Impeachment manager Joe Neguse made the argument that violence was both predictable and foreseeable at the Jan. 6 rally before the Capitol riot.
"Was it foreseeable that the violence would erupt on January 6th if President Trump lit a spark? Was it predictable that the crowd at the 'Save America rally' was poised on a hair trigger for violence that they would fight literally if provoked to do so? Of course it was. When President Trump stood up to that podium on January 6th, 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.
Using a combination of tweets, photos and videos, he explained how Trump's inflammatory rhetoric was part of an intentional pattern used by Trump to provoke his supporters.
"You’ve seen it, the images, the videos, the articles, and the pattern which show that the violence on that terrible day was entirely foreseeable. We’ve showed you how this all began with the big lie, the claim that the election was rigged and that President Trump and his supporters were the victims of a massive fraud, a massive conspiracy to rip away their votes. We’ve showed you how President Trump spread that lie and how over the course of months with his support and encouragement, it inflamed part of his base, resulting in death threats, real-world violence, and increasingly extreme calls to stop the steal. We established that after he lost the election, the President was willing to do just about anything to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. That he tried everything he could do to stop it," Neguse said.
He listed numerous examples of how Trump tried to pressure individuals to overturn the election results and how he continued to rally his base around the false idea that the election was stolen.
"There can be no doubt that the risk of violence was foreseeable," Neguse said. "And what did he do in the days leading up to the rally? Did he calm the situation? Ask yourself. I mean, did he call for peace? No. He didn’t do that. He spread his big lie more. The most dangerous lie, as I mentioned, that Americans’ votes were being stolen and the final act of theft would occur here in the Capitol. And then he assembled all of those supporters. He invited them to an organized event on a specific day, at a specific time, matched perfectly to coincide with the joint session of Congress to coincide with the 'steal' that he had told them to stop. By any and all means. Again, he was told by law enforcement and all over the news that these people were armed and ready for real violence. He knew it. I mean, he knew it perfectly well. That he had created this powder keg at his rally. He knew just how combustible that situation was. He knew there were people before him who had prepared, who are armed and armored. He knew they would jump to violence at any signal, at any sign, from him that he needed them to fight. That he needed them to 'stop the steal.' And we all know what happened next. Second question. Did he encourage the violence? Standing in that powder keg, did he light a match? Everyone knows the answer to that question."
Neguse argued that Trump's rhetoric not only incited the Capitol riot, but said it threatened national security and said a failure to convict the former President would set a precedent that "inciting violence is OK."
Watch the moment: