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Lieu: ‘President Donald J. Trump ran out of nonviolent options to retain power’

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House manager Ted Lieu asserted on Wednesday at the Senate impeachment trial that Donald Trump urged his followers to resort to violence on Jan. 6 in order to stay in power after other nonviolent methods failed.

Video Transcript

TED LIEU: As a veteran, I find it deeply dishonorable that our former president and commander in chief equated patriotism with violating the Constitution and overturning the election. You will see and hear the consequences of President Trump's repeated attacks on the vice president, the chants of traitor, and the chants of hang Mike Pence.

Thankfully, Vice President Pence stood his ground like our other brave officials stood their ground. He refused their president and fulfilled his duty on January 6. Even after the Capitol was attacked, even after he was personally targeted, even after his family was targeted, Vice President Pence stood strong and certified the election. Vice President Biden showed us what it means to be an American, what it means to show courage. He put his country, his oath, his values, and his morals above the will of one man.

The president had tried everything in his power to seize-- everything in his attempt to seize power from the rightful victor of the election. President Trump's extraordinary actions grew increasingly more desperate. You saw him go from pursuing claims in the courts to threatening state and local election officials to then attacking members of Congress and the Senate to compromising our Justice Department and then to attacking the Republican vice president.

These brave public servants were being pressured by our commander in chief to overturn the results. Some of them and their families got death threats. Thankfully, at every turn, our Democratic processes prevailed, and the rule of law prevailed. It was only because all of these people stayed strong and refused President Trump that our Republic held fast and the will of the electorate was seen through. And at this point, President Donald J. Trump ran out of nonviolent options to maintain power.

I began today by raising the question of how we got here. What you saw was a man so desperate to cling to power that he tried everything he could to keep it. And when he ran out of nonviolent measures, he turned to the violent mob that attacked your Senate chamber on January 6. As you cast your vote after this trial, I hope each of you will think of the bravery of all of these people who said no to President Trump because they knew that this was not right, that this was not America.