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Inside The Start Of Trump's 2nd Impeachment Trial

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

A few minutes before 1 o'clock and the start of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, nine House impeachment managers strode across the Capitol. The congressmen and women who will present the case against Trump crossed the same halls that, a little more than a month ago, were filled with insurrectionists trying to stop the certification of the presidential election.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The afternoon was dedicated to arguments over whether Trump is still subject to the jurisdiction of the Senate. Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin, a constitutional lawyer, presented first.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JAMIE RASKIN: Our case is based on cold, hard facts. It's all about the facts.

KELLY: Raskin spoke for just a few minutes and then played a 13-minute tape for the Senate jurors.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DONALD TRUMP: We will stop the steal.

KELLY: The edited, graphic and oftentimes disturbing video wove together scenes of rioters storming the Capitol...

(SOUNDBITE OF RIOT AMBIENCE)

KELLY: ...With Trump's speech at Freedom Plaza.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TRUMP: We're going to walk down to the Capitol.

(CHEERING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Take the Capitol.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Take the Capitol.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: Let's take it.

KELLY: At the end of the 13-minute tape, Raskin said simply this.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RASKIN: You ask what a high crime and misdemeanor is under our Constitution? That's a high crime and misdemeanor. If that's not an impeachable offense, then there is no such thing.

SHAPIRO: The former president's lawyers began their arguments shortly after 3 Eastern Time. Attorney Bruce Castor conceded that the events of January 6 were indefensible.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BRUCE CASTOR: You will not hear any member of the team representing former President Trump say anything but in the strongest possible way denounce the violence of the rioters and those that breached the Capitol, the very citadel of our democracy.

SHAPIRO: Castor's central argument was that the goal of impeaching a president has already been accomplished.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CASTOR: President Trump no longer is in office. The object of the Constitution has been achieved. He was removed by the voters. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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