How senators reacted to new footage shown during the impeachment trial

  • Democratic impeachment managers continued to make their case during Trump’s second impeachment trial. 
  • Impeachment managers shared previously-unseen security footage of the insurrection.
  • After the videos, senators from across the aisle offered emotional reactions to the scenes.
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During the second day of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, Democratic impeachment managers shared a trove of previously-unseen video footage from inside the Capitol on January 6.

Yesterday, the Senate voted that the impeachment trial was constitutional, and on Wednesday, Democrats continued to make their case that Trump incited an insurrection against the US government.

The videos shown on Wednesday included body camera footage from police officers who were assaulted inside and outside the Capitol and security camera footage from inside the building. One video showed Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman sprinting towards Sen. Mitt Romney, ushering him down a hallway away from the impending mob.

Impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin made the case today that Trump directed rioters to storm the Capitol. “He told them to fight like hell and they brought us hell,” said Raskin. Other lawmakers offered emotional reactions to the videos and between sessions or showed their emotions while they served as jurors for the trial.

Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma

After watching a video of Capitol Police Officer Hodges being smashed in between a door by rioters, Lankford told reporters, “It’s painful to see … Who in God’s name thinks, ‘I’m going to show that I’m right by smashing into the Capitol’? Who would do that?” Sens. Dick Durbin and Kirsten Gillibrand reportedly looked away when Hodges was being crushed in the video.

Andrew Desiderio, a reporter for Politico, said that Lankford was “incredibly shaken up,” and appeared to get teary-eyed, with Sen. Steve Daines of Montana comforting him and holding his arm. Lankford also reportedly looked down and shook his head after watching a video of Ashli Babbitt being shot outside the House chamber. 


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York

One of the videos, paired with a graphic mapping the locations of senators and rioters, showed Schumer coming in close proximity with the path of the mob before he turns and runs away with aides.

“I don’t think many of us feel like eating dinner,” Schumer told NBC News during the trial’s dinner break.

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah

Sen. Mitt Romney was one of the senators who admitted Wednesday that he was not aware of how close the mob was to him prior to seeing the security footage.

Asked about Officer Goodman, Romney said, “I look forward to thanking him when I next see him,” adding that he was very fortunate. Romney also said the video presentation was “overwhelmingly distressing and emotional.” 


Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina

Sen. Graham called the presentation and footage “hypocritical.” He showed anger at the footage, and said Capitol Police had the right to use deadly force on rioters.

“I got mad. I mean, these police officers had every right to use deadly force. They should have used it,” he said to reporters on Capitol Hill. “The people in charge of securing the Capitol let the country down.” 

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Sen. Lisa Murkowski said that impeachment managers have made “a strong case.”

“We lived this once and that was awful. And we’re now we’re living with a more comprehensive timeline. I’m angry. I’m disturbed. I’m sad,” Murkowski told reporters outside the Senate halls. “I don’t see how Donald Trump could be re-elected to the presidency again.” 

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine

Telling reporters about the atmosphere on the Senate floor, Collins said, “It was extremely quiet — you could have heard a pin drop.”

Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio

Sen. Rob Portman was also moved after rewatching the footage, he told pool reporters he felt he was “reliving a horrible day, a horrible day.” 

Portman added that he checked in with staffers after realizing the danger many of them face being barricaded in rooms.

“That’s, that’s not easy. I talked to some leadership staff, and they were, you know, in their offices, and people were banging on the doors. And that was, that was a lot more frightening,” Portman said. 

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