Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Trump ‘eerily silent’ in wake of attack and showed ‘no remorse’, impeachment trial hears

Former president "took no accountability' after attack on legislature

Griffin Connolly
Thursday 11 February 2021 18:34 GMT
Donald Trump 'failed to show remorse' after Capitol insurrection, trial hears

House impeachment managers presented evidence on Thursday that Donald Trump "showed no remorse and took no accountability" in the wake of the 6 January insurrection at the Capitol, which he was impeached for inciting.

After releasing several tweets and video statements on the day of the riot saying he "loves" the people in the mob, the ex-president was then "eerily silent" for nearly 30 hours before finally condemning the actions of the mob he had addressed just minutes before they stormed the legislature.

"Now, some people have argued that President Trump made a mistake, that he gets a mulligan," impeachment manager Ted Lieu said on Thursday. Mr Lieu was quoting Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee, who before the trial began said he plans to acquit Mr Trump because he deserves a "mulligan" after the attack on the Capitol.

"But we know President Trump didn't make a mistake," Mr Lieu continued.

"Because, you see, when you or I make a mistake and something very bad happens, we would show remorse. We would accept responsibility. President Trump didn't do any of that. Why not? Because he intended what happened on January 6th. And why do we know that? he told us," Mr Lieu said.

Mr Lieu then played a clip of Mr Trump's comments to reporters from 12 January as he was boarding Air Force One to head to Texas.

"They've analyzed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence. And everybody, to a tee, thought it was totally appropriate," the ex-president said that day, nearly a week after the insurrection.

Democrats will wrap their opening argument on Thursday.

Mr Trump's defence counsel will have 16 hours to respond over two days beginning on Friday.

Mr Lieu's portion of the Democrats' presentation on Thursday concerned the ex-president's behaviour in the aftermath of the riot, which he argued further underscores the managers' position that Mr Trump continues to be a menace to society.

Even in the video statement Mr Trump released on the evening of 7 January, a full day after the attack, the former president refused to concede the 2020 election over claims it was fraudulent — the "big lie" that was the catalyst for the anger fueling rioters' march on Capitol Hill the day before.

In the 7 January video, "he does not say the one sentence that matters. He does not say the one sentence that would stop future political violence: 'The election was not stolen,'" Mr Lieu said.

"He still hasn't said that sentence. That is why National Guard troops in full body armor still patrol outside" the Capitol, the California congressman said.

Mr Lieu argued that Mr Trump has given no indication he will change his behaviour. And unless the Senate takes constitutional action to hold the ex-president accountable, Congress will be giving license to future presidents to foment a similar uprising against the US government in the future.

"Conviction and disqualification is not just about the past, it's about the future. It's making sure that no future official, no future president, does the same exact thing President Trump does," Mr Lieu said.

"I’m not afraid of Donald Trump running again in four years. I’m afraid he’s going to run again and lose — because he can do this again."

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in