House Democratic impeachment managers wrapped up two days of arguments on Thursday, making the final case that former President Donald Trump should be convicted in his impeachment trial.
“We humbly, humbly, ask you to convict President Trump for the crime for which he is overwhelmingly guilty of. Because if you don’t, if we pretend this didn’t happen, or worse, if we let it go unanswered, who’s to say it won’t happen again?” House impeachment manager Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) said in his closing remarks.
“When President Trump stood up to that podium on January 6, he knew that many in that crowd were inflamed, were armed, were ready for violence. It was an explosive situation. And he knew it,” Neguse said, without providing evidence of how Trump could have known.
The former president’s attorneys are scheduled to make their arguments against his impeachment starting on Friday.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the lead impeachment manager, thanked members of the Senate for the “close attention” they paid to the trial and said the protestors breached the Capitol building on Jan. 6 on behalf of Trump.
“Senators, America, we need to exercise our common sense about what happened. Let’s not get caught up in a lot of outlandish lawyers’ theories here. Exercise your common sense about what just took place in our country,” Raskin said, likely referring to arguments that Trump—because he doesn’t hold office any longer—cannot be convicted in an impeachment trial.
The argument that a former president cannot be convicted slated to be a centerpiece of Trump’s lawyers’ arguments Friday. His attorneys—Bruce Castor and David Schoen—are also expected to say that Trump’s speech to protesters on Jan. 6 was protected under the First Amendment. At one point, the former president told them to make their voices heard “peacefully and patriotically.”
Earlier in the week, Schoen and Castor received blowback from some conservatives, including Republican senators, for how they laid out their arguments.
But despite this, the Senate trial is widely expected to result in Trump’s acquittal as the Senate needs 67 votes to convict.
Trump, for his part, has been unusually silent during the trial. The former president’s social media accounts were banned in the days following the Capitol breach and he has made few public statements, instead relying on his attorneys to make arguments for him.