Democratic House impeachment managers have wrapped up their arguments that Donald Trump incited the attack on the US Congress, warning “he can do this again” if he is not convicted.
The Democratic impeachment managers concluded their opening arguments in the trial on Thursday by saying Trump had glorified political violence for years and showed no remorse for his actions in the lead-up to the Capitol riot.
“Is there any political leader in this room who believes that if he is ever allowed by the Senate to get back into the Oval Office, Donald Trump would stop inciting violence to get his way?” Jamie Raskin, the Democrats’ lead impeachment manager, said.
“Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that?”
Raskin said that Trump had flagged he would behave the same way in the future by claiming that his speech to supporters on January 6 was “totally appropriate”.
“President Trump declared his conduct totally appropriate so, if he gets back into office and it happens again, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves,” Raskin said.
The Democrats played a series of video clips of Trump encouraging supporters to rough up protesters at his early campaign rallies, including one in which he offered to pay their legal fees.
Raskin also said that Trump had failed to condemn supporters who organised a failed kidnapping plot against Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
“January 6th was a culmination of the president’s actions, not an aberration from them,” Raskin said.
“The insurrection was the most violent and dangerous episode so far in Donald Trump’s continuing pattern and practice of inciting violence.”
Democratic congressman Ted Lieu said: “I’m not afraid of Donald Trump running again in four years. I’m afraid he’s going to run again and lose. Because he can do this again.”
In summing up the Democrats’ argument, Raskin asked senators to use their common sense in deciding whether Trump had incited the assault.
“Let’s not get caught up in a lot of outlandish, lawyers’ theories here,” he said. “Exercise your common sense about what just took place in our country.
“If you don’t find this a high crime and misdemeanour today, you have set a new terrible standard for presidential misconduct in the United States of America.”
Donald Trump’s Attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen will have up to 16 hours, beginning on Saturday to argue in his defence.