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House Impeachment Managers Present Argument Of Trump's Role In Capitol Riots

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

It is Day 3 of former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. The House managers spent hour after hour methodically tying the former president directly to the violence at the Capitol on January 6. Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado began with the argument that the crowd that stormed the Capitol did so at Trump's invitation.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DIANA DEGETTE: They truly believed that the whole intrusion was at the president's orders, and we know that because they said so. Many of them actually posed for pictures, bragging about it on social media, and they tagged Mr. Trump in tweets. Folks, this was not a hidden crime. The president told them to be there, and so they actually believed they would face no punishment.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Once again, House Democrats used footage from that day to build their case, like this one, where a crowd approaching the Capitol yells, fight for Trump.

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UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Chanting) Fight for Trump. Fight for Trump. Fight for Trump. Fight for Trump.

CORNISH: They played clips of people who'd entered the Capitol, including Texas real estate agent Jennifer Ryan.

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JENNIFER RYAN: I thought I was following my president. I thought I was following what we were called to do.

KELLY: And still, the impeachment manager said Trump took no responsibility for the violence that resulted in multiple deaths, showed no remorse. Here's Congressman Ted Lieu of California.

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TED LIEU: I'm a former prosecutor, and we're trained to recognize lack of remorse. But it doesn't take a prosecutor to understand that President Trump was not showing remorse. He was showing defiance. He was telling us that he would do this again.

CORNISH: The Democrats' arguments weren't limited to the events of January 6. Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin spoke at length about the attack on the Michigan State Capitol and the plan to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. He raised Trump's comments about the gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, that there were, quote, "very fine people on both sides." Raskin called it a continuing pattern and practice of inciting violence.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JAMIE RASKIN: If we don't draw the line here, what's next? What makes you think the nightmare with Donald Trump and his lawmaking and violent mobs is over? If we let him get away with it and then it comes to your state capital or comes back here again, what are we going to say? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.