House managers used the words and video of the rioters at the Capitol to demonstrate that the attack was carried out at the behest of former President Donald J. Trump.
The House Democrats rested their case on Thursday, marking former President Donald Trump a clear present threat to the United States democracy, declaring that he is someone who could sow further violence like the deadly assault on the Capitol last month if he is not convicted.
“Senators, America, we need to exercise our common sense about what happened,” said Representative Jamie Raskin of Mayland, the lead manager, reading from Thomas Paine. “Exercise your common sense about what just took place in our country.”
“If you don’t find this a high crime and misdemeanor today, you have set a new terrible standard for presidential misconduct in the United States of America,” he said.
They also argued that former President Trump had encouraged and glorified violence before Jan. 6, such as a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 and scuffles during his campaign rallies, and displayed no remorse for whipping up thousands of his loyal supporters by telling them to “fight like hell.”
“I’m not afraid of Donald Trump running again in four years,” said Representative Ted Lieu of California. “I’m afraid he’s going to run again and lose because he can do this again.”
In turns, the managers attempted to appeal to Republicans’ sense of patriotism and decency. They expressed the words of Republicans who voted in the House to impeach former President Trump and from the former president’s cabinet secretaries, who resigned in protest after the deadly riot. They played audio of traumatized aides who had considered leaving the government following the attack. They also recounted the humiliating insults of foreign adversaries who watched in joy.
The trial is moving swiftly, and senators could reach a verdict by the end of the holiday weekend. But first, they will have a chance to question the prosecution and the defense, and the managers may force a debate and vote on calling witnesses.