On the second day of former President Trump’s second impeachment trial, House impeachment managers presented detailed documentation of the events leading up to the January 6 insurrection and shared dramatic new footage of the violence as it unfolded. We air excerpts of video from security cameras, which show the pro-Trump mob searching the Capitol building for lawmakers, including Republicans like Vice President Mike Pence, coming within about 100 feet of the room where he was sheltering with his family. House impeachment managers also played audio of Capitol Hill police officers seeking backup.
More from this Interview
- Part 1: Capitol Attack: Impeachment Managers Build Case vs. Trump with Chilling New Video of Mob’s Violence
- Part 2: “Dangerous to the Republic”: John Nichols Says Trump’s Senate Trial Is Most Important in U.S. History
- Part 3: RIP Anne Feeney, Legendary Labor Songwriter, Whose Favorite Place to Sing Was on a Picket Line
AMY GOODMAN: On the second day of the second impeachment trial of President Trump, this one for inciting an insurrection, House impeachment managers presented detailed documentation of the events leading up to January 6th. Wednesday was dominated by the presentation of dramatic footage, some of it never seen before, of the violence that unfolded during the insurrection. Footage from security cameras shows the pro-Trump mob searching the Capitol building for lawmakers and coming within about 100 feet, sometimes far less, of the room where Vice President Mike Pence was sheltering with his family. House impeachment managers also played audio of Capitol Hill police officers seeking backup help desperately.
As the chilling footage played in the Senate chamber, it was narrated by House impeachment managers Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands and Congressman Eric Swalwell of California. This is Plaskett. Oh, and for our radio listeners, you’ll hear some short silence when the closed-circuit video footage is playing; it doesn’t have sound.
DEL. STACEY PLASKETT: Note, as the video begins, we are seeing the inside view as the mob approaches from outside and beats the windows and doors. You can see that the rioter first break the window with the wooden beam that you saw previously, and a lone police officer inside responds and begins to spray the first man who enters, but is quickly overwhelmed. I want you to pay attention to the first group of assailants as they break into the building. The second man through the window is wearing full tactical body armor and is carrying a baseball bat. Others are carrying riot shields. …
You can see Vice President Pence and his family quickly moved down the stairs. The vice president turns around briefly as he’s headed down. …
As you can see here, the staff moves from their offices, through the halls, and then enters a door on the right-hand side. That’s the outer door of a conference room which also has an inner door that they barricaded with furniture. The staff then hid under a conference room table in that inner room.
In this security video, pay attention to the door that we saw those staffers leading into and going into. One of the rioters you can see is throwing his body against the door three times, until he breaks open that outer door. Luckily, when faced with the inner door, he moves on.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL: This security video shows Ashli Babbitt, followed by others in the mob, turning the corner toward the House lobby doors, where the members were leaving. …
In this security footage video, you can see them exiting. Many members are still wearing their gas masks. They walk just feet away from where Capitol Police are holding an insurrectionist at gunpoint. Just minutes earlier, that insurrectionist had tried to open the gallery door and, thankfully, was stopped by a tactical team. …
This security video from 2:56 p.m. shows the mob in the House of Representatives wing on the second floor of the Capitol. Insurrectionists who are still inside the building are fighting with the police, who are overwhelmed and trying to get them out. …
In this security video, you can see how the Capitol Police created a line and blocked the hallway with their bodies to prevent rioters at the end of the hall from reaching you and your staff.
DEL. STACEY PLASKETT: Officer Goodman passes Senator Mitt Romney and directs him to turn around in order to get to safety.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL: Here, in this new video, you see Leader Schumer walking up a ramp. Going up the ramp with his detail, he’ll soon go out of view. … Seconds later, they return and run back down the hallway, and officers immediately shut the door and use their bodies to keep them safe. …
So, let’s focus now on the attack and what it was like for the officers defending the Capitol that day. And again, I want to warn you that the following audio and videos are graphic and are unsettling. But it’s important that we understand the extent of what occurred.
Here’s an audio recording from the radio traffic of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department describing the violence.
OFFICER: Cruiser 50, I copy. We’re still taking rocks, bottles and pieces of flag and metal pole. Cruiser 50, the crowd is using munitions against us. They have bear spray in the crowd. Bear spray in the crowd.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL: Hours after members of the House and Senate had left this area, on the west front of the building the mob continued to grow, continued to beat the officers as they tried to get in. In this new security video, you can see the mob attacking officers with a crutch, a hockey stick, a bullhorn and a Trump flag.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s just some of the dramatic footage from January 6th that was shown Wednesday by the House impeachment managers as they built their case in the Senate chamber to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney said he spoke to U.S. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman to thank him for coming to his aid, after watching the new footage that showed the officer protecting him from the mob, telling him he needed to go in the other direction.
House impeachment managers also revealed that on January 6th Trump sent out a tweet attacking Vice President Pence just minutes after Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama told the president on the phone that Pence was being evacuated from the Capitol as they were speaking, due to the riots.
Democrats also revealed protest organizers did not initially have a permit to march from their rally site on January 6, but the White House intervened to make sure people could march to the Capitol.
The impeachment trial resumes today at noon. Democracy Now! is covering the trial, gavel to gavel. We’re streaming it at democracynow.org.
When we come back, we’ll discuss the historic events, laid out by the House impeachment managers, with The Nation’s John Nichols. Stay with us.
AMY GOODMAN: “Union Maid,” performed by Anne Feeney. The legendary Pittsburgh folk singer-songwriter and self-described rabble-rouser has died of COVID at the age of 69. We’ll be talking about her later in the broadcast.