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Impeachment managers show chilling new footage of Capitol attack at Trump's trial

Dylan Stableford and Christopher Wilson
·3 min read
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After arguing former President Donald Trump incited the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, House Democrats serving as prosecutors in his impeachment trial presented never-before-seen video footage of the riot.

The footage, which was recorded by Capitol security cameras from inside the halls of Congress, showed the moment the violent mob of Trump supporters first broke through the windows and doors of the Capitol building.

A lone police officer could be seen using pepper spray but quickly retreating as the insurrectionists, including a man in full body armor and carrying a baseball bat, flooded inside.

In another video, Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who was responding to the initial breach, could be seen passing Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who was inadvertently walking toward the rioters on the second floor. After Goodman alerted him, the senator turned and started running in the other direction.

The videos included a map of the Capitol and red dots indicating the location of the rioters in each.

“On the first floor, just below them, the mob had already started to search for the Senate chamber,” said Stacey Plaskett, a Democratic House delegate from the Virgin Islands who introduced the new video evidence.

The footage was timestamped 2:13 p.m., just minutes after Vice President Mike Pence — who was presiding over the certification of the election results — was evacuated from the Senate chamber.

Mike Pence

Then-Vice President Mike Pence is evacuated from his Senate office during the Jan. 6 attack. (via Reuters)

“Hey, where they counting the votes?” some of the rioters could be heard asking as they took over the building.

Other security footage showed Pence and his family being whisked away by Secret Service amid the siege.

The Democratic impeachment managers also played radio communications between police officers pleading for help as they were overtaken by the mob.

“We’ve lost the line!” one officer could be heard yelling. “We’ve lost the line!”

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., then presented new body camera footage from a Capitol Police officer as he was being attacked. Swalwell also showed security footage of officers being beaten with a crutch, a hockey stick, a bullhorn and a Trump flag.

Footage from an officer's body camera taken during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is shown during former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial Wednesday. (Screengrab via Reuters TV)
Footage from an officer's body camera taken during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is shown during former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial Wednesday. (Screengrab via Reuters TV)

Another video exhibited by Swalwell showed how close the Capitol rioters came to members of Congress on Jan. 6.

"You know how close you came to the mob," Swalwell said. "Most of the public does not know how close these rioters came to you."

Swalwell said he counted the steps himself, noting, "You were just 58 steps away from where the mob was amassing and where police were rushing to stop them."

Before the new footage was played, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the Democrats’ lead impeachment manager, warned that the imagery would be graphic.

Democrats have relied heavily on videos in an effort to prove Trump incited the insurrection. On Tuesday, they showed a 13-minute montage that stitched together cellphone footage of the Jan. 6 attack and remarks from Trump encouraging his supporters to “fight like hell” at the rally that preceded it.

“The evidence will show you that ex-President Trump was no bystander,” Raskin said in his opening argument. “The evidence will show that he clearly incited the Jan. 6 insurrection. It will show that Donald Trump surrendered his role of commander in chief and became the inciter in chief.”

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