Trump's second impeachment trial: Day 2

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha, Melissa Mahtani and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 11:41 p.m. ET, February 10, 2021
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9:00 p.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Key takeaways from the second day of Trump's impeachment trial

The second day of former President Trump's impeachment was dominated by detailed documentation of the events leading up to the Jan. 6 riot.

House impeachment managers presented chilling video – some that had never been seen before – depicting various violent and graphic moments of the insurrection.

In case you missed it, here are some key things to know:

  • Mike Pence was holed up just off the Senate floor: Then vice president was holed up just off the Senate floor with attackers looking for him right outside: "As the rioters reached the top of the stairs, they were within 100 feet of where the vice president was sheltering with his family, and they were just feet away from one of the doors to this chamber," House impeachment manager Stacey Plaskett said.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was evacuated entirely: Pelosi was removed entirely from the Capitol complex as rioters voiced their eagerness to find and harm her. "They sought out the Speaker on the Floor and in her office, publicly declared their intent to harm or kill her, ransacked her office and terrorized her staff," Plaskett said, adding "and they did it because Donald Trump sent them on this mission." After Pelosi was ushered away from the House floor, "Capitol police deemed the threat so dangerous that they evacuated her entirely from the Capitol complex," Plaskett added.
  • Officer Eugene Goodman may have saved Mitt Romney's life: Footage from one of the Capitol's interior security cameras showed Goodman direct the Utah Republican out of the path of the rioters. Romney said the video was “obviously very troubling” and said that he didn’t know that he was that close to the rioters.
  • Chuck Schumer and his security detail had to run from rioters: New security video from inside the Capitol showed how current Schumer, the Senate majority leader, had a "near miss with the mob" on Jan. 6. "They came within just yards of rioters," impeachment manager Eric Swalwell said, while playing footage of Schumer and his security detail evacuating. The video shows Schumer and his team walking up a ramp then, seconds later, running back down the hallway and officers immediately shut the door and "use their bodies to keep them safe," Swalwell said.
  • One rioter was carrying a stun gun: Richard Barnett, who was photographed sitting at Pelosi’s desk on Jan. 6, was carrying a 950,000 volt "stun gun walking stick." Plaskett said, "The weapon could have caused serious pain and incapacitated anyone Barnett had used it against," as she displayed a zoomed in photograph of the device, tucked into his pants. Plaskett said the FBI had later identified the device from the photo.
  • GOP reaction to the videos: While many GOP senators said the video shown was compelling or hard to watch, some of them claimed the Democrats didn't make a convincing argument that tied the actions of the rioters to Trump. Not all Republicans agreed. Sen. John Thune, the minority whip and a member of GOP leadership, told reporters that he believes the House managers did an “effective job” and are “connecting the dots” from Trump’s words to the insurrection.

What happens next: Impeachment managers will continue to make their case against Trump tomorrow. The trial resumes at noon. They have up to 16 hours spread over two days to convince GOP senators that Trump was responsible for inciting the deadly Capitol riot.

8:57 p.m. ET, February 10, 2021

After seeing today's video, Sen. Romney speaks to officer who protected him from mob

From CNN's Annie Grayer 

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, said he spoke to US Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman today after watching new video of how the officer protected him from the mob that breached the Capitol.

The new security video presented by the House Impeachment managers shows Goodman running as the mob begins to enter the Capitol. Goodman passes Romney and redirects him away from the rioters' path before continuing to the first floor to respond to the initial breach and divert the mob away from lawmakers.

“I expressed my appreciation to him for coming to my aid and getting me back into the path of safety and expressed my appreciation for all that he did that day and he took me through his full day. And he was exhausted going from one part of the building to the other up and down stairs. He indicated that he had to breathe a lot of bear spray and tear gas and that he was nauseated," Romney told reporters.

The senator went on to say that he told Goodman "how much I appreciated him, making sure that I was out of harm's way."

Recounting the events of Jan. 6, Romney said he received a text that rioters had gotten inside the Capitol, he then stood up to leave the Senate chamber because he wanted to go to his hideaway. Romney said when he got into the hallway “there was no one there,” except for Goodman. 

“Officer Goodman came and saw me and said go back in, it’s not safe here, go back in, you'll be safer in the chamber. So I came back, and took my seat,” Romney said. 

Romney didn’t know exactly but he said “just a few minutes” later all senators were evacuated from the Senate chamber.


8:41 p.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Many Republicans still say they will vote to acquit Trump despite today's presentation 

From CNN's Manu Raju and Ryan Nobles

Senator Marco Rubio leaves after the conclusion of the second day of the second impeachment trial of former US President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill February 10, in Washington, DC.
Senator Marco Rubio leaves after the conclusion of the second day of the second impeachment trial of former US President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill February 10, in Washington, DC. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Despite the riveting video footage that moved senators from both sides of the aisle, many GOP senators are simply not moved enough to convict former President Trump.

Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, would only say Trump bears “some responsibility” for what happened on Jan. 6.

Pressed on whether Trump bears primary responsibility, Rubio said the “primary responsibility are the people that actually did it,” adding, “That's not the question before us — the vote we're having is whether we should remove someone from office someone who's no longer in office.”

Many other GOP senators are echoing Rubio's comments. Sen. Mike Rounds, from South Dakota, said the impeachment managers put on a polished presentation that was “selectively” edited.

Rounds added that while the presentation was impressive, it did nothing to answer the central barrier for the Republicans.

“In this particular case, they did not show us anything that we did not already know. We were all concerned about the events of June of Jan. 6. This just rekindled, a lot of the anger that we all felt on that day. But it still goes back to, if they're expecting us to do an impeachment, they have yet to overcome the obstacle, which is at least 44 of us truly do not believe that we have impeachment available as a tool to use.”

He predicted that there will still not be enough votes to convict the former President.

8:36 p.m. ET, February 10, 2021

GOP senator says at best there will be 6 Republican senators who will vote to convict

Susan Walsh/AP
Susan Walsh/AP

Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, said at best there will be six GOP senators who will vote to convict former President Trump.

“I think you get at best six Republicans — probably five and maybe six,” Scott said when asked if the video footage changed his mind on conviction. 

Asked if he considers himself an impartial juror, Scott said, “I think I’m as impartial as the other 99.” 

11:41 p.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Sen. Cotton asked staffer to bring his knife to undisclosed location on Jan. 6

From CNN's Jamie Gangel

On the afternoon of Jan. 6, Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton believed the situation at the Capitol was so dangerous that he asked one of his staffers to bring his knife to the undisclosed location where senators were being hidden from rioters, and that he was prepared to use it.

Cotton told CNN's Jamie Gangel that afternoon during the riot: “I’m armed and I’m immune from prosecution” and indicated that he was prepared to defend himself, defend the room, if the rioters attacked and tried to get in where the senators were. 

After the stunning videos and photos presented by the House managers today, we now know how close it was for Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Mitt Romney. We know that Kevin McCarthy and other leaders were desperately calling for help. We know that five people died including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

So in real time, on the afternoon of Jan. 6 — around 2:20 p.m. — Cotton thought the situation was so dangerous, he asked for his knife to be brought to him. That there was that kind of threat — mortal danger.

Update: Sen. Cotton’s office has now clarified to CNN that he was armed with a knife, not a gun.

9:11 p.m. ET, February 10, 2021

GOP senator objects to impeachment managers' characterization of his words during the Capitol riot

From CNN's Josiah Ryan

Senate TV
Senate TV

Republican Sen. Mike Lee this evening presented an objection into the final moments of the day's impeachment proceedings, saying House impeachment managers had mischaracterized his words on Jan. 6.

"Statements were attributed to me repeatedly as to which I have personal knowledge, because I am the source," said Lee. "They are not true. I never made those statements. I ask that they be stricken."

The move, which seemed to catch his colleagues, as well as Senate parliamentarians by surprise, temporarily threw the evening into chaos as the presiding officer, as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sought to make sense of the objection.

Lee's objection was over House impeachment managers' account of an accidental phone call Trump reportedly made to him as the riot was unfolding on Jan. 6, which was intended for Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville, in order to convince him to delay the counting of Electoral College votes.

Lee's spokesperson confirmed the calls from Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani were intended for Tuberville.

Lee picked up the phone and Trump identified himself, and it became clear Trump was looking for Tuberville and had been given the wrong number. Lee, keeping the President on hold, went to find his colleague and handed Tuberville his phone, telling him the President was on the line and had been trying to reach him.

Tuberville spoke with Trump for less than 10 minutes, with the President trying to convince him to make additional objections to the Electoral College vote in a futile effort to block Congress' certification of President-elect Joe Biden's win, according to a source familiar with the call. The call was cut off because senators were asked to move to a secure location.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager, eventually agreed to Lee's request calling it "much to do about nothing."

Schumer warned that the question may be "relitigated tomorrow."

Moments later the Senate adjourned until 12 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Watch the moment:

7:41 p.m. ET, February 10, 2021

The trial is done for the day

The proceedings in the second impeachment trial of former President Trump have concluded for the day.

The trial will resume tomorrow at noon, with House impeachment managers presenting their case against Trump. They have up to 16 hours spread over two days to convince GOP senators that Trump was responsible for inciting the deadly Capitol riot.

8:10 p.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Castro lays out timeline of Republicans urging Trump to stop Capitol rioters

From CNN's Leinz Vales

As House impeachment manager Joaquin Castro continued laying out the timeline of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, he highlighted remarks from Republicans, urging former President Trump to speak out against the insurrectionists. 

“At 2:54 p.m., Alyssa Farrah, a former communications director, begged the President, 'condemn this now. You’re the only one they will listen to. For our country!’”

“Mick Mulvaney, the President’s former chief of staff, his right-hand man at one point, tweeted at 3:01, 'the President’s tweet is not enough. He can stop this now and needs to do exactly that. Tell these folks to go home.’”

“Representative Gallagher at 3:11 p.m., while secured in his own office, posted a video to Twitter,” Castro said in his remarks from the Senate floor. 

In the video, Gallagher said, “Mr. President, you have got to stop this. You are the only person who can call this off. Call it off."

“And then when the President didn’t answer his pleas on Twitter, Representative Gallagher went on live television,” Castro said.

“This is insane,” Gallagher said on CNN. “I mean, I have not seen anything like this since I deployed to Iraq in 2007 and 2008. I mean, this is America and this is what’s happening right now. We need — the President needs to call it off. Like call it off. Call it off.”

Castro went on to say that the message was clear that his allies wanted the President to tell the rioters to go home.  

"How simple would it have been to give a simple command, stop, leave," Castro said. "This was a dereliction of duty, plain and simple."

Watch here:

7:57 p.m. ET, February 10, 2021

Rep. Castro blames Trump for mob's pursuit of Pence

From CNN's Jason Kurtz

Senate TV
Senate TV

As the House impeachment managers continued their presentation this evening, they placed the blame for the mob's pursuit of Vice President Mike Pence squarely on the shoulders of former President Trump.

"You'll recall Donald Trump had made Vice President Pence a target. He attacked the Vice President at the rallies, in speeches and on Twitter," said impeachment manager Rep. Joaquin Castro, adding "and during President Trump's speech that morning of the attack, he ramped it up again."

Noting that Trump directed his supporters' ire at his vice president on nearly a dozen occasions, Castro then quoted the former President, reading a snippet from Trump's Jan. 6 morning rally.

"Mike Pence, I hope you're going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of your country. And if you're not, I'm going to be disappointed in you," read Castro, sharing Trump's words verbatim.

Castro went on to explain the impact those words had on the mob.

"By 2:15 p.m., the crowd was chanting in unison, 'Hang Mike Pence,' outside the very building he'd been evacuated from with his family," said Castro.

And as the insurrectionists continued to threaten Pence, Trump failed to temper the situation. Rather, said Castro, he enflamed it.

"He fueled the fire," said Castro, further laying out the afternoon timeline. "At 2:24 p.m. [Trump] tweeted 'Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution.'"

Next, the House impeachment manager linked Trump's social media posts to the unruly mob's actions.

"The insurgents amplified President Trump's tweet, attacking the vice president with a bullhorn," Castro said. "Some of these insurgents were heard saying 'that they hoped to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him, by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor.'"

Finally, Castro presented a photo, one depicting the US Capitol in the background, with instruments of execution framing the government building.

"They erected a gallows with a noose. This is what Donald Trump incited," he said, pushing those at this evening's proceedings to truly digest the imagery. "Please, take a close look at that picture. It harkens back to our nation's worst history of lynching. A President's words have the power to move people to action. These were the results."