Watch live – Final arguments in second Trump impeachment trial
In a dramatic morning at the US Capitol, the Senate initially voted to allow witnesses in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in a “game changing” move that threw proceedings into chaos. Frantic negotiations brought the trial back on track — without witnesses — and it is again expected to wrap up today.
The Trump defence team was seemingly caught off guard by the move by Democrat House managers who specifically requested Republican congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler be called to testify. Republicans threatened to call more than 300 witnesses in retaliation for the move.
The motion to have witnesses testify passed 55-45 on Saturday morning, with a handful of Republican lawmakers, including Lindsey Graham, siding with Democrats.
Ms Beutler’s testimony — an account of a chilling conversation between House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Mr Trump during the assault on the US Capitol in which the president reportedly refused to call off rioters loyal to him — was instead read into the record.
Closing statements are now underway.
House managers are planning a press conference at 4pm.
Mitch McConnell says he will make an address on the floor of the Senate after the trial.
Oliver O’Connell13 February 2021 20:21
A quick fact check from CNN
Oliver O’Connell13 February 2021 20:15
Van der Veen says Dems should be cancelled
Mr Van der Veen says Democrats use far more incendiary language and that they “should be cancelled”.
He argues that the mob storming the Capitol was the culmination of the media and politicians supporting Black Lives Matter protests and not supporting law enforcement.
His tactic continues to be to turn accusations on the accusers.
Oliver O’Connell13 February 2021 20:10
Defence delivers closing argument
Michael Van der Veen continues the argument that there was no insurrection and no incitement, despite those involved claiming that they understood Donald Trump’s comments as such.
Mr Van der Veen claimed that the 6 January rally was highjacked by groups on the left and right. There was disquiet among Democrats at this comment and Bernie Sanders was seen to shake his head.
Oliver O’Connell13 February 2021 20:05
House managers wrap up closing arguments
“Whatever you came to Washington to do… This is almost certainly how you will be remembered by history,” says Rep Jamie Raskin in closing remarks. “That might not be fair… but none of us can escape the demands of history and destiny right now.”
He concludes: “It is now literally in your hands. Godspeed to the United States Senate.”
Oliver O’Connell13 February 2021 19:54
‘Senators, this is one of those moments’
Representative Joe Neguse also brought up a historical example of Senate action in which the country was put before party, reminding the assembled jurors: ‘Senators, this is one of those moments’.
Referencing the 1986 bill to override President Reagan’s veto of legislation on South Africa, Mr Neguse pointed out that two senators currently in the room voted in favour.
Oliver O’Connell13 February 2021 19:49
Rep Joe Neguse provides moving close to his final argument
Representative Joe Neguse, the youngest House impeachment manager, provided a moving closing argument.
“The trial will end. We’ll resume our lives and our work. But for some, there will be no end, no end to the pain of what happened on January 6th. The officers who struggle to recover from the injuries they sustained to protect us. They struggle to recover today.”
He adds: “I fear… the violence we saw on that terrible day may be just the beginning… The extremist groups who grow more emboldened every day. Senators, this cannot be the beginning. It can’t be the new normal. It has to be the end. And that decision is in your hands.”
Oliver O’Connell13 February 2021 19:43
Who is Jaime Herrera Beutler?
Her name was at the centre of the shock twist in Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. Louise Hall explains why Washington congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler was thrust into the national spotlight on Friday evening.
Oliver O’Connell13 February 2021 19:36
Closing arguments resume
It appears the slide was allowed.
Ms Dean resumes with a chuckle: “I have to say that of all the trials I have ever been a part of, this is certainly one of them.”
Oliver O’Connell13 February 2021 19:19
House managers: Trump ‘willfully betrayed us’
‘Trump willfully betrayed us’, House managers tell impeachment trial
Oliver O’Connell13 February 2021 19:19