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Reps. Stacey Plaskett and Joe Neguse emerged from day two of the Senate’s impeachment trial as prominent voices in the argument to bar Trump’s ability to run for office in perpetuity.
Plaskett and Neguse are the only two Black House managers out of a total of nine assigned to argue before the Senate in the impeachment trial.
Plaskett presented video she described as “chilling” on Wednesday which showed never-seen-before security footage as violent rioters broke into the building, along with footage of Officer Eugene Goodman leading Sen. Mitt Romney to safety.
“He fanned the flame of violence,” she said in an earlier speech. “The violence was what he deliberately encouraged.”
As a delegate for the Virgin Islands, Plaskett was not allowed to participate in Trump’s impeachment vote in the House. But her voice on Wednesday provided evidence as to why she was selected to help lead the charge among her congressional colleagues.
In addition to the disturbing video, Plaskett also played audio of officers desperately asking for backup, noting that several officers were injured in the early moments of the riot. One officer was killed as a result of the injuries he sustained and two others took their lives after Jan. 6.
Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado followed his sentiments from the first day of the trial, arguing that Trump abused his power as commander-in-chief to fan the flames of insurrection.
“He could have immediately and forcefully intervened to stop the violence,” said Neguse. “It was his duty as commander in chief to stop the violence and he alone had that power, not just because of his unique role.. but because they believed that they were following his orders.”
Neguse also read back quotes from Trump’s speech on Jan. 6, where steps away from the capitol, he urged the “Stop The Count” crowd to “fight like hell.”
“He didn’t just tell them to fight like hell. He told them how, where and when,” Neguse continued. “He made sure they had advanced notice, 18 days advance notice. He sent his save the date for Jan. 6. He told them to march to the capitol and fight like hell.”
Neguse mentioned that Trump told the crowd to abort three hours into the chaos, but subverted the message by adding “you’re very special, we love you.”
“Think for a moment, just a moment, of the lives lost that day. Of the more 140 wounded police officers and ask yourself, if as soon as this had started President Trump had simply gone on the TV, just logged on Twitter and said, ‘stop the attack.’ If he had done so with even half as much force as he said ‘stop the steal,’ how many lives would we have saved?”
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