Democrats on Wednesday are planning to use another video to propel their case against former president Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial in an attempt to prove that he laid the groundwork for the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol by “inciting an insurrection” with claims of election fraud.
House of Representatives managers prosecuting the case will show never-before-seen footage in an attempt to get Republicans in the chamber to confront the mayhem and danger they all faced on Jan. 6, senior aides said.
“We will be using footage never seen before that shows a view of the Capitol that is quite extraordinary and a view of the attack that has never been public before,” one aide said.
The House has charged Trump, a Republican, with inciting an insurrection by exhorting thousands of supporters to march on the Capitol, where Congress was gathered to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
In an assault that stunned the world, the rioters stormed the Capitol, sending lawmakers into hiding and leaving five people dead, including a police officer.
Democrats on Tuesday showed a graphic video presentation of the siege. Senators from both parties act as a jury in a U.S. presidential impeachment trial.
“You’re going to hear the provocation. You are going to hear how Trump inflamed his base leading up to it with his lies about the election being stolen; how they have to ‘stop the steal.’ He wanted a landslide,” the senior aide said in a briefing before the trial resumed at noon EST (1700 GMT). “Jan. 6 was the culmination of his conduct not a beginning of it.”
However, the video was not without controversy as outlined by former Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz. Chaffetz posed the question, did the video violate the Rules of the House of Representatives for the One Hundred Seventeenth Congress that bar videos “distorted or manipulated with the intent to mislead the public.”
Go to page 34 of House Rules. Did the manipulated video violate the House Rules?https://t.co/v7eyPYVUNo
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) February 9, 2021
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The rule states “The Committee on Ethics is directed to report to the House, not later than December 31, 2021, any recommended amendments to the Code of Official Conduct, as well as any accompanying regulations, intended to address the circumstances and instances, if any, for which a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may be subject to discipline for the dissemination by electronic means, including by social media, of any image, video, or audio file that has been distorted or manipulated with the intent to mislead the public.”
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) pointed out that the video elided remarks by Trump in which he stated that the protesters on January 6 should protest “peacefully and patriotically.” Zeldin stated:
“If they’re going to start playing the video of what the president said, how do you cut it out at the point where the president’s telling his supporters to do so peacefully and patriotically?”
WATCH: @RepLeeZeldin highlights how the House Democrats used a deceptively edited video to make their case during today’s impeachment trial.
“How do you cut it out right at the point where [President Trump] is telling his supporters to do so peacefully and patriotically.” pic.twitter.com/DavmmUvPB4
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) February 9, 2021
Trump’s lawyers argue that the former president’s rhetoric is protected by the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech and that the individuals who breached the Capitol, not Trump, were responsible for their own criminal behavior. They also say the trial is only aimed at ending Trump’s political career.
“We are really here because the majority in the House of Representatives does not want to face Donald Trump as a political rival in the future,” Bruce Castor, one of Trump’s lawyers, told senators on Tuesday.
The Senate voted that the trial could move ahead even though Trump’s term ended on Jan. 20. Six out of 50 Republican senators broke with their caucus to side with Democrats.
The nine Democratic House members acting as Trump’s prosecutors will pull out all the stops.
Trump’s behavior “could have easily disrupted the transfer of power in the United States” for the first time in its history, U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin said as he opened the proceedings on Wednesday, calling the trial “a moment of truth for America.”
We’ll see if they actually present truth or just another hacked up video that distorts what Trump actually said and did prior to the Capitol breach.
It is still unclear whether either side would present witnesses.
Democrats face an uphill battle to secure a conviction, barring Trump from seeking public office again. A two-thirds majority in the Senate must vote to convict, which means at least 17 Republicans would have to defy their constituents which is completely unlikely.
Party leaders have agreed on a fast-moving schedule that could lead to a vote early next week, bringing this circus to a merciful end.
Reuters contributed to this report.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org