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Videos of Trump encouraging violence played at impeachment trial

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo taken on January 6, 2021 US President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

One the third day of former US President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in the US Senate, House impeachment managers played videos where he is inciting his supporters for violence, leading up to the violent march on the Capitol on January 6.

The Democrats made the case for Trump’s conviction on Thursday for provoking the deadly rampage which left several people dead.

The nine House of Representatives lawmakers serving as prosecutors planned to illustrate the riot's "terrible toll" and Trump's "role in assembling, inciting and inflaming the insurrectionists," a House aide said before the session began.

Lead House impeachment manager Representative Jamie Raskin pointed to Trump's directions to his supporters to attack counter-protesters at his rallies, telling them "get them the hell out of here" and "kick the crap out of them" in 2017.  

Raskin also screened footage of Republican Gregory Gianforte assaulting a reporter, with Trump saying: "Any guy that can do a body slam is my guy."

Trump is the first president in US history to have been impeached twice, this time for "incitement of insurrection" over the January 6 attack on the US Capitol by his supporters as Congress was certifying Biden’s victory in the November 3 election.

Before the Capitol siege, Trump had urged his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Trump’s defense team previously focused on the legality of the trial, arguing lawmakers have no authority under the Constitution to try a president after he leaves office.

Trump's legal team has strongly denied all the allegations against him, stating that Trump urged the rioters to "stay peaceful" amid the protests of January 6.

Republican Senator Rand Paul has said the impeachment trial of Trump has "zero chance" that he will be convicted, describing it as a "partisan farce."

“45 Republicans have said it's not even a legitimate proceeding, so it's really over before it starts,” Paul said.

The Kentucky senator called on Democrats to look within their own ranks, saying using the same logic as those who are pushing for the Trump trial, Democratic politicians, like Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, should also be prosecuted for "political speech".

Trump's lawyers have said they will use a video of Democrats' “inciting violence” as a counter to the argument that the former president is to blame for the Capitol attack.

 


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