Senators got teary-eyed, lost their appetites, and expressed anger after House impeachment managers' new video footage showed how close they were to danger

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Azmi Haroun
·5 min read
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Former Vice President Mike Pence
An image from a security video of Vice President Mike Pence being evacuated as rioters breached the US Capitol on January 6. Senate Television via AP
  • House Democrats added to their case Wednesday in former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

  • The impeachment managers shared previously unseen video footage of the Capitol insurrection.

  • Senators from both major parties offered emotional reactions to the scenes.

  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

During the second day of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial, House Democratic impeachment managers shared a trove of previously unseen video footage from inside the Capitol on January 6.

The impeachment managers, who function as prosecutors, were making their case that Trump incited the insurrection against the US government.

The videos shown 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 new video showed Eugene Goodman - a Capitol Police officer previously lauded for luring some of the rioters away from the Senate chamber - sprinting toward Sen. Mitt Romney, ushering him down a hallway away from the mob.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager, made the case that Trump directed rioters to storm the Capitol. "He told them to fight like hell, and they brought us hell," Raskin said. Lawmakers of both parties offered emotional reactions to the videos between sessions, and reporters observed their reactions as the videos were shown.

Read more: Meet the little-known power player with the 'hardest job' on Capitol Hill. She's shaping Trump's impeachment trial and Joe Biden's agenda.

Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma

After watching a video of a Capitol Police officer being caught in a doorway by rioters, GOP Sen. James 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'?" he added. "Who would do that?"

Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin and Kirsten Gillibrand were said to have looked away during the same video.

Andrew Desiderio, a reporter for Politico, said Lankford was "incredibly shaken up" and appeared to get teary-eyed, with Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana comforting him and holding his arm. Lankford was described as looking down and shaking his head after watching a video in which Ashli Babbitt - one of the people who stormed the Capitol - was fatally shot outside the House chamber.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

One of the videos, paired with a graphic mapping the locations of senators and rioters, showed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer coming in close proximity with the path of the mob before turning and running 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

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said he had not previously been aware of how close the mob was to him.

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

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham called Democrats' presentation "hypocritical." He also showed anger at the video footage and said the 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 told reporters on Capitol Hill. "The people in charge of securing the Capitol let the country down."

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the impeachment managers had 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. "I don't see how Donald Trump could be reelected to the presidency again."

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine

Telling reporters about the atmosphere on the Senate floor, Republican Sen. Susan Collins said, "It was extremely quiet - you could have heard a pin drop."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

Emily Cochrane, a reporter for The New York Times, said Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren was gripping her armrest with her right hand and later began fiddling with her fingers while being shown videos early in the day.

"It was so hard to watch people who were terrified, people who were hurt, by people who were under threat," Warren later told pool reporters. "And then to try and make eye contact with Republicans who just wanted to look off."

Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana

Lisa Desjardins, a reporter for "PBS NewsHour," reported that Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy hung his head during a video showing the attack on the House chamber. Eliza Collins at The Wall Street Journal said Cassidy later shook his head while listening to police-dispatch audio and frequently put his hands in a prayer motion while watching later videos.

Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio

Republican Sen. Rob Portman was also moved after watching the footage, telling pool reporters he felt he was "reliving a horrible day, a horrible day."

Portman also said he'd checked in with staffers after realizing the danger many of them faced while barricaded in rooms.

"That's, that's not easy," he said. "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."

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