Trump lawyers refuse to answer repeated questions on when he knew about Capitol riots

Trump acquitted of inciting Capitol attack despite 7 Republicans voting to convict

Trump acquitted of inciting Capitol attack despite 7 Republicans voting to convict

Trump acquitted of inciting Capitol attack despite 7 Republicans voting to convict

Donald Trump has been acquitted of inciting insurrection leading to the violent storming of the US Capitol on 6 January.

Mr Trump was not convicted despite seven Republicans joining 50 Democrats in voting ‘guilty’. A further 10 votes were needed to convict as a two-thirds majority of 67 is required under the Constitution.

The former president released a celebratory statement thanking his supporters and teasing a continuation of his MAGA movement. Meanwhile, he was eviscerated in speeches on the Senate floor by both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who noted that Mr Trump could still face criminal or civil charges.

In a dramatic morning at the Capitol, the Senate initially voted to allow witnesses in Mr Trump’s impeachment trial in a “game-changing” move that threw proceedings into chaos. Frantic negotiations brought the trial back on track — without witnesses — and it is again expected to wrap up today.

The Trump defence team was seemingly caught off guard by the move by Democrat House managers who specifically requested Republican congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler be called to testify. Republicans threatened to call more than 300 witnesses in retaliation for the move.

The motion to have witnesses testify passed 55-45 on Saturday morning, with a handful of Republican lawmakers, including Lindsey Graham, siding with Democrats.

Ms Beutler’s testimony — an account of a chilling conversation between House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Mr Trump during the assault on the US Capitol in which the president reportedly refused to call off rioters loyal to him — was instead read into the record.


Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s up-to-the-minute coverage of all the latest as Donald Trump’s swift impeachment trial is expected to come to a conclusion today – in what will be a likely vote to acquit the former president by Senate Republicans despite the overwhelming weight of evidence against him.

Tom Embury-Dennis13 February 2021 08:37


McCarthy snapped at Trump when he refused to help during riot: ‘Who the f*** do you think you’re talking to?’

Kevin McCarthy snapped at Donald Trump when he refused to call off his rioting supporters and reportedly told the president: “Who the f*** do you think you’re talking to?”

The ex-president and the leader of the House Republicans became embroiled in a heated exchange as Mr McCarthy called and begged Mr Trump to intervene, according to CNN.

When Mr Trump told the lawmaker that the rioters were actually antifa, Mr McCarthy bluntly told him that they were in fact a MAGA mob.

Tom Embury-Dennis13 February 2021 08:45


Rubio falsely claims Senate will ‘set destructive precedent’ if it votes to convict Trump

In a tweet littered with grammatical and spelling errors, Republican senator Marco Rubio has falsely claimed voting to convict Donald Trump would set a “destructive” precedent over impeachment.

“If the Senate sets a precedent that a former official can be convicted & disqualified it will be just a matter of time before a future House,under partisan pressure to “Lock Her Up”,will impeach & the Senate forced to try other former officials,” Mr Rubio tweeted. “A destructive slipper (sic) slope”

The suggestion Hillary Clinton and other former officials could be impeached ignores the fact Mr Trump was in fact still president when he was impeached, but Republican leadership forced the trial to occur after their leader had left office.

“It’s both sad and entertaining watching you trying to rationalize acquitting a domestic terrorist,” tweeted Asha Rangappa, a former FBI special agent, of Mr Rubio.

Tom Embury-Dennis13 February 2021 09:04


Trump lawyers refuse to answer repeated questions on when he knew about Capitol riots

Donald Trump’s lawyers repeatedly refused to say when the former president knew about violence that erupted during the 6 January attack on the US Capitol during questioning on Friday in the Senate.

As his attorneys wrapped up their defence of the ex-president against an article of impeachment that now looks as though it could be decided as early as Saturday, they were asked more than once when he learned of the nature of the violence, and the physical threat to his vice president and members of both houses of Congress.

In questions asked of Mr Trump’s lawyers after they had completed their presentation, Republican senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski asked “exactly when did president Trump learn of the breach of the Capitol, and what specific actions did he take to bring the rioting to an end?”

Griffin Connolly and Andrew Buncombe13 February 2021 09:25


Rubio asks impeachment prosecutors if Hillary Clinton will be impeached

Marco Rubio in fact went further than simply tweeting about his claimed concerns that voting to convict Donald Trump would set a “destructive” precedent of impeaching ex-officials, including Hillary Clinton.

The Senator from Florida put the question to prosecutors on Friday, as can be seen here.

Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager, pointed out that Mr Trump was impeached while still president, and that the actions that led to the impeachment were also committed while he was president.

Tom Embury-Dennis13 February 2021 09:46


Josh Hawley eviscerated by home state’s largest newspaper

The editorial board of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the state’s largest newspaper, blasted Senators Hawley and Roy Blunt for “blindly supporting” the former president.

The authors said Mr Hawley and Mr Blunt were “refusing to see Trump’s guilt”.

Graig Graziosi13 February 2021 10:05


Trump lawyers calls impeachment ‘patently absurd’ during closing arguments

In their closing arguments on Friday, Donald Trump’s defence team claimed the former president’s impeachment is

“This impeachment is completely divorced from the facts, the evidence and the interests of the American people,” Michael Van Der Veen told the Senate.

“The hatred that the House managers and others on the left have for President Trump has driven them to skip the basic elements of due process and fairness, and to rush an impeachment through the House claiming ‘urgency’,” added David Schoen, as shown in the below video put together by AFP.

Bruce Castor, whose performance earlier this week was widely panned, including by Mr Trump, said the prosecution was asking for “Constitutional cancel culture” to take over in the Senate.

“Are we going to allow cancelling and banning and silencing to be sanctioned in this body,” Ms Castor asked, largely avoiding arguments about how Mr Trump repeatedly lied about the election, contributing to the fury of the former president’s base.

Tom Embury-Dennis13 February 2021 10:24


Opinion: Trump’s formal impeachment defence is even worse than you imagined

Donald Trump attorney Michael van der Veen opened the ex-president’s formal impeachment defence on Friday by spraying 25 minutes of partisan acid rain on the Senate, dropping virtually every Trump-era conservative buzzword known to man, writes Griffin Connolly.

An X’s-and-O’s masterpiece of whataboutism and intellectual dishonesty, Van der Veen’s presentation pelted Senators with classic conservative insults against Democratic politicians.

For good measure, it also included outright falsehoods concerning both the makeup of the mob that attacked the US Capitol on January 6 and the nature of Trump’s speeches denouncing the 2020 election — both on the day of the insurrection and well before.

Tom Embury-Dennis13 February 2021 10:46


DC police officer Eugene Goodman receives congressional gold medal for heroics on January 6

Amid the rancour of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial on Friday, there was a rare moment of unity when Eugene Goodman, the DC police officer who diverted the Capitol mob away from the Senate chamber on January 6, received the congressional gold medal with unanimous consent.

Here Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer praises the “incredible bravery” of Mr Goodman, who receives a standing ovation from both sides of the aisle.

Tom Embury-Dennis13 February 2021 11:05


Nikki Haley turns on Trump: ‘We shouldn’t have followed him’

Former US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has finally turned on Donald Trump amid his Senate impeachment trial, saying that she believes “we shouldn’t have followed him”.

In an interview published by Politico on Friday, Ms Haley, 49, who served in Mr Trump’s cabinet between 2017 to 2018, said: “We need to acknowledge he let us down.”

She added: “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”

James Crump13 February 2021 11:24

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