After playing footage from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin said that former President Trump's actions inciting the riot constitute “a high crime and misdemeanor.”
“If that's not an impeachable offense, then there is no such thing,” Raskin said.
Raskin said that Trump wants to render the Senate "powerless" during a presidential transition period, while Raskin believes it is one of the most important and fragile times for the country.
"The transition of power is always the most dangerous moment for democracies. Every historian will tell you that. We just saw it in the most astonishing way. We lived through it. And you know what, the framers of our Constitution knew it. That's why they created a Constitution with an oath written into it that binds the president from his very first day in office until his very last day in office and every day in between," Raskin said.
Raskin, an expert on constitutional law, went on to lay out why the Democrats believe a trial against a president who has left office is constitutional.
"Under that Constitution, and under that oath, the president of the United States is forbidden to commit high crimes and misdemeanors at any point he is in office. Indeed, that's one specific reason impeachment, conviction and disqualification powers exist, to protect us against presidents who try to overrun the power of the people in their elections and replace the rule of law with the rule of mobs," Raskin added. "These powers must apply even if the president commits his offenses in his final weeks in office. In fact, that's precisely when we need them the most, because that's when elections get attacked."