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Democrats argue Trump planted seeds of Capitol attack

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Democrats prosecuting former President Donald Trump began presenting their case on Wednesday, arguing Trump planted the seeds for the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol long before Jan. 6.

Lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin opened arguments saying Trump was 'no innocent bystander: "The evidence will show that he clearly incited the January 6th insurrection. It will show that Donald Trump surrendered his role as Commander in Chief and became the 'Inciter in Chief' of a dangerous insurrection."

Rep. Joe Neguse, another impeachment manager, said Trump had been laying the groundwork over months, by falsely telling his supporters the November 3. election was stolen from him and to not accept the results... which Neguse said culminated in the Capitol attack.

"He didn't just tell them to ‘fight like hell.’ He told them how, where and when. 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."

Trump is the first president to face an impeachment trial after leaving office, and the only president in American history to be impeached twice.

Democrats face long odds to secure a conviction, which could lead to a vote barring Trump from seeking public office again.

A two-thirds majority in the Senate must vote to convict, which means at least 17 Republicans would have to defy Trump's still-potent popularity among Republican voters.

Video Transcript

JAMIE RASKIN: There was method in the madness that day.

- Democrats prosecuting former President Donald Trump began presenting their case on Wednesday, arguing Trump planted the seeds for the deadly attack on the US Capitol long before January 6. Lead impeachment manager, Representative Jamie Raskin, opened arguments saying Trump was no innocent bystander.

JAMIE RASKIN: The evidence will show that he clearly incited the January 6 insurrection. It will show that Donald Trump surrendered his role as commander in chief and became the inciter in chief of a dangerous insurrection.

- Representative Joe Neguse, another impeachment manager, said Trump had been laying the groundwork over months by falsely telling his supporters the November 3 election was stolen from him and to not accept the results, which Neguse said culminated in the Capitol attack.

JOE NEGUSE: He didn't just tell them to fight like hell, he told them how, where, and when. He made sure they had advance notice, 18 days advance notice. He sent his save the date for January 6. He told them to march to the Capitol and fight like hell.

- Trump is the first president to face an impeachment trial after leaving office and the only president in American history to be impeached twice. Democrats face long odds to secure a conviction, which could lead to a vote barring Trump from seeking public office again. A 2/3 majority in the Senate must vote to convict, which means at least 17 Republicans would have to defy Trump's still potent popularity among Republican voters.