time madonna or johnny depp error for the office. stupid things to say, completely irrelevant what we're talking about now. one other thing i will say on just overall on the reaction that i'm getting just on texts from republicans, from some conservative lawyers is that they did better than they did the first day. the bar was pretty low. so -- >> what would they have to do to have it be worse? >> droll. >> partly kept repeating the same video over and over presumptively to use up moff are their time. i don't know how many times you can play a montage of people using the word "fight" in contexts completely irrelevant to the argument at home. >> the idea, in control room do we have the ted cruz clip,
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montage we rolledal earlier. let me know when it's ready. the idea senator now vice president harris making a joke about getting into a deadly fight on an elevator with x, y or z, that that is the same thing as a campaign that began in may of 2020 by donald trump whose claimed that the election was stolen from him, not to mention just the culture of violence that donald trump has been pushing for since 2015. since he entered the race. the idea that that's the same is ridiculous. and -- republican senators know that. we ran this earlier but it's worth running again. here is ted cruz, senator ted cruz, one of trump's strongest supporters right now in the senate actually advising the trump lawyers as has been reported even though hez supposedly a juror as well. here he is back in 2016 when he was facing donald trump and was
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against donald trump, here was his view of the culture of violence that donald trump would often promote. >> when the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence, to punch people in the face, the predictable consequence of that is that it escalates. >> donald trump now has a consistent pattern of inciting violence. of pushing for violence. no politician has the right to threaten violence against american citizens, even lefty number skulls of american citizens and you don't threaten violence against them. >> in other words, the point i'm making, yes, democrats have said stupid things but the idea that elizabeth warren speaking to a bunch of pbs tote-bag-holding massachusetts residents, talking about how she's going to fight
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for health care is the same thing as what donald trump did, they, ted cruz and others, they know that's false. >> yeah. >> you can think what you think about impeachment or whatever, but the idea that it's equivalent is just gaslighting of the highest order. >> it is, and, you know, fortunately or unfortunately, maybe take that out. just the facts are that what happened after ted cruz was making that prediction was that donald trump won the election, and he became president. so, you know, he was aggrieved because he didn't think people took him seriously. that people thought he was legitimate because of russia and everything else, but it didn't escalate because he won. this time around, it escalated because he didn't win and couldn't handle it na. that is the big difference. >> bears reminding that the trump lawyers started their presentation by playing a montage video of trump talking about law and order and, you know, loving police andlication
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supported or endorsed political violence before, when as you point out, ted cruz knows that's not true and we also had a full day practically of evidence of video evidence of trump doing exactly that. so, you know, on its face that argument is not true, no matter what he says about law and order. he has repeatedly as various times either looks the other way or explicitly endorsed violence by his supporters against their political opponents. that's just the facts of the matter as they are out there for the last five years of this. >> one thing we haven't heard them defend and they're not done yet. he haven't heard them defend the big lie that led to all this. haven't heard them say in its heart of heart donald trump wants them to say so desperately, which is the election was rigged and it was stolen from him and all of the things that he said that caused the riot in the first place. bernie sanders bernie sanders
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already indicated that's one of the questions he wants to ask the lawyers. see what they do when that subject comes in. >> sneaking in another break. the impeachment trial should resume any minute. stay with us. ordinary tissues burn when theo blows. so dad bought puffs plus lotion, and rescued his nose. with up to 50% more lotion puffs bring soothing softness and relief. a nose in need deserves puffs indeed. are you managing your diabetes... ...using fingersticks? with the new freestyle libre 2 system,
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presentation by the former president's attorneys about to start again. let's listen in.
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-- seeks recognition. >> mr. castor is recognized. >> mr. president -- the senate, good afternoon. it has been my great privilege over the past couple of weeks to lead this outstanding team of lawyers and dedicated professionals in the defense of the 45th president of the united states. one of the most difficult things in leading such a talented group is deciding who's responsible for what and the strategy and the order in which we will present our evidence. and you have heard from mr. van
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der veen and mr. schoen on the importance of the first amendment and the importance of due process of law. and because i had the opportunity to set out the schedule, i decided that i would take the last substantive part of the case for myself. you can take that two ways. the first, perhaps, is the best, and that would be that it's almost over. the second is that perhaps you have to wait another hour for it to be over. the reason why i chose this section, and, believe me it was a very difficult decision to make, because i thought that the other arguments presented by mr. schoen and mr. van der veen were outstandingly researched, thoroughly vetted and wonderfully and articulately presented by them.
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but the critical issue in this case is the very narrow issue that is charged against the 45th president, and that issue is, did the 45th president engage in incitement of -- they continueded to say insurrection. clearly, there was no insurrection. insurrection is a term of art defined in the law and involves taking over a country, a shadow government, taking the tv stations over and having some plan on what you're going to do when you finally take power. clearly, this is not that. what our colleagues here across the aisle meant is incitement to violence. to riot. so the word "incitement" is the critical case, and the critical
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issue in the case. now, the first time that you heard from us, i told you that you would never hear from our side that what happened on january 6th was anything other than horrific. and that the 45th president of the united states and his lawyers and his entire team adamantly denounce that violence by those criminals that occurred in this very chamber. this very building. there was a reason why we started our presentation back on tuesday in that way. because i did not want the senators to consider that there was any challenge to that particular fact.
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and yet the house managers knowing it was not contested at all chose to spend 14-plus hours showing you pictures of how horrific the attack on the united states capitol was. they spent no time at all in connecting legally the attack on the capitol to the 45th president of the united states which is "the" only question that needs to be answered, is -- was donald trump responsible for inciting the violence that came to this building on january 6th? now, by any measure, president
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trump is the most pro-police, anti-mob-rule president this country has ever seen. his real supporters know this. he made it clear throughout his presidency. he made it clear during the violence this past summer. he made it clear on january 6th, but politics changes things. politics has created and interposed an element that should not be here. it is interposed the element of hatred. and the political world changes when hatred becomes part of the dynamic. as we wrote in our answer, to the original charging document,
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and i hope that this is a phrase that lives on long after we are all departed, and then i hope some day this becomes the mantra by which all of us operate who work for the benefit of the public. political hatred has no place in the american justice system, and most certainly no place in the congress of the united states. to illustrate the contrast that i am speaking of, we have a video. >> i am your president of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters. >> the vast majority of the protests have been peaceful.
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>> republicans stand for law and order and we stand for justice. >> i just don't even know why there aren't uprisings all over the country. >> my administration will always stand against violence, mayhem and disorder. >> there needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there's uninterest in our lives. >> i stand with the heroes of law and order. ♪ ♪ and you better not welcome anymore, anywhere. >> we will never defund our police. together we will ensure that smirk a nation of law and order. >> if i were in high school i'd take him bemhind the gym and bet the hell out of him. >> i feel like punching him. >> law and order. everyone wants that. >> i want to tell you kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price! >> we want law and order. we have to have law and order.
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>> show me where it says protests are supposed to be plight and peaceful? >> we believe in safe speech, communities and we believe in law and order. >> is there truly anyone in this chamber who disagrees with the words as spoken by president trump on that video? surely not. surely not. this contrast and in this context i ask you to keep that in mind. my colleagues here, actually, my colleague here, mr. raskin, hopes that you don't. they have used selective edited and manipulated visuals to paint a picture far different from this truth. make no mistake, and i will repeat it now and anytime i'm ever asked. january 6th was a terrible day
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for our country. the attack on this building shocked us all. president trump did not incite or cause the horrific violence that occurred on january 6th, 2021. they know that. we know the president did not incite the riot, because of his plain words that day, as mr. van der veen elicited a few minutes ago. we know the president could not have incited the riots because of the timeline of the events of that day. we heard a great deal from the house manager about their prosecutorial bona fides and ability to analyze evidence apply it to statutes, use timelines and figure out what happened based on circumstantial evidence and direct testimony and forensic analysis. i can't recall any of the house
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managers who got up that didn't make some reference to prosecutorial bona fides. well, i spent more than three decades locking up killers, and i do know a little bit about applying the facts to the law. we know that the president would never have wanted such a riot to occur, because his long-standing hatred for violent protesters and his love for law and order is on display, worn an his sleeve every single day that he served in the white house. but if we're going to apply the facts to the statute, it has to be done systematically. it has to be done with precision. the way a court would expect us to do that. let's look at the letter of the law. again, mr. van der veen gave you an overview of the brandenburg
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case and some of the related cases. you notice that when mr. van der veen listed the elements that he took verbatim or close to verbatim rides out of vandenberg they bore no evidence of what was flashed up by democrats the other day repeatedly. he actually uses the supreme court's case. he didn't make it up. let's look at the letter of the law. the supreme court of the united states over 50 years ago laid out a clear test to determine whether speech is incitement. under that test, the brandenburg versus ohio test, there are three elements that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, by a preponderance of the evidence, whatever the senate considers, i suggest beyond a reasonable doubt. first, the speech in question
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must explicitly or implicitly encourage the use of violence or lawless action. but here the president's speech called for peaceful protests. second -- the speaker must intend that his speech will result in the use of violence or a lawless action, and, again, as mr. van der veen pointed out, the president clearly deplores rioters and political violence, and did so throughout his term as president, and never hesitated to express his admiration for the men and women that protect this country. finally, the third element under the brandonburg test is the imminent use of violence, imminent use of violence. in other words, right then. the imminent use of violence or lawless action must be the likely result of the speech.
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the likely result of the speech. well, that argument is completely eviscerated by the fact that the violence was pre-planned as confirmed by the fbi, department of justice and even the house managers. not the result of the speech at all. several of my colleagues at the house managers got up and spoke about the proceeding in the house being like a grand jury proceeding. well, i've been in grand jury proceedings. i have run grand juries. in those proceedings you call witnesses, hear evidence, make transcripts, take affidavits, develop physical evidence. you hear reports from police officers. you hear forensic analysis from scientists. in fact, you invite the target of the grand jury to come in and testify if he or she pleases to
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be heard by the grand jury. which one of those things happened in the house prior to the impeachment article? i don't believe any of them happened. so the suggestion that what happened in the house was anything at all like a grand jury investigating a case and preferring it for prosecution is complete nonsense. and if the house managers are trying to fool you about that, you must ask yourself, what else are they trying to fool you about? let's look more closely at the president's speech. we have mentioned this line before, but it is so critical we need to talk about it again. the president asked that the attendees at his rally
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peacefully make their voices heard. >> i know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. >> the managers would have you believe that the president's supporters usually follow his every word, but in this case imputed some imaginary meaning to them while ignoring his most clear instructions. president trump said peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard, and the house managers took from that go down to the capitol and riot. so you are supposed to put yourselves in the heads of the
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people who hear peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard and conclude that those words to not mean what the president said. the more than that, the president criticized the destruction wrought by left wing anarchists and rioters. he told his supporters that they build, they don't destroy. >> if this happened to the democrats, they'd be hell all over the country going on. there would be hell all over the country, but just remember this. you're stronger. you're smarter. you've got more going than anybody, and they try and demean everybody having to do with us, and you're the real people. you're the people that built this nation. you're not the people that tore down our nation. >> is it possible listening to those words in the proper
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cadence without them being edited or the sound changed so that they are indistinguishable or sounds as though the crowd is slight there but listening to it as you have here unedited by us, is it possible that president trump's disdain for political violence could be any clearer to the persons listening as he was speaking? is it possible that his words could have been misunderstood? i suggest to you that is impossible. now the house managers said the president told the crowd, quote, you have to get out your people to fight. the house managers' claim is that the president of the united states was telling the audience to get -- to get each other to
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physically fight, but that is not what the president said. the people who should fight, he said, were members of congress. the if they don't fight, what the president said, is what -- what should the rally attendees do? if members of congress wouldn't fight for the principled they held dear, what it was that the president specific told his supporters at that rally he wanted them to do? he wanted them to support primary challenges. now, nobody in this chamber is anxious to have a primary challenge. that is one truism i think i can say with some certainty, burr that's the way we operate in this country. when the people of a state want to change their representatives
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and their senators, they use the electoral process. president trump told his listeners that if their members of congress won't fight for their views, then go back home and find others that will. that's what president trump said. the people should -- who should fight were the members of congress. >> you have to get your people to fight. he told them. >> you have to get your people to fight, and if they don't fight, they have to primary the hell out of the ones that don't fight. you primary them. we're going to let you know who they are. i can already tell you frankly. >> it is pretty stark contrast when you watch that video, isn't it? when you see the house manager
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tell you and i don't know if we're under oath here, but when i walked into this room i sure as heck felt like i was under oath and that i was speak not only to the senate of the united states but before the entire world and with god watching, and a house manager got up here and told you that the president. united states on january the 6th, 2021, told the crowd that they had to go and fight and the implication that they wanted you to draw was that he was sending them down to capitol hill to go and breach the building and trash the very sacred halls of congress, but we now know that is not at all anything near what the president said. what the president said was if you can't get your members of congress to do as you would like them to do, you primary them. that's the american way.
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the first way that the house managers presented and wanted you to conclude, that's the criminal way, but what the president said was the american way. again, house managers manipulated president trump's words. i can't stand here and pretend to tell you that i know every time from all those videos that the house managers manipulated what the president said, put up evidence that was not with the foundation of correctness and add mis addmissability and i don't think i picked up one. i don't think mr. van der veen or schoen or any of us that worked with us can tell you
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that. what i can tell you is that there were an awful lot of times, and i know at least some of you were judges in previous lives, and that -- and if one of the lawyers was able to create the impression that one side presented misleading or false evidence that judge would give an instruction, false in one thing, false in everything. in other words, if they are trying to fool you about one thing, not only might they be trying to fool you in something else, but under that maxim of the law you may conclude they are trying to fool you in everything else. president trump was immediate in his calls for calm and respect
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for law enforcement. the house managers emphasized president trump's tweet in the 6:00 p.m. hour where he told crowds to, quote, go home in love and peace and remember this day. the what is it that they left out? we well, the house starts their recitation of what president trump said as far as the aftermath of when the capitol was breached, that's roughly 6:00 p.m. what they didn't tell you and didn't tell you and what you probably don't know because i think i'm the first one to say it in this forum is that at 2:38 president trump urged protesters at the u.s. capitol to, quote, stay peaceful. please support our capitol police and law enforcement. they are truly on the side of our country.
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stay peaceful and before we run the graphic, i just want to point out to you president trump's speech ended at 1:11 p.m., so at 2:38 p.m., by the time where it reaches the president that there's a problem down here, he's out urging people to support the police, stay peaceful, support our capitol police and law enforcement. they are on the side of the country. stay peaceful. at 3:13 p.m. president trump urged protests at the u.s. capitol to remain peaceful. no violence. remember, we are the party of law and order. respect the law and our great men and women in blue.
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3:13 p.m. president trump's words couldn't have incited the riot at the capitol. the day's events make this clear. let's walk through the actual timeline. at 11:15 a.m., security video camera shows crowds forming at the first street reflect pool. this is a full 45 minutes before president trump even took the stage on january 6th. let me repeat that. violent criminals were assembling at the capitol over a mile away almost an hour before the president uttered a single word on the ellipse. you did not hear that fact during the hours and hours of the house manager's presentation, did you? when the president spoke, what did he call for?
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he called for rally attendees to peacefully and patriotically make their voices heard, for them to walk down pennsylvania avenue, to cheer on members of congress. president trump went on for more than an hour ending at 1:11. now why is that important? because of all of the events that i'm about to describe, they all occurred before, before president trump's remarks concluded. at 12:49 p.m., the first barriers at the u.s. capitol grounds were pushed over and the crowd entered the restricted area. at 11:05 p.m., acting defense secretary christopher miller received open-source reports demonstrator movements to the u.s. capitol. at 1:09 p.m., u.s. capitol police chief steven sund called the house and senate
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sergeant-at-arms telling them he want an emergency declared and he wanted the national guard called. the point. given the timeline of events the criminals at capitol weren't there as the ellipse to even hear the president's words. they were more than a mile away engaged in their pre-planned assault on this very building. this was a pre-planned assault, make no mistake, and that is a critical fact. watch this. >> does anyone in this chamber honestly believe that but for the conduct of president trump, that charge in the art calf impeachment, that that attack at capitol would have occurred? does anybody believe that? >> it was not some sort of spontaneous decision by a bunch of, quote, protesters to go up to capitol hill and storm capitol hill. this was all planned out. >> how much of it was planned? how much of this was strategized
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ahead of time? >> they are getting indications, some evidence, that they have seen that indicates is that there was some level of planning. >> there appears to be pre-meditation. >> fbi internal report the day before the siege warning of a violent war at the capitol. >> the fbi issued a warning of a, quote, war at the capitol. >> the fbi warned law enforcement agencies about this specific attack. >> be ready to fight. congress needs to hear glass breaking, doors being kicked in. >> we developed some intelligence that a number of individuals were planning to travel to the d.c. area with the intention to cause violence. we immediately shared that information. >> and they pushed out that information through this jttf structure. >> it was immediately disseminated through a written product and briefed to our command post operations to all levels of law enforcement. >> the fbi says two part-time bombs discovered near the capitol on january 6th were placed there the night before. >> new video appears to show a person suspected of planting pipe bombs near the u.s. capitol
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the night before. >> the fbi now says the bombs were planted the night before the capitol siege between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. >> they were planted the day before. >> all goes to the idea of premeditation and coordination amongst individuals. >> this was a planned assault. >> so to answer the question of the house manager does anybody believe that this would have occurred but for the speech from donald trump, i do. all of these facts make clear the january 6th speech did not cause the riots. the president did not cause the riots. he neither explicitly or implicitly encouraged the use of violence or lawless action but in fact called for peaceful exercise of every american's first amendment rights to
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peacefully assemble and petition their government for redress of grievances. in other words, the brandenberg standard does not mete out. the house managers admitted many facts are unknown. even speaker please admitted not knowing the real cause of the violence when she called for a 9/11-style commission to examine the facts and causes that led to the violence. on the screen is speaker pelosi's call for the 9/11 commission:. let's touch now on the second absurd and conflated allegation in the house managers' single
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article. president trump's phone call to georgia secretary of state ben raffensperger surreptitiously recorded, by the way, included -- and included multiple attorneys and others on the call. let me point out the very obvious fact that the house managers ignored. 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. how could he have hoped to use this call to invite his followers if he had no intent to make the conversation public and indeed had nothing to do with it being secretly recorded? the house managers told you that the president demanded that the georgia secretary of state, quote, find just over 11,000 votes.
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the word find like so many others the house managers high light is taken completely out of context, and the word find did not come out of thin air. based on an analysis of publicly available voter data that the ballot rejection rate in georgia in 2016 was approximately 6.42% and even though a tremendous amount of new first-time mail-in ballots were included in the 2020 count, the georgia rejection rate in 2020 was a mere .4 of 1%, a drop-off from 6.42% to .4%. president trump wanted the signature verification to be done in public. how can a request for signature verifications to be done in public be a basis for a charge for inciting a riot?
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with that background, it is clear that president trump's comments and the use of the word find were solely related to his concerns with the inexplicable dramatic drop in georgia's ballot rejection rates. let's examine how the word find was used throughout that conversation. mr. trump's first use of the word find was as follows, quote. we think that if you check the signatures, is a real check of the signatures going back in fulton county, you'll find at least a couple hundred thousand of forged signatures of people who have been forged, and we are quite sure that's going to happen. president trump also used find as follows, quote, now why aren't we doing signature and why can't it be open to the
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public? and why can't we have professionals do it instead of rank amateurs who will never find anything and don't want to find anything? they don't want to find, you know, they don't want to find anything. some day you'll tell me the reason why because i don't understand your reasoning, but some day you'll tell me the reason why, but why don't you want to find? president trump echoed his previous sentiments again in the context of pursuing a legitimate and robust investigation into the lack of signature verification for mail-in and absentee ballots. quote, and why can't we have professionals do it instead of rank amateurs who will never find anything and don't want to find anything? they don't want to find anything, you know. they don't want to find
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anything. they don't want to find, you know, they don't want to find anything. some day you'll tell me why because i don't understand your reasoning, but some day you'll tell me why, but why don't you want to find? we can go through signature verification and we'll find hundreds of thousands of signatures and you can let us do it and the only way you can do that -- do it, as you know, is to go to the past, but you didn't do that in cobb county. you just looked at one page compared to another. the only way you can do a signature verification is to go from one that's signed on november whatever recently and compare it to two years ago, four years ago, six years ago, you know, or even one, and you'll find that you have many different signatures, but in fulton where they dumped ballots, you will find that you have many that aren't even signed and that you have many
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forgeries, end quote. mr. trump continued to use the word find throughout the conversation. each and every time in the context of his request that mr. raffensperger undertake -- a review of signature verify kagsz and his concerns generally with ballot integrity and his reported electoral deficit here are a few examples. quote, but why wouldn't you want to find the right answer, brad? instead of keep saying that the numbers are right because those numbers are so wrong. another example. quote, we that if you check the signatures, a real check of the signature going back in fulton county, you'll find at least a couple hundred thousands of forged signatures of people who have been forged, and we are
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quite sure that's going to happen, end quote. moreover, there was nothing untoward with president trump or any other candidate for that matter speaking with the lead elections officer of a state. that's why the georgia secretary of state took a call along with members of his team, one of whom decided to record it and release it to the press. the only reason this conversation is being discussed in this chamber is because once again the media and their democratic allies distorted the true conversation to mislead you and the american public. so we have a complete lark of evidence for the article of impeachment presented by the house managers, so why are we
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he here? politics. their goal is to eliminate a political opponent, to substitute their judgment for the will of the voters. >> why bother with a senate trial of donald trump? he's no longer president. >> he'll be out of office anyway. >> is it to keep him from ever running again? >> make sure he can never run for office again. >> keep him from running from office again. >> donald trump would not be able to run for office again. >> barring him from running from office again. >> disqualified from running for office. >> diskwaulg him from ever running for office again. >> disqualify him for ever running from office again. >> it's about focussing that he can never run. >> enremove him from ever running for office again. >> never be able to run for office again. >> to ban a former president trump from running again. >> if we don't impeach this president, he will get re-elected. >> the goal is to eliminate a political opponent, to
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substitute their judgment for the will of the voters. members of the senate, our country needs to get back to work rp. i know that you know that, but instead we are here. malt majority party promised to unify and deliver more covid relief, but instead they did this. we will not take most of our time today, us of the defense, in the hopes that you will take back these hours and use them to get delivery of covid relief to the american people. let us be clear. the this trial is about far more than president trump. it is about silencing and banning the speech the majority
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does not agree with. the it is about cancelling 75 million trump voters and criminalizing political viewpoints. that is what this trial is really about. it's the only existential issue before us. it asks for constitutional cancel culture to take over in the united states senate. are we going to allow cancelling and banning and silencing to be sanctioned in this body? to the democrats who view this as a moment of opportunity, i urge you instead to look to the principles of free expression
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and free speech. i hope truly that the next time you're in the minority you don't find yourself in this position. to the republicans in this chamber, i ask when you are next in the majority, please resist what will be an overwhelming temptation to do this very same thing to the opposing party. members of the senate, this concludes the formal defense of the 45th president of the united states to the impeachment article filed by the house of representatives. i understand that there is a procedure in place for questions and we await them.
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thereafter we will close on behalf of president trump. mr. president, we yield the before our time. >> i ask unanimous concept we take a 15-minute recess. >> without objection the senate will stand in recess. welcome to our special live coverage. i'm jake tapper in washington. former president trump's legal team has now completed their presentation use only a few of their 16 allotted hours to make the case that senators should vote to acquit former president trump, the defense claiming that trump's words do not rise to the level of inciting a insurrection and that the attack on the u.s. capitol was not even an insurrection as all. next we expect senators will be able to ask any questions they have for the house team or managers, the question and answer session -- that
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question-and-answer session could give us clues about where key republicans stand on the final vote, whether to convict donald trump and just to go over the math again. it is a 50-50 senate. assuming all 50 democrats vote to convict there will need to be, assuming all senators are there, 17 republicans because it requires a two-thirds majority. 17 republicans to go along with this. that is a tall order. just to go over some of the arguments we just heard with dana and abby here, i mean, he said things that just -- we know not to be true. he said that donald trump hates violent mobs. that's not true. he hates violent mobs that are progressive or liberal violent mobs, antifa or black lives matter or democratic-affiliated mobs one way or the other, but he doesn't hate violent mobs. he said that because there is evidence that some elements of the insurrectionists had been pre-planning the attack that there's no way that the speech could have incited the attack.
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that, of course, ignores two facts, one, that he is -- he stands accused of inciting the attack over months and months and months and, two, that people who have been arrested and who were there say that they were incited by president trump that morning. nonetheless, keeping in mind that all they have to do is keep 34 out of 50 republican senators on board. will that be enough? >> yes, very likely. i'm not going to say with 100% certainty, but what you just described was a defense team grasping at straws, but those straws are there, and they got them, and that's really all that republicans who are looking for a way to explain their no vote need, and that's really what interests about for so many of these republicans. it's not necessarily for many of them that they think that the president's actions were -- were
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good or appropriate or presidential or even not just absolutely disgusting, but what they are looking for, so many of these republican senators, most them i would even say, is a way out and a way to vote to acquit, and this -- this defense argument that we heard for the past, i don't know, four hours certainly gives them a lot of opportunity to do that, particularly for the audience that they are speaking to, and for most of them it is the fox news audience that has heard a lot of this before. >> but i was actually surprised that towards the end there he was litigating the lie, the election fraud lie. it just seemed like a step too far and -- and frankly seemed unnecessary. i mean, he had made some arguments about whether the attack was pre-planned, about whether trump's words constituted incitement, whether even this was an insurrection
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although that's also not true but the idea that they would then throw the call with the secretary of state georgia brad raffensperger into the mix and then start talking about trump looking for fraudulent ballots and signatures that don't match, it seemed to -- to go into territory that i think many republican senators frankly did not want to delve into. nobody really wants to talk about the underlying problem here which is that trump believes something that is not true, that -- that he called raffensperger to pressure him to find votes based on lies and misinformation. the that whole call has been debunked and yet we saw the president's lawyers litigating it on the senate floor. kind of baffling to me frankly. >> but the lie that mr. castor just put forward that what donald trump was saying when he was encouraging people to fight was he wanted legislators to fight for him at the counting of
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the electoral votes and if they did not do what was right then they would be primaried. now a couple of points on that. one, obviously what he was doing he wanted the crowd to go to capitol hill to demonstrate at the very least, to demonstrate, at the very worst to intimidate people. >> that's what he said. >> that's why he said we're going to walk down pennsylvania avenue to go to the capitol and in addition to that i would just say that the invocation of primarying republicans, and he said that's the last thing everybody in the room wanted was an interesting one for him to make. i think that the threshold for the republican senators in that room to be insulted by anybody on the trump team is pretty high, but anderson had i been a republican senator in that room, i might have heard that as
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something of a threat in line with the idea that if you don't vote the right way, donald trump will work to primary you because that is already a pre-existing threat. >> and it's a threat that was made -- that was made even before the attempted insurrection, even donny trump jr., this is the party of trump and going after anybody in the party that is not on board with that. let's talk to our panel. ross garber, what did you make of his case? >> i didn't think castor's presentation was as strong as the two presentations we saw earlier, but i think it probably did its job. again, the audience here are the republican senators in the room and the trump voters outside the room so you have to look tat in that perspective, and i think it gave those audiences enough to hang their hats on. you know, he -- he took on the
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brandenberg case, essentially saying that if the first amendment applies, and they advocate that it does, the standard wasn't met, and the house managers sort of took that standard on also, and they said that it was met, so it seems like the battle is joined on the field of brandenberg, on that case. you know, the stuff about the -- the georgia secretary of state phone call, i think that was there in part because the former president's worried about it. yeah. there's a criminal investigation going on, and it's sort of the el.in the room, so i think that's why they probably took that on. you know, one final thing is, you know, they -- they also took on this factual dispute about what the president was doing as the riots -- as the occupation of the capitol building was happening. you know, they took right on. they said, you know, he responded quickly, as quickly as
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possible. the house managers said not so much. we've seen press reports from anonymous sources saying not so much, and, you know, that may be a key factual dispute >> the to me more than anybody else we've heard today he was channeling donald trump, completely channeling donald trump, saying that he was immediately -- he immediately called for calm without mentioning the tweet about mike pence which was read over a bullhorn by the insurrectionists and then deconstructing the word find in that raffensperger phone call which remind me of bill clinton depends on what the meaning of is. friends on what the meaning of find is as in find votes, and, again, i think it's because donald trump may be worried about that particular phone call, and then talking about, you know, the constitutional cancel culture which is sort of a buzz phrase for donald trump
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and for the republicans, and i think -- and then, again, pushing the election fraud as jake was talking about before, talking about an inexplicable drop in georgia mail-in ballots. these are donald trump's talking points. donald trump was angry at this attorney as we know and i think today he probably made up with it for the former president. >> laura, what did you hear? >> for me the lingering question still is what was then president trump doing? i mean, the second that castor raised this question and said, you know, essentially he was miss understood. judgment think about what congressman raskin said yesterday. use your common sense. everyone out there, if you were misunderstood at your place of employment say or in a general conversation or you made an off-color remark that didn't touch home and was lost in translake, you would contort yourself into a contrite pretzel trying to make sure that you were clearly understood. instead a long amount of time elapses, and it's just out there, not just because you
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wonder if somebody at the water cooler might not have understood you. there's zombie-like behavior scaling the walls of the cap to. at what point do you think it was incumbent upon president trump to act swiftly in the way that others would, have and i think that question is still out there. if he was truly misunderstood, why not act sooner and address that claim and say or suggest that it was constitutional cancel culture. no, it wasn't censorship on outside. it was him for some reason imposing a gag order on himself and not telling specifically to the world stop, do not fly a flag in my honor and scale the walls of the capitol and threaten a branch of my government. he didn't do that. they still haven't said why. >> well, anderson, the -- of the three presentations we heard today, the third one from mr. castor was the closest to trump's own incitement that triggered the riot.
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i think it signals. i agree with ross the somewhat gratuitous mention of raffensperger signals that trump is trying to regroup his core for the battles that lie ahead the vote that we're going to get ahead very shortly is just chapter one. accountability is going town fold over years. he's chosen. he has minority. he's going to keep the minority with him that. was today. >> we're standing by for the trump impeachment trial to resume. the former president's lawyers and house managers will respond to questions posed by senators. we're going to get a quick break and stay with us. i'm looking for my client. i'm his accountant. i'm so sorry. hey! -hey man, you're here! you don't trust me here in vegas, do you? uh, well... i thought we had a breakthrough with the volkswagen. -we did, yeah! we broke through. that's the volkswagen?! -that's the cross sport. wow. -seatbelts!
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welcome back to our special live coverage anthony moment now the trump impeachment trial will resume. they have taken a quick break. senators will then have an opportunity to submit written quiz to the house impeachment managers as well as the trump legal team. i want to go to cnn's chief white house correspondent kaitlan collins. so far the defense team, the three lawyers representing the former president, they only spent about two and a half hours making their respective case because they had 16 hours. they didn't do three. they didn't do four. they only did, kaitlan, two and a half hours. >> wolf, they didn't even come close to use all of their allotted time. that was never the plan, but we should note they went even shorter than we believed they were. we thought they were going to go closer to four hours during these arguments, but one reason, wolf, that's factoring into all
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of this that david schoen, one of the president's lead attorneys on this defense team, has to leave because he's observing the jewish saab bath and so he said he'll not be participating in the proceedings, of course, starting at sundown tonight. that means he would not be participate if they dragged on until tomorrow, so what i was told by someone familiar with what's going on with the team's thinking here is that they wanted him to be present for this question and answer session because often it can be very critical. sometimes you hear from the senators who are on the line about what to do here and they want to pose questions to each side and so that's a chance for these attorneys to come up and answer these questions and i was told they did not want bruce castor and some of the other attorneys being the ones leading that response so that's going to play a factor into what you're seeing here. wolf, one thing we should note that we talked about earlier is the three republican senators who went into the room last night with the former president's defense team to give them advice for their rebuttal today, i'm told that at times they were frustrated because they did not feel like think advice was breaking through to
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the attorneys because i was told the attorneys had been very defensive of their methods that they have pursued this week, of course, starting with bruce castor on tuesday, that performance that was widely panned. a lot of that criticism came from former president trump, their client, and, you know, that's not something if you're not using to getting that kind of criticism from president trump, you're not familiar with his tactics, i'm told it caught them off guard a little bit and you're seeing this factor in how all of this is being structured. >> stand by because we're waiting for this trial to resume, the question-and-answer session. john inning can, we heard from these three lawyers representing the former president, and david schoen who spoke for about 42 minutes, he made a strong case. they all did a lot better today than they did the first time around. >> i would say the first two lawyers made a strong case, again, democrats out there, trump critics out there aren't going to like what they said but they tried to press a first amendment but democrats would rebut that saying this is not a criminal court and the president
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takes an oath to the constitution and this supercedes it. they certainly made the political argument with over and over again playing the k4rir7s of the democrats saying fight, fight, fight leaving out the part that in none of those instances was there an attack on the united states government on the capitol building. however, mr. castor took a gamble by relitigating georgia. the georgia votes were recounted and audited three times and then he called the secretary of state trying to final, his word, more involvements that's an insult to the republicans essentially daring them. we think we have your vote anyway. we're not going to vote to convict. we're going to relitigate the big lie on the united states senate. it's a an insult to democracy and fact and to truth but they did it anyway. i'm fascinated by what we're about to see. this is the form. it's hard to see on television. this is the form the senators fill out if they have a question for either the managers or the president's council. now we assume coming into this that, you know, the math coming into this was not in favor of
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conviction. the was -- were any minds changed? is there some republican out there? are there more than one republicans out there who now are on the fence and want to ask a question? if that's the case we'll see evidence that have when they resume. i'm not saying that that's going to happen. this period, it would be interesting to watch who is asking the questions. is it the people who we're pretty sure how they are going to vet or is it people who could be surprises? >> their goal really, the three trump defense attorneys was i think the first goal was to please former president of the united states. clearly i think they did please trump. they wanted to reassure republican senators who may be waffling a little bit. i think they probably did, and they wanted to reassure that trump base out there that they knew what they were doing. jim acosta is right near mar-a-lago, right near west palm beach, florida. you've been talking to former white house aides to the then president. what are they telling you? >> reporter: wolf, i'm talking to some former white house officials, and keep in mind obviously there are some staffers who are with trump to
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the very end, no matter what he does, no matter what he says, but obviously there were white house officials at the time who were upset with what trump did, and they are still sickened to this day by his actions, and disappointed, i will tell you, in the defense mounted by his defense team. i talked to one. aides, a former senior white house officials earlier today, wolf works said that the president's lawyers were making a mistake in trying to relitigate and explain away trump's actions on january 6th. in the words of this official they lose when they are relitigating the tragedy of january 6th. talked to another former top white house official who said that this -- this person said she was still sickened by how trump treated vice president mike pence on that day. this former official said he wanted someone to blame and pence became the fall guy. this official said about how trump was trying to blame mike pence at the time for fail to overturn the election results, and in the words of this former official, quote, infuriating, end quote, is how this official described trump's behavior that
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day. the still, wolf, i talked to a former are adviser who said this team likely did now have. this was false claims made this afternoon and aired video clips of madonna, sort a papa don't impeach defense but this person said the impeachment team did enough to get a formal acquittal for the president. that's been the mission all along. didn't need to change hearts and minds because they knew at the end of the day this republican party is not going to convict this president, wolf. >> important point. by the way, we just saw lindsey grarnlg the republican senator from south carolina, very strong supporter of the then president, of former president trump, go into that room where the trump legal team has been convening. there you can see they are walking in, into that room adjacent to the senator floor where this trial is going to be
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resuming in the next few moments. pamela brown is watching all of this unfold for us. you have some insight, i understand, pamela, into one of the lines of defense that was laid out by the trump attorneys. >> right. one of the lines of defense was that president trump at the time was all about law and order, that he did not support the violent mob overtaking the capitol building that day, but what i know from what went on behind the scenes on january 6th at the white house is that after trump sent that initial tweet about pence, attacking pence, white house aides, including the white house press secretary and other top aides, tried to convince trump to send out a more forceful tweet. in fact, i'm told by sources that there is a general consensus behind the scenes of this is a real bad situation. we've got do something about this, so they tried to convince trump to send something else out to encourage people to be peaceful, and he did. he did about 14 minutes later when he said please support our
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capitol police and law enforcement. they are truly on the side of our country. stay peace. if the defense pointed to that tweet, but here's the thing, wolf. i'm told by sources behind the tweet trump did not want to add stay peaceful at end of that tweet. he was very resistant to it. the aides tried to convince him to do so. they were telling him how bad the situation was, how we needed tonight convenient so he reluctantly begrudgingly stay peaceful at end. peace but did not initially want to but it's worth raising as his attorneys there on the floor tried to lay out argument that he was trying to intervene and -- and trying to create calm in the midst of the violence, wolf. >> important point, indeed. manu raju is up on capitol hill, our chief congressional correspondent. manu, the goal -- the clear goal of these trump lawyers was to make sure that the former president is not convicted. you need 17 republican senators, assuming all 50 democratic senators vote to convict. you need 17 to convifnlgt you
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need a two-thirds majority. their goal seems to have been achieved. >> it does seem that way there. he's no real sign of a groundswell of republicans suddenly flipping to vote to convict donald trump, and that was clear even after the last two days of democratic presentations. the democratic managers have -- the presentation was actually well received by republican senators, but even so most were signaling that they were going to acquit donald trump over the process concerns about having a trial with a former president at stake here indicating that he's all but certain to be acquitted as soon as tomorrow afternoon. wolf, i just tried to ask lindsey graham, the senator from south carolina, a question as he was leaving a meeting just now with trump's defense attorneys during the break. he did not answer my questions. he walked into the chamber. similarly last night when he also met with two other republican senators, senators ted cruz and mike lee. also wouldn't answer questions. also ted cruz is in with the trump's defense team now.
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he just was spotted by our colleague ted barrett walking into that room they have gotten some criticism because, of course, they are jurors in this trial, supposed to be impartial, but, of course, this is also an impeachment trial, different than a criminal trial, so they are pushing back and saying this is not totally unusual, but the optics have gotten -- prompted some pushback from democrats in particular, but nevertheless what we're seeing, wolf, is a trial that's close to wrapping up. we expect the question and answer period to happen just in a matter of minutes. we expect it to be done potentially around dinnertime tonight. tomorrow we're expecting them to reconvene and begin the close arguments on each side and heading into the crucial vote heading into tomorrow afternoon which will determine whether or not donald trump will be convicted. 67 votes are needed. 67 votes are just not there. >> this written question and
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answer session they can go as many as four hours and i have the card here in wit senators will actually be writing the names. has the senator's name on there and says counsel, managers, who they want to direct it to. they will write the question, be given to patrick leahy presiding over the proceedings and he'll read aloud the question and there will be answers. four hours long. we don't expect it to go the full four hours. any senator can ask any question but the leadership on both sides are trying to limit the questions as they get these proceedings done. >> they will do the next q&a in the next two, three or four hours and then they will resume tomorrow morning. >> that's exactly what i'm hearing from sources on both sides of the aisle that they expect to resume the closing arguments tomorrow. they have not said whether they will seek witnesses, the democratic impeachment maine, but all indications are that they will not. they believe they have made their case. the democrats don't see any witnesses who could add anything more and certainly both sides are ready to move on.
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wolf, there is a recess next week, a congressional recess in the senate. don't discount incentive for members of congress to be done with these proceedings, get home and enjoy their week-long recess. one reason why we're seeing these proceedings moving pretty quickly to get done by tomorrow afternoon. >> i suspect the senators are happy. the trump lawyers only spent about two and a half hours making their respective case. jake, over to you. >> thanks, wolf, and i just want to highlight there was a tweet just now from an election official in georgia, a republican, gabriel sterling who you might remember inering december was warning trump and trump supporters to stop lying about the election because someone was going to get hurt. someone was going to get killed. obviously mr. sterling's prediction, unfortunately, became true. he was responding to the fact that trump's attorney bruce castor suggested that there was an inexplicable drop in the mail ballot rejection rate in georgia. sterling popped up on twitter and said some of us are working.
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are i hear we were talked about, what's going on and he just said, quote, the initial absentee rejection rate for signature issue was about double in 2020 as in 2018, so the exact opposite, actually more ballots were rejected in 2020 than in 2018. the exact opposite of what the president's attorney mr. castor said, and then gabriel sterling writes shocking lit disinformation continues. and let's just put not too fine a point on this, abby and dana, but disinformation is coming from the president's attorneys o.j.or on the floor of the u.s. senate. they are telling lies. some of the lies are factual that they can be proven to be lies as what mr. sterling, again, a republican election official in georgia just tweeted. some of them are just common sense lies. we know trump does not hate mobs. he just hates liberal mobs. trump -- people who stormed the capitol that day said that they were incited that day by the
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words the president made. the bruce castor argued, quote, clearly there was no insurrection. mitch mcconnell has called it an insurrection, so i agree with what john king said. they could have gone out there and said, look, it's a bad precedent to set to impeachment someone who is no longer president or, look, constitutionally this is up in the air and we don't think it's constitution a. they are not doing that. they are lying. they are telling lies. they are misrepresenting the facts, and the truth is that i don't think a lot of those republican senators care, frankly. they have made up their mind. maybe some of them believe lives. maybe some of them say democrats, lied, too. whatever it is, it's kind of shocking. >> well, it is -- it isn't if you know how people around donald trump act and react to him. >> i didn't say it was surprise. i said it was shocking. >> let me put a little bit more meat on that bone. you heard kaitlan talk about our
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reporting is that trump laid into castor because he did so poor lit first day of his opening arguments, so the way that he seems to have reacted and changed his presentation today was toss speak trumpian. >> yeah. >> and to -- to try to please client as much as possible, much more than the others did, and not to say that they didn't. i mean, to me the most telling example of that is when he said trump is the most anti-mob violence leader. >> yeah. >> i don't remember, you know, him saying until it was too late stop doing this. it took him three tries, and, i don't know, what two or three days. >> he parades the mob. >> he said i love you. you're very special. >> that's such a trumpian statement. you can hear donald trump saying something like that. he's use his parlance. >> i described it as gratuitous earlier because i do think some of it is about making trump feel
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better about his own defense, less so about actually convincing anyone in that room one way or the other. some of the stuff said today was clearly about just conveying to trump that his lawyers are putting forward an argument that he's comfortable with, so it's not -- you know, i don't think it was particularly smart. i don't know that it's helpful to them, but that's the objective, but i do think when we get into this q&a section which is coming up they will get a lot of questions to your point, dana, about trump's inaction, but his other comments, i mean, how do they explain the i love you team. go home in peace. you're patriots. you'll remember this day forever. >> this is what happens when people deny an election is stolen. >> effectively. this is going to be the cross-examination here, but the president's lawyers will have to explain why did trump attack mike pence at 2:24 in the afternoon in the middle of the riot?
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why did he do that? why did he send out twooets pra praising the rioters? now comes the time perhaps when they have to happen. >> and the corruption of the term cancel a thorough conversation about whether somebody should be canceled if you tweeted something dumb ten years ago, that is a conversation and a debate society should have. inciting an insurrection is not about -- that's not what cancel culture refers to. let's go to jim acosta near mar-a-lago. you have reporting on mr. trump's reaction to what we all say this afternoon. >> yeah, jake. not surprisingly, the former president is happier with today's performance versus the performance that was widely panned earlier this week. just talked to a source on the defense team who confirmed this moments ago. and why not? why would the president not like
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what he saw today? it was an homage to his grievances that he talked about for many years. these were defense lawyers who talked about charlottesville. they were pedaling the election lies, that the electric was stolen from the president. they were showing clips of celebrities going after donald trump. it was filled with all his grievances, it seemed, throughout the afternoon. so it's not surprising, given what we saw earlier this week where bruce casto one of the impeachment attorneys was stammering and heming and hawing throughout his presentation, today was a lot more focused. they were emphasizing that as we were talking to them yesterday. bruce castor told me they were streamlining and cutting down this presentation today for the sake of getting in and out of there quickly. i talked to a source close to the president who has been consulted from time to time on legal issues who said, you know, this defense team should just sit down and get it over with. and so i think that it's not
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surprising that the former president is reacting more positively today to what we saw because, you know, essentially what we saw today was an episode of trump tv. i mean, this is exactly what the president likes to see when he watches fox news or conservative television. he wants to see talking heads, p peddling his grievances and his lies and what about-ism and that's essentially what we got all afternoon long. >> that's the truth, i'm sure donald trump is happier. first of all it would be hard to have a worst presentation than the one the trump defense lawyers did a few days ago. and, second of all, i said this a few days ago, too, that those guys could stand up there and recite jaborwacki and not going to be able to find enough republican senators to convict. that said, why not at least put on the show that the base will love, especially the client? and they did.
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>> of course they did. but i am very interested to see how they're going to answer the obvious questions that democrats have. republicans are going to get questions for house managers, too, and that will be interesting as well. but the omission you were talking about earlier, abby, the obvious ones about mike pence, why didn't he do anything about it, why did he continue to tweet? i don't know. did he know not just from watching coverage, but because he was president of the united states and he is defended by and kept safe by secret service, the same people who were ushering mike pence into safety, into a secure location, how could he not know about that? and then, of course, the larger, most important question is does the president still believe that the election was stolen, that the election was rigged, the lie that led to all of this?
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>> well, of course. >> he does. >> are they going to answer that? >> not only does he but again, the idea that the lawyer, bruce castor, repeated the election lies on the senate floor is really astounding. i mean, he was lying about what happened in georgia, as you explained, based on the fact check from gabriel sterling's tweet. and i think that cuts against their argument that they were making a few days ago, that trump lost the election, and that the voters kicked him out and that this whole thing doesn't even need to happen because the voters already spoke. trump still doesn't believe that. so they're mixing up their argument today, because it will make the boss happy. but it's undercutting them. again, none of this may matter because republican senators are looking for anything to hold on to, but if you care about facts and the truth, it should bother you that they're going back and forth on that very simple point. >> we care about facts and the
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truth, and presumably our viewers do. i don't know about everybody in that room. let's go to jeff zeleny on capitol hill. you have insight on what senators were doing during these arguments. >> reporter: jake, they were thinking about the questions they are about to ask in the next session here. we know most republicans are not going to ask simply anything at all. they're going to move on very quickly here. >> i'm sorry to interrupt. we're going to go back to the senate chamber. >> the senate has provided up to four hours during which senators may submit questions in writing directed either to the managers on the part of the house of representatives or counsel for the former president. majority leader? >> president, i ask unanimous consent that the answers within the four-hour question period be limited to five minutes each. and if the questions are directed to both tparties that times be equally divided.
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furthermore, that questions alternate sides for posing questions for as long as the time they have for posing questions. >> without objection, so ordered. >> mr. president i have a question for the desk. >> the senator will submit it. the question from senator schumer and senator feinstein is directed to the house managers. the clerk will read it. >> isn't it the case that the violent attack and siege on the capitol on january 6th would not have happened if not for the conduct of president trump?
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>> up to five minutes. >> to answer your question very directly, donald trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob. although he could have forcefully intervened to stop the violence, he never did. in other words, this violent, bloody insurrection that occurred january 6th would not have occurred but for president trump. the evidence we presented at trial makes this absolutely clear. this attack, as we said, didn't come from one random speech, and
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it didn't happen by accident. and that mob didn't come out of thin air. before the election, donald trump spread lie after lie about potential spread in an election, remember, that hadn't even happened yet. months before the election took pl place, he was saying it was rigged, that it was going to be stolen. all to make his supporters believe that the only way he was going to lose is is if the election was stolen, if the election was rigged. when he did lose, he spent week after week inciting his supporters to believe their votes had been stolen and the election was fraudulent and it was their patriotic duty to fight like hell to stop the steal and take their country back. remember, this is in the united states where our vote is our voice. you tell somebody that an election victory is being stolen from them, that's a combustible situation. and he gave them clear direction
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on how to deal with that. for example, on december 19th, 18 days prior to january 6th, president trump told them how and where to fight for it. he first issued his call to action for january 6th. this was a save the date sent 18 days before the event on january 6th, and it wasn't just a casual one-off reference or a singular invitation. for the next 18 days he had directed all the rage he incited to january 6th and that was, for him, what he saw as his last chance to stop the transfer of power, to stop from losing the presidency. and he said things like, quote, fight to the death and january 6th will be a, quote, wild and, quote, historic day and this was working. they got the message. in the days leading to the attack, report after report, social media post after social media post confirmed that these
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insurgents were planning armed violence, that they were planning it because he had been priming them, because he had been amping them up. that's why they were planning it. these posts confirmed by reports from the fbi and capitol police made clear that these insurgents were planning to carry weapons, including guns to target the capitol itself. and yet donald trump, from january 5th to the morning of his speech, tweeted 34 times, urging his supporters to get ready to stop the steal. he even -- on the eve of the attack, warned us it was coming. he warned us that thousands were descending into d.c. and would not take it anymore. and when they got here at the save america march he told them again in that speech exactly what to do. his lawyer opened with, quote, let's have trial by combat. that was rudy giuliani.
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and donald trump brought that message home. in fact, he praised rudy giuliani as a fighter. president trump used the words "fight" or "fighting" 20 times in that speech. remember, you just told these thousands of people that somebody has stolen your election, your victory. you're not going to get the president that you love. senators, that is an incredibly combustible situation, when people are armed and they've been saying that they're mad as hell and they're not going to take it anymore. he looked out to a sea of thousands, some wearing body armor, holding sticks and flag poles, some of which they would later use to beat capitol police, and told them that they could play by different rules. play by different rules. he even, at one point, quite literally pointed to the capitol as he told them to fight like hell.
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after the attack, we've shown clearly that once the attack began, insurgent after insurgent made clear they were following the president's orders. you saw us present that evidence of the insurgents who were there that day who said i came because the president asked me to come. i was here at his invitation. you saw that of the folks that were in the capitol that day. >> time has expired. are there further questions? >> mr. president? >> senator from south carolina have a question? >> thank you very much, mr. president. >> submit it. >> i send a question to the desk on behalf of myself, senator cruz, marshall and cramer to cou
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counsel. >> senator graham for himself, senator cruz, senator marshall and senator cramer submits a question for the counsel for donald trump. clerk will read it. >> does a politician, raising bail for rioters, encourage more rioting? >> counsel has five minutes. >> yes. >> does counsel yield back the rest of their time? counsel's time is yielded back. are there other questions? >> mr. president? >> the senator from georgia. >> i have a question for the desk.
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>> send it to the desk . the senator from georgia, senator warnock, has a question for the house managers. clerk will read the question. >> is it true or false that in the months leading up to january 6th, dozens of courts, including state and federal courts in georgia rejected president trump's campaign's efforts to overturn his loss to joe biden? >> house managers are recognized for five minutes. >> mr. president, senators, that
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is true. that's true. i want to be clear, though, that we have absolutely no problem with president trump having pursued his belief that the election was being stolen or that there was fraud or corruption or unconstitutionality. we have no problem at all with him going to court to do it. he did, and he lost in 61 straight cases, in federal court and state court. in the lowest courts in the land, in the u.s. supreme court, he lost. he lost in courts in pennsylvania, arizona, georgia, michigan, minnesota, nevada and wisconsin. all of them said the same thing, they couldn't find any corruption, any fraud, certainly nothing that would rise to the material level that would alter the outcome of the election. that's the american system. so, i mean, it's hard to imagine him having gotten more due process than that in pursuing what happens come to be known
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popularly as the big lie, the idea that somehow the electric was being stolen from him. and we have no problem with the fact that he went to court to do all those things. but notice, number one, the big lie was refuted, devastated and demolished in federal and state courts across the land, including by eight judges appointed by president donald trump himself. we quoted earlier in the case what happened in pennsylvania where u.s. district court judge matthew brand said in the united states this can -- the court has been presented with strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations. this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let the sixth most populous state. then it went up to the judge who is a trump appointee, part of
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appeals panel. he said the campaign's claims have no merit. the number of ballots it significantly challenged was far smaller than 81,000 victory. it never claims fraud, plus tossing out millions of mail-in ballots would be drastic and disenfranchising a huge swath of the electorate, and affecting the down ballot races, too, that even though they weren't being challenged, was the exact same ballot that was being brought. the president went from his traditional combat, which was fine, to intimidating and bullying state legislators and leaders. and then assembling the mob, inciting the mob and lighting the match.
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he's exercising his rights to inciting violence. that's what this trial is about. we heard very little of that from the presentation of the president's lawyers. they didn't address the facts of the case at all. there were a couple propaganda rules about democrat ic senator that was totally irrelevant about the case before us. whatever you think about it, it's irrelevant. and we'll be happy to address the first amendment arguments. >> mr. president? >> the senator from maine. >> mr. president, i send a question to the desk .
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>> the question is from senator collins and senator murkowski. it is for the counsel for the former president. clerk will read. >> exactly when did president trump learn of the breach of the capitol? what specific actions did he take to bring the rioting to an end? and when did he take them? please be as detailed as poss possible. >> clerk read that question again?
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>> exactly when did president trump learn of the breach of the capitol, and what specific actions did he take to bring the rioting to an end, and when did he take them? please be as detailed as poss possible. >> the house managers have given us absolutely no evidence to answer that question. we're able to piece together a timeline, and it goes all the way back to december 31st, january 2nd, there is a lot of interaction between the authorities and getting folks to have security beforehand. on the day, we have a tweet at 2:38. it was certainly some time before then. with the rush to bring this impeachment, there's been
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absolutely no investigation into that. and that's the problem with this entire proceeding. the house managers did zero investigation. the american people deserve a lot better than coming in here with no evidence, hearsay on top of hearsay, on top of reports that are of hearsay. due process is required here and that was denied. >> mr. president? >> senator from nevada. >> mr. president i send a question to the desk .
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>> the senator from nevada submits a question for the house managers. and the clerk will read it. >> on january 6th, the anti-semitic proud boys group that president trump had told to stand by laid siege to the capitol alongside other rioters, including one wearing a camp auschwitz shirt. is there evidence that president trump knew or should have known
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that his tolerance of anti-semitic speech, hate speech, combined with his own rhetoric could incite the kind of violence we saw on january 6th? >> mr. president, senators, donald trump has a long history of praising and encouraging violence as you saw. he has espoused hateful rhetoric himself. he has not just tolerated it, but has encouraged hateful speech by others. he has refused, as you saw in the september debate, that interview, to condemn extremists and white supremacist groups like the plowed boys. and he has, at every opportunity, encouraged and
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cultivated actual violence by these groups. yes, he has encouraged actual violence, not just the word "fight." he told groups like the proud boys, who had beaten people with baseball bats to stand by. when his supporters in the 50-car caravan tried to drive a bus of biden campaign workers off the road, he tweeted a video of that incident with fight music attached to it and wrote "i love texas." when his supporters sent death threats to the republican secretary of state raffensberger in georgia he sent tweets calling him an enemy of the state even after he knew of those death threats and maga march when it erupted in violence and burned churches he began that day with the tweet,
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"we have just begun to fight." donald trump is not on trial for those prior statements. however, that hateful, violent and inappropriate they may be, but his statements, the president's statements make absolutely clear three important points for our case. first, president trump had a pattern and practice of praising and encouraging violence, never condemning it. it is not a coincidence that those very same people, proud boys, organizers of the trump caravan, supporters and speakers of the second million maga march all showed up on january 6th to an event that he had organized with those same individuals who had organized that violent attack. second, his behavior is different. it's not just that it was a comment by an official to fight for a cause. this is months of cultivating a
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base of people who were violent. not potentially violent, but were violent. and that that prior conduct both helped him cultivate the very group of people that attacked us. it also shows clearly that he had that group assembled, inflamed and all the public reports ready to attack. he deliberately encouraged them to engage in violence on january 6th. president trump had spent months calling his supporters to a march on a specific day at a specific time for a specific purpose. what else were they going to do to stop the certification of the election on that day but to stop you, but to stop you physically? there was no other way, particularly after his vice president said that he would
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refuse to do what the president asked. the point is this. by the time you call the calvary of his thousands of supporters on january 6th, an event he had invited them to, he had every reason to know that they were armed, violent and ready to actually fight. he knew who he was calling and the violence they were capable of. and he still gave his marching orders to go to the capitol and, quote, "fight like hell" to stop the steal. how else was that going to happen? if they stayed at the ellipse, maybe it would have been to fight in protest with their words. but to come to the capitol? that is why this is different.
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and that is why he must be convicted and acquitted. >> and disqualified. >> and disqualified. >> mr. president? on behalf of senator scott of south carolina and myself, i would like to submit a question to the desk. >> it will be so submitted. thank you. >> the question is for counsel
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for the former president from senators haggerty and scott of south carolina. clerk will read the question. >> geven that more than 200 people have been charged for their conduct at the capitol on january 6th that our justice system is working to hold the appropriate persons accountable and that president trump is no longer in office, isn't this simply a political show trial that is designed to discredit president trump and his policies and shame the 74 million americans who voted for him?
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>> thank you, senators, for that question. that's precisely what the 45th president believes this gathering is about. we believe in law and order, and trust that the federal authorities that are conducting investigations and prosecutions against the criminals that invaded this building will continue their work and be as aggressive and thorough as we mow them to always be, and that they will continue to identify those that entered the inner sanctum of our government and desecrated it. the 45th president no longer holds office. there is no sanction available under the constitution in our view for him to be removed from office that he no longer holds. the only logical conclusion is that the purpose of this gathering is to embarrass the 45th president of the united states and in some way try to create an opportunity for
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senators to suggest that he should not be permitted to hold office in the future or, at the very least, publicize this throughout the land to try to damage his ability to run for office when and if he is acquitted. and at the same time, tell the 74 million people who voted for him that their choice was the wrong choice. i believe this is a divisive way of going about handling impeachment and denigrades the solemnity that should be attached to such proceedings. i yield the remainder of my time. >> mr. president? >> senator from massachusetts. >> president, i send a question for the house managers to the
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desk because the president's counsel did not answer the question. >> the senator will send the question . the question is from senator markey, senator duckworth to the managers of the house of representatives. the clerk will read the ques question. >> exactly when did the president learn of the breach at the capitol and what steps did he take to address the violence? please be as detailed as
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possible possible. >> do you wish to respond? >> mr. president, senators, this
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attack was on live tv. on all major networks in real time. the president has access to information, including reports inside the capitol. he knew the violence under way and knew the severity of the thr threats and, most importantly, he knew that capitol police were overwhelmingly outnumbered and in a fight for their lives against thousands of insurgents with weapons. we know he knew that. we know that he did not send any individuals. we did not hear any tweets. we did not hear him tell those individuals, stop! this is wrong. you must go back. we did not hear that. so what else did the president do? we are unclear, but we believe it was a dereliction of his duty
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and that's because he was the one who had caused them to come to the capitol, and they were doing what he asked them to do. so, there was no need for him to stop them from what they were engaged in. but one of the things i would like to ask is we still have not heard and posed to you all the questions raised by mr. raskin, manager raskin in his closing argument. why did the president trump not tell the protesters to stop as soon as he learned about? why did president trump do nothing to stop the attack for two hours after the attack began? why did president trump do nothing to help protect the capitol and law enforcement, battling the insurgents? you saw the body cam of a capitol police officer at 4:29 still fighting. 4:29, after since, what time, 1:00, 2:00 in the afternoon.
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why did he not condemn the violent insurrection on january 6th? those are the questions that we have as well. and the reason this question keeps coming up is because the answer is nothing. >> mr. president? >> the senator from utah. >> i send a question to the de desk. >> the senator from utah, mr. romney, on behalf of himself and senator collins send a question.
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and the clerk will read it. oh, i apologize. the question is for both sides. so the time will be evenly div divided. >> when president trump sent the disparaging tweet at 2:24 p.m. regarding vice president pence, was he aware that vice president had been removed from the senate by the secret service for his safety? >> the house manager? and time will be evenly divided between. will the clerk read the question
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again? >> when president trump sent the disparaging tweet at 2:24 p.m. regarding vice president pence, was he aware that the vice president had been removed from the senate by the secret service for his safety? >> house representative managers are recognized for 2:30. >> thank you. let me tell you what he said at 2:24 p.m. he said mike pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution. usa demands the truth. you know by now what was all over the media. you couldn't turn on the television, the radio, couldn't consume any media or probably take any phone calls or anything else without hearing about this and also hearing about the vice president. and here is what donald trump had to know at that time, because the whole world knew it. all of us knew it.
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live television had, by this po point, shown that the insurgents were already inside the building and that they had weapons and that the police were outnumbered. and here are the facts that are not in dispute. donald trump had not taken any measures to send help to the overwhelmed capitol police. as president at that point when you see all this going on and the people around you are imploring uh-uh to do something and your vice president is there, why wouldn't you do it? donald trump had not publicly condemned the attack, the attackers or told them to stand down despite multiple pleas to do so and donald trump hadn't even acknowledged the attack. and after wednesday's trial portion concluded, as senator tuberville spoke to reporters and confirmed the call he had with the president and did not dispute manager cicilline's
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description in any way that there was a call between he and the president around the time that mike pence was being ushered out of the chamber, and that was shortly after 2:00 p.m. and senator tuberville specifically said that he told the president, mr. president, they just took the vice president out. i've got to go. that was shortly after 2:00 p.m. there were still hours of chaos, carnage and mayhem. the vice president and his family were still in danger at that point. our commander in chief did not nothing. >> counsel for the former president? >> the answer is no. at no point was the president informed that the vice president was in any danger, because the house rushed through this impeachment in seven days with no evidence. there's nothing at all in the record on this point, because the house failed to do even a
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minimum amount of due diligence. what the president did know is that there was a violent -- there was a violent riot happening at the capitol. that's why he repeatedly called via tweet and video for the riots to be stopped, to be peaceful, to respect capitol police and law enforcement and commit no violence and to go home. but to be clear, this is an article of impeachment for incitement. this is not an article of impeachment for anything else. it's one count. they could have charged anything they wanted. they chose to charge incitement. so the question, although answered directly no, it's not really relevant to the charges for the impeachment in this case. and i just want to clear up one more thing.
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mr. castro, in his first answer, may have spoke, but what he said was mr. trump had said "fight to the death." that's false. i'm hoping he misspoke. thank you. >> mr. president? >> the senator from minnesota. >> mr. president, on behalf of myself and senators casey and brown, i send a question to the desk
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desk. >> question from senator klobuchar, casey and brown to the house managers. the clerk will report. >> in presenting your case, you relied on pass precedence from impeachment trials such as william belnap's impeachment. after what you presented in the course of this trial, if we do not convict former president trump, what message will we be sending to future presidents and congresses ?
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>> president trump engaged in a course of conducted that incited an armed attack on the capitol. he did so while seeking to overturn the results of the election and thwart the transfer of power. and when the attack began, he further incited violence aimed to his own vice president, even as demonstrated his state of mind by failing to defend us and the law enforcement officials who protect us. the consequences of his conduct were devastating on every level. police officers were left overwhelmed, unprotected. congress had to be evacuated, our staff barricaded in this building, calling their families to say good-bye. some of us, like mr. raskin, had children here. and these people in this
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building, some of whom were on the fbi's watch list, took photos, stood laptops, destroyed precious statues, including one of john lewis. desecrated the statue of a recently deceased member of congress who stood for nonviolence. this was devastating. and the world watched us, and the world is still watching us. to see what we will do this day, and we'll know what we did this day 100 years from now. those are the immediate consequences, and our actions will reverberate as to what are the future consequences. the extremists who attacked the capitol at the president's provocation will be emboldened.
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all of our intelligence agencies have confirmed this. it is not house managers saying that. there are quite literally st standing by and standing ready. donald trump told them this is only the beginning. they are waiting and watching, to see if donald trump is right that everyone said this was totally appropriate. let me also bring something else up. i'll briefly say that defense counsel put a lot of videos out in their defense, playing clip after clip of black women talking about fighting for a cause or an issue, or a policy. it was not lost on me, as so many of them were people of color and women, black women. black women like myself, who are sick and tired of being sick and
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tired for our children, your children, our children. this summer, things happened that were violent, but there were also things that gave some of us black women great comfort, seeing amish people from pennsylvania standing up with us. members of congress fighting up with us. and so i thought we were past that. i think maybe we're not. there are longstanding consequences. decisions like this that will define who we are as a people, who america is. we have, in this room, made monumental decisions. you all have made monumental decisions. we've declared wars, passed civil rights acts, ensured that no one in this country is a
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slave. every american has the right to vote, unless you live in a territory. at this time, some of these decisions are even controversial, but history has shown that they define us as a country and as a people. today is one of those moments, and history will wait for our deci decision. >> mr. president? >> the senator from utah. >> i send a question to the desk
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desk. >> the senator from utah, mr. lee, sends a question on behalf of himself, senator blackburn, senator portman and the question is for the counsel for the former president. clerk will read. >> multiple state constitutions enacted prior to 1787, namely the constitutions of delaware, virginia, pennsylvania and vermont specifically provided for the impeachment of a former officer. given that the framers of the u.s. constitution would have been aware of these provisions,
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does their decision to emit language, specifically authorizing the impeachment of former officials indicate that they did not intend for our constitution to allow for the impeachment of former officials? >> good question. and the answer is, yes, of course they left it out. the framers were very smart men. and they went over draft, after draft, after draft on that document. and they reviewed all the other drafts of all of the state constitutions, all of them. and they picked and choosed what they wanted, and they discarded what they did not. and what they discarded was the
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option for all of you to impeach a former elected official. i hope that's answering your question. thank you. you. >> mr. president? >> the senator from california. >> mr. president i send a question to the desk . >> senator from california submits a question for the house managers. the clerk will report.
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>> having been on the front lines of combating the big lie for the past four years as california's chief elections officer, it is clear that president trump's plot to undermine the 2020 election was built on lies and conspiracy theories. how did this plot to unconstitutionally keep president trump in power lead to the radicalization of so many of president trump's followers and the resulting attack on the capitol?
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>> senators, donald trump spent months inciting his supporters to believe that the election was stolen. that was the thing that would get people so angry. think about that. what it would take to get a large group of thousands of americans so angry to storm the capitol. that was the purpose behind donald trump saying that the election had been rigged and that the election had been stolen. and, to be clear, when he says the election is stolen, what he's saying is that the victory -- he even says one time, the election victory is being stolen from them. think about how significant that is to americans. again, you're right, over 70 million. i think 74 million people voted for donald trump. and this wasn't a one-off comment. it wasn't one time. it was over and over and over
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and over again, with a purpose. we're not having this impeachment trial because donald trump contested the election. as i said during the presentation, no one here wants to lose an election. we all run our races to win elections, but what president trump did was different. what our commander in chief did was the polar opposite of what we're supposed to do. we let the people decide the elections, except president trump. the january 6th, the last chance -- to him, that was the last chance. this was certifying the election results. he needed to whip up that mob, amp them up enough to get out there to try to stop the election results, the certification of the election.
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and y'all, they took over the senate chamber to do that. they almost took over the house chamber. there were 50 or so or more house members who literally were scared for their lives up in the gallery. a woman who bought into that big lie died because she believed the president's big lie. this resulted in a loss of one of his supporters' lives. a capitol police officer died that day. other of president trump's supporters. two capitol police officers ended up taking their own lives. defense counsel, their defense is basically everything president trump did is okay, and he could do it again. is that what we believe? that there is no problem with
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that? that it's perfectly fine if he does the same thing all over again? this is dangerous. he's inciting his base. he was using the claim of a rigged election. we have never seen somebody do that over and over and over again, tell a lie, say six months ahead of time that it's a rigged election. there is a dangerous consequences to that. when you've got millions of followers on twitter and millions of followers on facebook and you've got that huge bully pulpit from the white house and you're the president of the united states. there say cost to doing that. people are listening to you in a way that, quite honestly, they're not listening to me and they're not listening to all of us in this room. i just want to clear up the defense counsel made a point about something that i read earlier. defense counsel suggested i misspoke. i just want to clarify for the
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record that the tweet i referenced, let me read you the tweet directly. if a democrat presidential candidate had an election rigged and stolen with proof of such acts at a level never seen before, democrat senators would consider it an act of war and fight to the death. mitch and the republicans do nothing. just want to let it pass. no fight. so, donald trump was equating what democrats would do if the election was stolen. he said they would fight to the death. why do you think he sends that tweet? he's trying to say, hey, the other side would fight to the death, so you should fight to the death. i mean, do we read that any other way?
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>> mr. president. >> senator from missouri. >> mr. president on my behalf and on behalf of senator cramer, i send a question to the desk. >> senator hawley and senator cramer send a question for the counsel and house manager. and following our procedure, the first one to respond after it's read will be counsel for the
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former president. >> if the senate's power to disqualify is not derivitive of the power to remove a convicted president from office could the senate disqualify a sitting president but not remove him or her? >> if the senate's power is not de de
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derivative of the power to remove a former president -- convicted president from office could the senate remove a current president? >> no. but mr. castro said president trump told his supporters to fight to the death. i thought i would correct the record but instead he came up and illustrated a problem with the house case. it's been smoke and mirrors and, worse, it's been dishonest. he came up and tried to cover
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when he got caught, as they were caught earlier today with all of the evidence, checking tweets, switching dates, everything they did. bear in mind, i had two days to look at their evidence. and when i say two days, i mean they started putting in their evidence, so i started to be able to get looking at it. that is not the way this should be done. but what we discovered was, he knew what he was doing. he knew that the president didn't say that to his people. what he said was, if it happened to the dems, this is what they would do. in his speech that day, do you know what he said? he said if this happened to the democrats, if the election was stolen from the democrats, all hell would break loose. but he said to his supporters, we are smarter. we are stronger.
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and we're not going to do what they did all summer long. so what he did was, he misrepresented a tweet to you to put forth the narrative that is wrong. it's wrong. it's dishonest. and the american people don't deserve this any longer. you must acquit. >> managers on the part of the house of representatives have 2: 2:30. >> that was profoundly inaccurate and irrelevant to what the question is, so let me get back to the question. so under article ii, section 4, a president who is in office must be convicted before
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removal. and then must be removed before disqualification. but if the president is already out of office, he can be separately disqualified, as this president is. but these powers have always been treated as separate, which is why i think there have been eight people who have been convicted and removed and just three of them disqualified. as you know, there's a totally separate process within the senate for doing this. the constitution requires two-thirds vote for conviction, but for disqualification, it's a majority vote. it's a separate thing. so, people could vote to convict and then not to disqualify, if they felt that the evidence demonstrated that the president was guilty of incitement to insurrection, they could vote to
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convict. but if they felt they didn't want to exercise the further power established by the constitution to disqualify, they wouldn't have to do that. and that could be something that is taken up separately by the senate by majority vote. >> mr. president? >> the senator from massachusetts. >> i send a question to the desk desk. >> the senator from massachusetts has a question for the house managers. the clerk will read the
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ques question. >> the defense's presentation highlighted the fact that democratic members of congress raised objections to counting of electoral votes in past joint sessions of congress. to your knowledge, were any of those democratic objections raised after insurrectionists stormed the capitol in order to prevent the counting of electoral votes and after the president's personal lawyer asked senators to make these objections specifically to delay the certification?
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>> this has actually been a kind of proud bipartisan tradition under the electoral college because it's so arcane and there's so many rules to it that the co-counsel on the other side had some fun because i was one of the people who took, i think, 30 seconds in 2016 to point out that the electors from florida were not conforming to the letter of the law because there's a rule in florida you cannot be a dual office holder. you can't be a state legislator and also be an elector. that was improper form. but i think then vice president biden properly gavelled me down and said we're going to try to make the electoral college work
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and vindicate the will of the people. nobody has stormed the capitol before or, as representative cheney, the secretary of the republican conference said, gone out and summoned a mob, assembled a mob, incited a mob and lit a match, as representative cheney said, this would -- that all of this goes to the doorstep of the president. none of it would have happened without him. and all of it is due to his actions. that's the chair of the house republican conference who was the target of an effort to remove her, which was rejected on the vote of by more than 2-1 in the house republican conference when there was an attempt to remove her for voting for impeachment and becoming a leader for vindicating our constitutional values. so, please don't mix up what republicans and democrats have done, i think, in every election for a long time to say there are improprieties going on in conforming with state election laws with the idea of mobilizing
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a mob insurrection against the government that got five people killed, 140 capitol officers wounded and threatened the actual peacef ful succession of power and transfer of power. if you want to talk about reforming the electricoral college, we can do that. you don't do it with violence. >> mr. president? >> thank you, my apologies to the senator for massachusetts for butting in. i send a question to the desk for the former president's attorneys.
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attorneys. >> the question from senator cramer is for the counsel for the former president. the clerk will read the ques question. >> given the allegations of the house manager that president trump has tolerated anti-semitic rhetoric, has there been a more pro-israel president than president trump? >> no, but it's apparent that nobody listened to what i said ea earlier today, because the victoral speech needs to stop. you need to stop. there was nothing fun here, mr. raskin. we aren't having fun here. this is about the most miserable experience i've had down here in
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washington, d.c. there's nothing fun about it. and in philadelphia, where i come from, when you get caught doctoring the evidence, your case is over. and that's what happened. they got caught doctoring the evidence. and this case should be over. >> senator from vermont?
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>> senator vermont, from, senator sanders, has a question for both the counsel for the former president and house manager. the clerk will read it. and, following our procedure, the house managers will go fi first. >> the house prosecutors have stated over and over again that president trump was perpetrating a big lie when he repeatedly claimed that the election was stolen from him and that he actually won the election by a l landslide. are the prosecutors right when they claim that trump was telling a, quote, big lie, or in your judgment did trump actually win the election? >> the house managers have up to 2:30 minutes .
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>> as we all know, president trump did lose the election by 7 million votes, 306 electoral votes. by the time of the january 6th attack, the courts, the justice department, all 50 states across the country agreed that the votes were counted, the people had spoken and it was time for the peaceful transfer of power, as our constitution and the rule
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of law demands. 61 courts. 61 courts the president went to. that's fine, appropriate. he lost. he lost! he lost the election. he lost the court case. as leader mccolin -- mcconnell recognized the day after they certified the votes, he said many millions of us hoped that the presidential election would yield a different result, but our system of government has processes to determine who will be sworn in on january 20th. the electoral college has spoken. patriotism. sometimes there's a reason to dispute an election. sometimes the count is close. sometimes we ask for a recount, go to courts, all of that is appropriate. i lost my first election.
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i stayed in bed for three days. we do what we need to do. and we move on. >> his department of justice, state officials and congress, vice president were ready to commit to the peaceful transfer of power, the peaceful transfer of power. donald trump was not ready. and so we are all here because he was not ready. day after day, he told his supporters false, outlandish claims of why this election was rigged. now let's be clear. president trump had absolutely no support of these claims. that wasn't the point of what he was doing. he did it to make his supporters frustrated, to make them angry.
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>> time has expired. and counsel for the former president is recognized for 2:30 min minutes. >> of course. the clerk will read the question ag again. >> the house prosecutors have stated over and over again that president trump was perpetrated a big lie when he repeatedly claimed that the election was stolen from him and that he actually won the election by a landslide. are the prosecutors right when they claim trump was telling a big lie, or, in your judgment, did trump actually win the election? >> counsel for the former president has 2:30 minutes. >> my judgment? who asked that? >> i did. >> my judgment is irrelevant in this proceeding. >> no, no. >> it absolutely is.
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what's supposed to happen here is the article of impeachment -- >> the senate will be in order. the senators under the rules cannot challenge the content of the response. the counsel will continue. >> may i have the question read again please? >> the house prosecutors have stated over and over again that president trump was perpetrating a big lie when he repeatedly claimed that the election was stolen from him and that he actually won the election by a landslide. are the prosecutors right when they claim trump was telling a big lie, or in your judgment, did trump actually win the election? >> in my judgment, it's irrelevant to the question before this body.
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what's relevant in this impeachment article is were mr. trump's words inciteful to the point of violence and riot. that's the charge. that's the question. and the answer is no, he did not have speech that was inciteful to violence or riot. now, what's important to understand here is the house managers have completely, from the beginning of this case to right now, done everything except answer that question. the question they brought before you. the question they want my client to be punished by. that's the questions that should be getting asked. and the answer is, he advocated
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for peaceful, patriotic protest. those are his words. the house managers have showed zero, zero evidence that his words did anything else. remember, all the evidence is this was premeditated. the attack on the capitol was preplanned. it didn't have anything to do with mr. trump in any way what he said on that day on january 6th at that ellipse. and that's the issue before the senate. now on the issue of contesting elections and the results, the democrats have a long, long history of just doing that. i hope everybody was able to see the video earlier today.
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over and over again, it's been contested. when mr. trump was elected president, we were told that he was hijacked. >> counsel's 2:30 minutes has exp expired. >> the senator from wisconsin. sorry, i couldn't see who was it shall. >> understand. i send a question to the desk for both parties .
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>> the clerk will read it and counsel for former president will have the first 2:30 minutes. >> the house managers assert that the january 6th attack was predictable and it was foreseeable. if so, why did it appear that law enforcement at the capitol were caught off guard and unable to prevent the breach? why did the house sergeant at arms reportedly turn down a request to activate the national guard, stating that he was not comfortable with the optics?
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>> the attack was predictable and it was foreseeable. if so, why did it appear that law enforcement at the capitol were caught off guard and unable to prevent the breach? why did the house sergeant at arms reportedly turn down a request to activate the national guard, stating that he was not comfortable with the optics? >> holy cow. that say really good question.
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and had the house managers done their investigation, maybe somebody would have an answer to that. but they didn't. they did zero investigation. they did nothing. they looked into nothing. they read newspaper articles. they talked to their friends who know a tv reporter or something or someone or something or another. but jiminy crickets, there is no due process in this proceeding at all and that question highlights the problem when you have no due process, you have no clear cut answers. we do know there was, i think, a certain level of foreseeability. it looks like from the information they were presenting, some law enforcement knew that something could be happening. i was -- in my presentation, we knew that the mayor, two days
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before, before had been offered to have federal troops or national guard deployed, beef up security here in capitol police. that was offered. so, somebody had to have an inkling into something. and my question is, who ignored it? and why? if an investigation were done, we would know the answer to that, too. thank you. >> the house managers have 2:30 min minutes. >> first, if defense counsel has exculpatory evidence, you're welcome to give it to us. we would love to see it. you've had an opportunity to give us evidence that would
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exc exculpultate the president. defense counsel wants to blame everyone else except the person who was most responsible for what happened on january 6th and that's president trump. donald trump. and he is the person who foreseed this the most, because he had the reports. he had access to the information. he, as well, had -- we all know how well he is an avid cable news watcher. he knew what was going to happen. he cultivated these individuals. these are the undisputed facts. the national guard was not deployed until after over two hours after the attack. i heard reference to mayor bowser. she does not have authority over the capitol or federal buildings. she could not deploy national guards to the capitol. that is outside of the jurisdiction of the mayor of the
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district of columbia. at no point in that entire day did the president of the united states, our commander in chief, tell anyone, law enforcement is struggling for their lives, insurgents who felt empowered by the sheer quantity of them, any of us in this building or the american people that he was sending help. he did not defend the capitol. the president of the united states did not defend the capitol of this country. it's indefensible. >> mr. president? >> the senator from oregon. >> mr. president, i send a question to the desk .
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>> if the president spins a big lie to anger americans and stokes the fury by repeating a lie at event after event and invites folks to d.c. on the day and hour necessary to interrupt the electoral college count and does nothing to stop those groups from advancing on the capitol and fails to summon the national guard to protect the capitol, and then expresses
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pleasure and delight that the capitol was under attack, is the president innocent of inciteing an insurrection because in a speech he says, "be peaceful"? >> the house managers have five minutes. minutes. >> given everything that the president did leading up to the election, after the election, and leading up to january 6th, all of the incitement of his supporters, whom he convinced were a big lie over and over,
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that the election had been stolen from them and from him, and then once the mob had stormed the capitol, the vice president was in danger, the speaker was in danger, the members of the house, the senate and all the staff here, the janitorial staff, the cafeteria workers, everybody and all the hot rhetoric he spoke with and simply, a few times, said stay peaceful. remember, he said "stay peaceful" when they had already gotten violent, when they had already brought weapons. when they had already hurt people. what he never said was stop the attack. leave the capitol. leave immediately.
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the president's speech was incendiary. he used the word "peaceful" once. and using the word "peaceful" was the only suggestion of nonviolence. president trump used the word "fight" or "fighting" 20 times. consider the context. he had been telling them a big lie over and over, getting them amped up, getting them angry, because an election was stolen from them. there are thousands of people in front of him. some are carrying weapons and arms. they're angry. he's telling them to fight. in president trump's words in that speech, just like the mob's actions, were carefully chosen. his words incited their actions.
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how do we know this? for months the president had told his supporters his big lie, that the election was rigged and he used the lie to urge his supporters not to concede and to stop the steal. >> if you rob a bank and on the way out the door you yell "respect private property" that's not a defense to robbing the bank. >> mr. president? >> the senator from texas. >> mr. president, i send a question to the desk, directed at both sides.
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>> the senator from texas has a question for both sides. the clerk will read it and the house managers will go first for 2:30 minutes. >> out of their 16 hours, the house managers devoted all of 15 minutes to articulating a newly created legal standard for incitement. one was violence foreseeable. two, did he encourage violence? three, did he do so willfully?
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is this new standard derived from the criminal code or any supreme court case? while violent riots were raging, kamala harris said on national tv, they're not going to let up and they should not. and she also raised money to bail out violent rioters. using the managers' proposed standard, is there any coherent way for donald trump's words to be incitement and kamala harris' words not to be incitement? >> thank you, mr. president, senators. i'm not familiar with the statement that has been referred to with respect to the vice president, but i fiebd it absolutely unimaginable that vice president harris would ever incite violence or encourage or
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promote violence. obviously, it's completely irrelevant to the proceeding at hand, and i will allow her to defend herself. the president's lawyers are pointing out that we've never had any situation like this before in the history of the united states. it's true. there's never been a president who has encouraged a violent insurrection against our own government. so we really have nothing to compare it to. so what we do in this trial will establish a standard going forward for all time. n now, there are two theories that have been put before you. and i think we've got to get past all the little critiques that have been offered today about this or that. let's focus on what's really at stake here. the president's lawyers say, echoing the president, his conduct was totally appropriate. in other words, he would do it again. exactly what he did is the new standard for what's allowable for him or any other president who gets into office.
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our point is that his incitement so overwhelms any possible legal standard we have that we've got the opportunity now to declare that presidential incitement to violent insurrection against the capitol and the congress is completely forbidden to the president of the united states under the impeachment clauses. so we set forth for you the elements of encouragement of violence. we saw it overwhelmingly. we know that he picked the date of that rally. in fact, there was another group that was going to rally another date and he got it moved to january 1st. he synchronized it exactly with the time that we would be in joint session. and, as representative cheney said, he summoned that mob, he assembled that mob, he incited that mob. he lit the match. get real. we know that this is what happened. the second thing is the foreseeability of it, was it foreseeable?
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remember lansing, michigan, and everything we showed you. they didn't mention that, of course. maga 2 march, maga 2 rally. the violence all over the rallies. the president cheering it on, delighting in it, exalting in it. come on. how gullible do you think we are? we saw this happen. we spent 11, 12 hours looking at all that. >> the manager's time has expired. >> thank you. >> counsel for the former president has 2:30 minutes. >> senator cruz, i believe the first part of your question refers to the newly created raskin doctrine on first amen amendment, and in an answer he gave you a new one, appropriateness. the standard that this body needs to follow for law is
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brandonburg v. ohio. the three-part test comes out of bible believers versus wayne county to be specific. the speech has to be explicitly or implicitly encouraged, the use of violence. in other words, it has to be in the words itself, which clearly it's not in the words itself. that's step one. they don't get past it. two, the speaker intends that his speech will result in use of violence or lawless action. there's no evidence of that. and it's ludicrous to believe that would be true. third, imminent use of violence or lawlessness is likely. they fell on all three points of the law as we know it and needs to be applied here. i don't know why he said he never heard kamala harris say about the riots and the people rioting and ruining our businesses and our streets that they're not going to let up and they should not, because we played it three times today.
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we gave it to you in audio. i read it to you, and you got it in video. that's what she said. but it's protected speech. her speech is protected also, senator. that's the point. you all have protections as elected officials. the highest protections under the first amendment. and that first amendment applies here in this chamber, to this proceeding. and that's what you need to keep focused on. you need to keep focused on what is the law and how do we apply it to this set of facts? it's your duty. you get -- you can't get caught up in all the rhetoric and the facts that are irrelevant. you need to keep focused on what is the issue before you, decide it based on the law, brandonburg and bible believers and apply it
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to the facts and that requires you to look at the words and there are no words of incitement of any kind. >> counsel's time has expired. >> thank you. >> mr. president? >> the senator from washington. >> i send a question to the desk desk. >> the senator from washington, senator murray, has a question for the house managers. the clerk will read the ques question. >> at 6:01 p.m. eastern time on january 6th, president trump
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tweeted, these are the things that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long. adding for rioters to go home, with love and in peace. what is the relevance of this tweet to president trump's guilt? >> the house managers are recognized for up to five min
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minutes. >> senators, this was a key quote and a key statement by the president that day. that horrific day. remember the capitol had been stormed. it had been attacked. people had yelled, hang mike pence. people had gone after speaker pelosi. people brought baseball bats and other weapons. many members of congress in the senate and the house were fearful for their own lives. the president didn't call the national guard. his own administration didn't list him as somebody that they had spoken with to activate the guard. and he said, remember this day forever. so if he was not guilty of inciting this insurrection, if this is not what he wanted, if
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it wasn't what he desired, by that time the carnage had been on television for hours. he saw what was going on. everybody saw what was going on. if it wasn't what he wanted, why would he have said remember this day forever? why commemorate a day like that, an attack on the u.s. capitol for god sake? why would you do that, unless you agreed that it was something to praise, not condemn, something to hold up and commemorate. no consoling the nation. no reassuring that the government was secure. not a single word that entire day condemning the attack, or the attackers, or the violent insurrection against congress. this tweet is important, because it shows two key points about donald trump's state of mind.
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first, this was entirely and completely foreseeable, and he foresaw it, and he helped incite it over many months. he's saying, i told you this was going to happen if you certified the election for anyone else besides me. and you got what you deserved for trying to take it away from me. and we know this, because that statement was entirely consistent with everything he said leading up to the attack. second, this shows that donald trump intended and reveled in this. senators, he reveled in this. he delighted in it. this is what he wanted. remember this day forever, he said. not as a day of disgrace, as it is to all of us, but as a day of celebration and commemoration. and if we let it, if we don't hold him accountable and set a strong precedent, possibly a
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continuation later on. we will, of course, all of us remember this day but not in the same way that donald trump suggested. we'll remember the bravery of our capitol and metro police forces. we'll remember the officer who lost his life and sadly the others who did as well, and the devastation that was done to this country because of donald tr trump. >> the senator from louisiana. >> mr. president, i send a question to the desk .
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>> the senator from louisiana, mr. cassidy, has a question for both counsel for the former president and counsel for the house. the clerk will read it, and counsel for the former president will go first for 2:30 minutes and then the house representatives will have 2:30 min minutes. >> senator tuberville reports that he spoke to president trump at 2:15 p.m. he told the president that the vice president had just evacuated. i presumed it was understood at this time that rioters are entered the capitol and
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threatened the safety of senators and the vice president. even after hearing of this, at 2:24 p.m., president trump tweeted that mike pence lacked courage. he did not call for law enforcement backup. the tweet and lack of response suggests president trump did not care that vice president pence was endangered or that law enforcement was overwhelmed. does this show that president trump was tolerant of the intimidation of vice president pence? >> counsel has 2:30 minutes. >> directly, no. but i dispute the premise of your facts. i dispute the facts that are laid out in that question. and, unfortunately, we're not going to know the answer to the facts in this proceeding because
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the house did nothing to investigate what went on. we're trying to get hearsay from mr. tuberville. there was hearsay from mr. lee, i think it was, two nights ago when mr. lee was accused of making a statement that he never made, but it was a report from a reporter, from a friend of somebody who had some hearsay that they heard the night before at a bar somewhere. i mean, that's really the kind of evidence that the house has brought before us. and so i have a problem with the facts in the question, because i have no idea, and nobody from the house has given us any opportunity to have any idea, but mr. trump and mr. pence have had a very good relationship for a long time. and i'm sure mr. trump very much is concerned and was concerned for the safety and well-being of mr. pence and everybody else
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that was over here. thank you. >> manager for the house of representatives have 2:30 minutes. >> thank you, mr. president. my counsel said before this has been my worst experience in washington and i guess for that you're sorry but, man, you should have been here january 6th. the counsel for the president keep blaming the house for not having the evidence that's within the sole possession of their client, who we invited to come and testify last week. we sent a letter on february 4th. i sent to directly to president trump, inviting him to come and to explain and fill in the gaps of what we know about what happened there, and they sent back a contemptuous response a few hours later. i think they responded more quickly to my letter than president trump did as a commander in chief to the invasion and the storming of the capitol of the united states.
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but in that letter, i said if you decline this invitation, we reserve all rights, including the right to establish a trial that your refusal to testify supports a strong adverse inference. what's that? justice scalia was a great champion of it. if you don't testify in a criminal case, it can't be used against you. that's the fifth amendment privilege against self incrimination. if it's a civil case and you plead the fifth or don't show up, according to justice scalia and the rest of the supreme court, you can interrupt every disputed fact against the defendant. that is totally available to us. for example, if we say the president was missing in action for several hours, and he was derelict in his duty and deserted his duty as commander in chief, and we say as inciter in chief he didn't call off dogs, they say no, he was doing whatever he can, if you're puzzled about that, you can resolve that factual dispute against the defendant who refuses to come to a civil
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proceeding. he will not spend one day in jail if you convict him. this is not a criminal proceeding. this is about preserving the republic, dear senate. that's what this is about. setting standards of conduct for the president of the united states so this never happens to us again. so, rather than yelling at us, and screaming about how we didn't have time to get all of the facts about what your client did, bring your client up here and have him testify under oath about why he was send ing out tweets denouncing the veez of the united states while the vice president was being hunted down by a mob that wanted to hang him and was chanting in this building "hang mike pence, hang mike pence, traitor, traitor, traitor." >> time. time of the managers is up. next question? >> mr. president? >> the senator from west virginia. >> i send a question to the desk directed to the house managers .
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>> the senator from west virginia has a question for the house managers. the clerk will report. >> would the president be made aware of the fbi and intelligence information of a possible attack, and would the president be responsible for not preparing to protect the capitol and all elected officials of government with national guard and law enforcement, as he did when he appeared in front of the st. john's episcopal church?
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>> it's the responsibility of the president to know. president of the united states, our commander in chief, it's daily briefings on what is happening in the country that he has a duty to protect. additionally, the president would have known just like the rest of us have known. all the reports that were out there and publicly available. how many of you received calls saying to be careful on january 6th? to be careful that day. i'm not -- i'm seeing reports. it doesn't seem safe.
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how much more the president of the united states? donald trump as our commander in chief absolutely had a duty and a sworn oath to preserve, protect and defend us, and to do the same for the officers under his command. and he was not just our commander in chief. he incited the attack. the insurgents were following his commands. as we saw and we read allowed his tweet attacking the vice president. and with regard to the vice president, i'm sure they did have a good relationship. but whoa all know what can happen to one who has a good relationship with the president when you decide to do something that he doesn't like. i'm sure some of you have experienced that, when he turns against you after you don't follow his command. you heard from my colleagues that when planning this attack, the insurgents predicted that donald trump would command the national guard to help them. well, he didn't do much better. he may not have commanded the guard to help them, but it took
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way, way too long for him to command the guard to help us. this is all connected. we're talking about free speech? this was a pattern and practice of months of activity. that is the incitement. that is the incitement. the activity he was engaged in for months before january 6th, not just the speech on january 6th. all of it in its totality is a dereliction of duty by the president of the united states against people who elected him, all of the people of this country. >> the senator from alaska? >> i send a question to the desk for the former president's
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counsel. counsel. >> senator from alaska, senator sullivan has a question for the house counsel and the clerk will report the question. >> mr. president? >> for the former president's counsel. sorry about that. >> thank you, mr. president. >> the house managers said yesterday that due process is discretionary, meaning the house is not required to provide and, indeed, did not provide in this
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snap impeachment any constitutional protections to a defendant in the house impeachment proceedings. what are the implications for our constitutional order of this new house precedent combined with the senate's power to disqualify from public office a private citizen at an impeachment trial? >> counsel has five minutes. >> that's a complicated question. could i have that read again, please? >> the house managers said yesterday that due process is discretionary, meaning the house is not required to provide and, indeed did not provide in this snap impeachment any constitutional protections to a defendant in house impeachment proceedings. what are the implications for our constitutional order of this new house precedent combined with the senate's power to
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disqualify from public office a private citizen in an impeachment trial? >> well, first of all, due process is never discretionary. good lord. the constitution requires that an accused have the right to due process because the power that a prosecutor has to take somebody's liberty when they're prosecuting them is the ultimate thing that we try to save. in this case, just now in the last two hours, we've had prosecutorial misconduct. what they just tried to do was say that it's our burden to bring them evidence to prove their case, and it's not. it's not our burden to bring any evidence forward at all. what's the danger? well, the danger is pretty
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obvious. if a majority party doesn't like somebody in the minority party and they're afraid they may lose the election, or it's somebody in the majority party and there's a private citizen who wants to run against somebody in the majority party, well, they could simply bring impeachment proceedings. and, of course, without due process, they're not going to be entitled to a lawyer. they're not going to be entitled to have notice of the charges against them. it puts us into a position where we are the kind of judicial system and governing body that we're all very, very afraid of. from what we left hundreds of years ago. and what regimes all around this world that endanger us, that's
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how they act. that's how they conduct themselves, without giving the accused due process. taking their liberty without giving them just a basic, fundamental right on the 5th through 14th applied to the states. due process. if you take away due process in this country from the accused, if you take that away, there will be no justice and nobody, nobody will be safe. but it's patently unfair for the house managers to bring an impeachment proceeding without any -- again, without any investigation at all and then stand up here and say, one, they had a chance to bring us evidence. and, two, uh, let's, uh, let's
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see what we can do about, uh, flipping around somebody's, uh, other constitutional rights to having a lawyer or to having -- to see the evidence at all. it just gets brought in, as was here, without anybody having an opportunity to review it beforehand. they actually sent it to us on the 9th, the day after we started this. so, it's a really big problem. the due process clause applies to this impeachment hearing. and it's been severely and extremely violated. this process is so unconstitutional, because it violated due process. i'm not even going to get into the jurisdiction part. the due process part should be enough to give anybody who loves our constitution and loves our
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country great pause to do anything but acquit donald trump. thank you. in mr. president. >> the senator from connecticut. >> thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i send a question to the desk for the house managers . . >> the senator from conn could, senator blumenthal has a question for the house managers, and the clerk will report the question.
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>> former president trump and his attorneys have cited the brandenberg v. ohio case in support of their argument that the first amendment protects trump. did the brandenberg case prohibit holding public officials accountable through the impeachment process for the incitement of violence? >> thank you, mr. president, senators. so let's start with the letter of more than 140 constitutional law professors which i think they described as -- as partisan in nature. that's a slur on the law professors, and i hope that they would withdraw that. there are very conservative luminaries on that list including the co-founder of the federalist society, ronald
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reagan's former solicitor general charles fried as well as prominent law professors across the intellectual ideological and jurisprudential spec trurnlgs and they all called their first amendment arguments frivolous which they are. now, they have been -- they have retreated to the position of brandenberg versus ohio. they want their client to be treated like a guy at the -- a guy in the crowd who yells something out. even on that standard, this group of law professors said there's a very strong argument that he's guilty even under the strict brandenberg standard. why? because he incited imminent lawless action, and he intended to do it, and it was likely to cause it. how do we know it was likely to cause it? it did cause it. they overran the capitol, right, so even if you want to hold the president to the united states of america to the minimal standard and forgot about his constitutional oath of the office, as i said before that would be a dereliction of duty on our legislative part that all
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we're going to do is treat the president of the united states as one of the people he summoned to washington to commit insurrection against us. the president swore to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states. that's against all comers, domestic or foreign. that's what ours says, right? did he do that? no. on the contrary. he's like the fire chief. he doesn't just say go ahead and shout fire in a crowded theater. he summons the mob and sends the mob to go burn the theater down and when people start madly calling him and ringing alarm bells he watches it on tv and he takes his sweet time, for several hours, he turns up the heat on the deputy fire chief who he's mad at because he's not making it possible for him to pursue his political objectives, and then when we say we don't want you to be fire chief ever again he starts crying about the first amendment. brandenberg was a case about a bunch of klansmen who assembled in a field, and they weren't
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