Donald Trump’s impeachment trial began with footage of Trump inciting the insurrection

President Trump delivers remarks to supporters in DC to support Trump's claims of voter fraud

Donald Trump’s impeachment trial began in the Senate yesterday. It really is conducted as a trial, with the House’s “impeachment manager” coming into the Senate to read and explain the impeachment charge(s), all of which is the equivalent of a prosecutor explaining why the grand jury charged the alleged criminal. That’s the prosecution’s opening statement, then the defendant’s lawyers get to make their opening statement, meaning Donald Trump’s lawyers got up in front of the Senate and made complete asses out of themselves. We’ll talk about them in a second. First, I wanted to post the very emotional statement from Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the impeachment manager. Raskin buried his son the day before the January 6th insurrection, and his family was with him in the Capitol on the day of the terrorist attack. Raskin also introduced a video of exactly what went down on January 6th.

It’s completely damning and heart-wrenching and awful. There’s such a stark and terrible simplicity to this impeachment trial, with the single charge of inciting an insurrection, and clearly, the evidence is there. It was always there. But Trump’s lawyers, Bruce Castor and David Schoen’s opening statements were an odd hodge-podge of veiled threats, whining, nonsense about the Federalist Papers, and nonsensical legal arguments. Castor didn’t even seem prepared for his opening statement, and at one point, he confessed that he had to throw out his original opening because Raskin’s opener was so good. Schoen was more prepared, which made him that much more contemptible. Castor seemed like a f–king idiot. Schoen seemed actively evil.

I mean… I’m not going to summarize everything wrong with the “Trump defense,” especially since the point of all this is that there really is no coherent defense, and no compelling strategy. Castor and Schoen argued, at various points, that there was no need to impeach Trump because Biden won the election (even though Trump incited a terrorist attack because Trump couldn’t admit that he lost the election); that they should have impeached Trump while he was in office; that the House moved too fast on the impeachment; that if Trump was impeached, there would be another Civil War; and that impeachment is in and of itself unconstitutional.

Castor was so incoherent and ridiculous, even Trump sycophants couldn’t defend his performance. Trump was reportedly “almost screaming as Castor made meandering arguments that struggled to get at the heart of his defense team’s argument.” But those same sources note that this is the team which was hired just over a week ago, so it’s not like they had much time to prepare. Nor does Trump have a particularly good defense??

US Senate Floor Proceedings during the Second Impeachment Trial of US President Trump

US Senate Floor Proceedings during the Second Impeachment Trial of US President Trump

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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68 Responses to “Donald Trump’s impeachment trial began with footage of Trump inciting the insurrection”

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  1. Sarah says:

    That video was chilling – so impactful and so much more intense than watching sporadic videos as they came in on January 6. Every Republican who refused to look at it (and will refuse to convict) needs to have COWARD shouted at them in public until the end of their days.

    • Esmom says:

      Agreed. It was mind blowing to see how quickly a group that loves to claim they “back the blue” decided they needed to “beat the blue.”

      And I agree about the Republicans who are going to hide behind bullsh^t process or Constitutionality rationales. Amoral cowards, all of them. Their hypocrisy is not surprising anymore, but still never fails to shock me.

      • antipodean says:

        I do wish someone could explain to me what exactly is wrong with being an anti-fascist? Asking for a friend!

      • cassandra says:

        It really is straight out of the Nazi playbook, except the Nazis blamed everything on communists (including setting the German parliament building on fire-which the Nazis orchestrated)

        But yeah this is what I ask people when they start spouting off Antifa nonsense. Usually they struggle to explain why being against fascism is bad. Also they typically can’t define fascism.

      • antipodean says:

        @Cassandra, thank you for that explanation. I thought it was just me who understood that fascism is a menace to democracy, but there are those who seem to think being against that is wrong, SMH.

    • Golly Gee says:

      Newsweek has a 2500 word article which basically follows that day from before the Trump rally until Biden‘s presidency was confirmed. It’s very interesting because the story is mainly made up of tweets from many different journalists in various locations seeing different things and tweeting about them along with pictures and videos to make up a chronology of the day. Newsweek then adds background and context when needed between the tweets To fill out the picture.

    • Monika says:

      Why is everyone ignoring the fact that a guy who was arrested in this riot, is Antifa!! No, really I’m not lying!! This guy was arrested posing as a Trump fan, when he was not. There is even videos of him saying that he would like to harm Trump, but he was in the riot supporting Trump??, Yeah, right!! 😐 And he then say to CNN that he was there in the riot as a Journalist!! Yeah, right!! NO!! He was not there as a “Journalist” because he was caught in video saying things like… “This a revolution” and provoking people to attack police!! So if a guy with Antifa ties was posing as a Trump fan in this riot… Don’t you think, there was other like him??, I’m just making an observation!!

      • anotherlily says:

        The indictment is that Trump incited a riot. The motives of individual rioters don’t alter the indictment. Trump incited a riot.

      • Truthiness says:

        If there is an Antifa agitating on the left, there is no reason to riot, their candidate for president WON. There are precious few actual people who identify as such. It sounds like a MAGA guy trying to pin blame elsewhere.

      • Lady Keller says:

        There was also likely foreign agents present trying to agitate, interfere and see what information they could get their hands on. Does that mean we should blame the Kremlin. The president literally incited an insurrection. Whoever showed up is irrelevant. The fact remains that all of this was instigated by one man.

      • Monika says:

        Yeah, the arguments of you girls are very valid!! But NO!! Antifa is not supporting Biden, on the contrary… They just threatened him!! First, they say… We want revenge NOT Biden, and they also say… We are going to burn DC with Biden in it!! So Antifa is out of control!!

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Monika, it’s laughable that you’d focus on 1 person out of thousands. You ignore the many long-term Trump supporters like the “Shawman”, the woman who was shot, etc. who were loud and proud Trump supporters. There were always be exceptions when you have a crowd that big, but the VAST MAJORITY of domestic terrorists participating in the insurrection were *documented* Trump supporters. Hundreds of them have said in their legal defense that they were attacking the Capitol on Trump’s orders.

        You need to find better sources of information.

      • Juniper says:

        So are you saying that one, maybe two people that may have been Antifa invalidate the thousands of others there for Trump? Really? Wow, I hope you didn’t break your back twisting yourself into a pretzel.

  2. Becks1 says:

    Chris Hayes played the whole video last night so we watched it, and it was really scary to watch – we watched the whole thing as it happened live, but this had so many iphone videos from the terrorists, you could hear their chants and shouts so clearly – it was terrifying. I think it was important to show though, because I think so many people have forgotten how scary that day was a month ago. Emotions wane over time and I think for many people the immediate reaction of “impeach and convict the mother f*cker” has also waned, so bringing those emotions back for people was very moving IMO.

    Raskin is my rep and I’m so proud to live in his district. If I live 10 or 15 miles away, I would be in Andy Harris’ district – aka “I want to bring my gun to the congress floor and you cant stop me.” So yay for small favors, lol.

    • smcollins says:

      @becks1 I’m totally with you about Rep. Raskin, he was incredible. Unfortunately I *do* live in Andy Harris’s district and it pains me to my core. I detest that man and hate that he keeps getting re-elected.

      • Flora Kitty says:

        Andy Harris is an asshole of the first order. The entire Eastern Shore is his district and most of the people are rabidly republican.

      • Becks1 says:

        Ugh I’m sorry @smcollins! My parents and brothers are in his district as well, so I get your pain.

        @FloraKitty – yes, most are rabidly republican but there are some inroads (I think as more transplants move to the Eastern Shore). My parents hung a huge Biden Harris flag from their dock that never got vandalized, so thats a win? lol. I also think Talbot County voted for Biden over Trump, so there is some improvement. Not enough to knock out Harris, but we can try.

      • Mc says:

        Hey neighbor. I’m also in Andy Harris’ district. He’s a moron and a terrible representative. I hope he gets voted out next election.

      • lassie says:

        Oh my goodness! So many of us live under Andy Harris’ rein of moronic ineptitude. I voted Mia last time, and I’ll continue to vote for whoever is running against him forever.

      • smcollins says:

        @mc @lassie Greetings from Wicomico County 👋🏻

        @florakitty Agreed about the ES being mostly Republican. You can drive around where I live and still see Trump flags on display, it’s maddening. But like @becks1 pointed out there’s also a fair amount of liberals but we’re definitely outnumbered (evidenced by Andy Harris continually getting re-elected).

    • Esmom says:

      Raskin seems like an amazing person, a kind man who possesses genuine compassion and integrity that’s sorely lacking in DC. I can’t remember when I first became really aware of him but it was a hearing a number of years ago that I was listening to on the radio and I got to know their voices. Whenever his voice came on I perked up knowing how insightful and intelligent he would be.

      • Golly Gee says:

        He seems like a very honorable man. He said he would have no regrets if he lost his seat due to the stand he is taking because he needs to be able to live with himself and stand up for what is right, or something to that effect. Anyway, his character and doing the right thing are more important to him than power or money.

      • Golly Gee says:

        Ignore my post. I’m talking out of my *zz. I was thinking of Kinzinger, a Republican. I need lots of coffee. LOL

    • AnnaKist says:

      I posted last week about watching our 4 Corners programme, about the events on January 6. We’d also seen snippets coming through on hourly news and news flashes throughout the madness, but to see it all unfolding, to see the wielding of so many weapons, and the military-style in which they took over the building, to hear the rioters egging each other on, was truly frightening, and that was three weeks later and in Australia! I hope trump’s lawyers are so unprepared that they guarantee the charges stick. I don’t care how they hammer the nails into the trump coffin, once and for all.

    • FHMom says:

      Raskin brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t know about his son’s death. That family must be traumatized. My heart hurts for them.

  3. smcollins says:

    That video was horrifying and gut-wrenching. How anyone could turn a blind eye to what transpired that day, let alone not hold Trump accountable for it, is beyond my comprehension. As far as Trump’s lawyers, I stopped paying attention about 5 minutes in. Who could possibly make sense of all that drivel? But Rep. Raskin was on fire. His opening statement was powerful and compelling, and he made me proud to call myself a Marylander.

    • Rapunzel says:

      It was so horrifying that Schoen just had to attack it by saying it was “spliced and manufactured” “to trick American people.” Eyeroll.

      He then attacked the Dems with his own spliced and manufactured video meant to trick the American people. Barf.

      • smcollins says:

        Ugh…of course he did. But then again I guess that should be expected of someone trying to defend the indefensible.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I am so horrified by the Senators openly ignoring the proceedings (Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Josh Hawley, etc.). It is such a dereliction of duty, an abandonment of integrity.

      I heard that the GOP put into the rules that the cameras would only focus on the presentations, not the Senators in the audience. This way they can behave like children in a class with a substitute teacher who’s put on a movie for the day. PEOPLE DIED and they mock the trial. So shameful.

  4. Esmom says:

    The argument that almost made me crash my car was Trump’s team pointing out with zero sense of irony that we should be satisfied because Biden won the election. When it was Biden winning the election that ramped up Trump’s horrific rhetoric and led straight to the siege on January 6.

    Not to mention their disingenuous posturing about Pelosi “waiting too long” to transmit the article of impeachment, knowing fully well the timing was driven solely by Mitch McConnell. Who, by the way, voted not to proceed yesterday. Just when I think I can’t loathe these monsters in the GOP any more than I do.

    • Miranda says:

      Oh my god, THAT argument. I thought I was going to have an aneurysm when I heard that.

    • Darla says:

      I bet Trump spurted blood out of his whatever when his lawyer said Biden won.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      This was Mitch’s game all along – delay the articles getting to the Senate and then use the ‘he’s not President any more’ excuse.

      Everyone in GOP clearly had a hand in what went on that day – I think they were shaken by how out of control it got and that it failed spectacularly.

      • Esmom says:

        I think they were shaken, too, especially Mitch as he continues to play both sides. He has condemned Trump’s lies numerous times now, yet still votes with the majority of his caucus. It’s really sad and infuriating that they think they can somehow half ass their way through this so that they can appease Trump and try to cling to power. I can’t believe they don’t know how wrong their position is and that they would be doing themselves and all of us a huge favor if they stopped playing games about process, acknowledged Trump’s clearly impeachable behavior and voted to convict.

  5. Miranda says:

    So Trump is unhappy with Castor’s performance, huh. Well, you get the lawyers you DON’T pay for, I guess.

    I tried watching the clips, and I’m sorry, I just couldn’t. I was terrified when it was actually happening, and now it just infuriates me. And I could not be more angry at the absolute COWARDICE of all but a tiny handful of Republican lawmakers. They created this f–king monster, and now they need to f–king deal with it.

  6. STRIPE says:

    The NYT had an article saying he was “borderline screaming” because his lawyers did so poorly in their opening.

    Seeings as he will not be convicted because the GOP is full of cowards, I have to take a win where I can find one and him being unhappy is a win.

  7. Snuffles says:

    Raskin is my Rep too! I’m very proud of him.

  8. Faithmobile says:

    Listing to Raskin, I realized his emotional appeals will fall on deaf ears as I truly believe the republican party is a moral. We knew this when they refused to address school shootings, we knew this when they fell in lock step with Trump. Democrats need to stop trying to work with them. and I’m over trying to appeal to their humanity.

    • Miranda says:

      If I were a Democratic member of the House or Senate, I couldn’t imagine working with the Republicans politically OR personally after this. How do you work with these people whose attitudes on Jan. 6 ranged from cowardice to smug silence to “here, let me show the angry, armed racist mob exactly where my colleague’s office is so they can rip out her panic button and ambush her”?

  9. Snuffles says:

    As far as I’m concerned, this case is about reminding America and the world how close we came to losing it all and the NEVER FORGET. Also, the highlight how corrupt and morally bankrupt the current Republican Party is. Hopefully that will stick in voters minds in 2022.

    • Ann says:

      Yes, this. It’s not about getting a conviction because I imagine they know they will not. It’s about getting it all on the record AND forcing the GOP Senators hands. Most will vote to let Trump off the hook even after watching this and that needs to be thrown in their faces over and over.

  10. Rapunzel says:

    If the Dems keep showing videos like this every day of the trial, and their rumored “new evidence” is presented and strong and shocking, they will have won, even if they lose. The general public will know the Republicans are traitors and fools.

    Definitely a good thing to remind folks how upsetting that day was… but another reason outrage has faded is that no more serious violence has occurred. If something more had happened, Trump would have been toast for sure. The Dems need to remind folks that these loonies are still there. Still a threat. They think March 4th will restore Trump. The ridiculousness needs to be emphasized in order to show how important it is to strip Trump of his politocal power through impeachment. He needs to be punished and banned from running again to show the nutters who follow him that actions have consequences.

    • Esmom says:

      Oh god, do I even want to know what March 4 is? And what will happen when once again he isn’t magically POTUS again?

      • Rapunzel says:

        Esmom- March 4th is apparently the original inauguration date. Some of the Q nutters think Trump”ll be President again then. And start executing enemies March 5th. It’s insane.

    • Janey says:

      Strong strong disagree. When the House loses (and it will) this will embolden the GOP. Let’s be completely honest here — about half of this country DOES.NOT.CARE. End of sentence.

      I don’t know what else to say except, well…this is America. This is our country. These are our neighbors and bosses and teachers and doctors and everything in between. This is America. It’s racist. It’s classist. It’s awful.

      These people on 1/6 weren’t “Crazy” or misled. They are just hateful people who found a leader who spoke to them and voted and acted and rioted accordingly. I am so over the whole both sides.

      I wish we would just admit it. It’s the first step in fixing a problem. Believing it exists.

      If these rioters were black, if Obama was accused of this, if these rioters were Muslim or even if the women’s march resulted in a terrorist attack, the reaction would have been different.

      So, enough. Enough, enough, enough. I never want to hear that it’s impolite or rude to talk politics when it is really a belief that talking about racism or hate or white nationalistic terrorism is uncouth to these complicit people.

      The Trump attorneys could just read the phone book or talk about the Bachelor or just read Robert E. Lee’s biography aloud and the GOP will vote to acquit. He’s going to skate and the MAGA crowd isn’t going anyway. And NO ONE KNOWS WHAT TO DO ABOUT THIS except give in.

      /end rant.

      • Rapunzel says:


        It doesn’t matter if the GOP is emboldened. The majority of the public sees through them at this point. Whether that means anything is debatable. But it’s a win. When I said win, I wasn’t necessarily talking races or seats.

        And yeah this is America and it’s full of racist, classist, sexist a–holes, but no, these people are not sane. Sane people do not join cults like this. They don’t choose conspiracies about pizza parlor sex trafficking and military tribunals over family. And they are being misled. The GOP and Trump is intentionally selling them lies and false logic. They wouldn’t believe QAnon nonsense without it being peddled to them by right wing propaganda. Somebody told them about the Jewish space lasers before they believed in them.

        You will not win against Trump and his ilk by saying they’re deplorable. That just makes them dig in. Attacking that is a big reason why the Dems are losing. The way to win is with facts, logic, and deprogramming tactics aimed at combating the brainwashing.

        It’s both racism, sexism, classism and mental disorders, lack of critical thinking skills and psychological vulnerability to propaganda. We’ve got to fight all of it. But to combat the first three, we must first tackle the last three.

      • Darla says:

        I mostly agree, but if they had found and hanged Pence as they planned, I think things would have gone differently. It’s not quite half the country that doesn’t care. It is a significant minority though and the way our system was set up, we are very often at their mercy. Most white people are awful in every way you describe. That’s a sad fact. Far more than half of us.

      • Janey says:

        Hard disagree — being racist, hateful and choosing to benefit from a racist hateful system is no mental illness — that is such an insult to people with real mental illnesses who struggle to get well, stay well, and be taken seriously.

        Racism is just that. A system people buy into to put other people down in order to protect their own power, money, resources, etc. And these people are RACIST. I said what I said.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Janey- I’m bipolar, so not insulting people who are mentally ill.

        I never said mentally illness, btw. I said disorders. Like narcissism, sociopathy, etc. Trump supporters have such disorders in spades.

        But sure, go ahead and continue to shortsightedly insist it’s all just racism. I’ll stick to my belief that sane people don’t think Trump was sent by God, and this cult like worship is a cult of personality taking advantage of racism, and a whole plethora of other issues had by its followers.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I disagree. It is hard to argue that voters don’t care when tens of thousands of Republican voters have changed their party registration since Jan. 6th.

        They only have gerrymandering to maintain their power, but let’s not frame it as if half of the voters support this insanity. Biden won by 10 million votes and currently has a 61% approval rating.

  11. Betsy says:

    What I can’t get over is that JUST NOW some people are beginning to understand that the GOP is a completely corrupt organization. That they don’t have “different opinions” about governance and government, they really hate democracy and will do anything to end it so they can have their way.

    Where has everyone been? I’ve been getting called names for accurately naming the GOP as the traitors they are for twenty years.

    • Sadezilla says:

      Correct. This has been brewing for a long, long time, and there are no guarantees we’ll get out of it with our democracy intact. The GOP doesn’t want a multicultural democracy, because they can’t hold onto power when all citizens have equal agency. Unfortunately, they have a very effective propaganda system and a huge electoral advantage due to the disproportional power of low-population states in the Senate, institutionalized voter suppression, racist policies such as the filibuster, and on and on. We’re hanging onto democracy by a thread. I have to psych myself up to stay engaged in every election, because if those of us who believe in an equitable democracy don’t fight at every step, we will probably lose to the anti-democratic caucus (which is most elected Republicans, certainly at the federal and more locally in many states as well).

      • HoofRat says:

        Don’t forget the systematic undermining of the public education system, dumbing down of curriculum so it teaches crap like creationism, and sowing distrust in credible sources of unbiased information. The only way Republicans can grow their base is by enabling the dumbing-down if the general population. I see the same thing happening in my province, and it is pernicious.

      • Sadezilla says:

        Yep, HoofRat. I’d be more optimistic about the world’s future if right-wing grievance politics (which I think relies on constituents’ feelings, rather than logic/common sense/observable facts) weren’t so widespread.

  12. Amanda Bennett says:

    44 Republicans “watched” that video, heard the arguments, and still said that Trump doesn’t need to stand trial for his actions. How many of those 44 were accomplices to Jan 6? The entire charade is disheartening. All the sane, properly outraged people are going to watch the evidence say time and time again that Trump is guilty of what he is accused of and then they will watch as he is not punished, when the numbers aren’t there come decision time. When the GOP stands firmly with each other and against the Constitution.

    • Lilly (with the double-L) says:

      Agree Miss Bennett and I veer between keeping up on the hearings and I can’t at all. The GOP truly does not care about democracy and the constitution and they don’t care how they’re seen. It’s all about now and money, not about service to the country and the people, especially the deaths they really have no cares about. I read they wouldn’t even watch, but stare ahead or away, not from the horror, but I can’t be bothered. I know that’s widely known, but it still is so shocking.

    • BeanieBean says:

      It’s kinda like having a jury full of the Corleone family sitting in judgment on Don Vito. Of course they’ll acquit. So sick at heart knowing trumpistas will all get away with everything they’ve ever done.

  13. MM2 says:

    I am appalled that GOP members are blatantly choosing to not pay attention to evidence. What would happen to a juror who whipped out their Iphone & started playing Candy Crush during testimony?! They need to do the jobs they’re being paid for.

  14. sa says:

    The defense argument boiled down to ‘the constitution is unconstitutional,’ and 44 Republicans agreed.

    How can they even pretend to fulfill their oath of office when they’re now on the record as claiming that the very thing they swore to uphold and defend is illegal?

  15. smcollins says:

    @mc Greetings from Wicomico County 👋🏻

    @florakitty Agreed about the ES being mostly Republican. You can drive around where I live and still see Trump flags on display, it’s maddening. But like @becks1 pointed out there’s also a fair amount of liberals but we’re definitely outnumbered (evidenced by Andy Harris continually getting re-elected).

    • smcollins says:

      Oops…some how this posted all the way down here. Reposted to the comment thread it was intended for. 🤦🏻‍♀️

  16. olliesmom says:

    He whipped his stupid MAGATS repeatedly into a violent frenzy over the last four years. Many of those MAGAT idiots were draped in or carrying Trump flags. There is no doubt that they were doing it for HIM.

    The GOP is full of MONSTERS.

  17. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I couldn’t help it. Watched that video and cried. How any one American can watch, and be proud, is a monster.

    • cassandra says:

      I cried and then I raged. I almost didn’t watch it, but I worked my way up to it. I knew it’d be awful. Honestly, watching that video riled up my patriotism in a way I don’t think it’s ever been riled up before.

      Hopefully it does that for other people too.

  18. Emerald rCrystal says:

    I wonder if things would have been any different if NBC had agreed to keep Trump in the Apprentice for another season. Supposedly, that was his motivation for running in the first place. He really didn’t think he had a chance of winning. Even Hillary said that he sounded so shocked when he called her after the election. I think that people like Stephen Miller got under his skin after the shock wore off and he was getting high on the power trip. Since he really knew nothing about government, he was ripe for the Karl Robes in D.C. to lead him to the path of evil and corruption. And he was familiar with that path from the world of business. It wasn’t much of a change for him.