The third day of former President Trump’s second impeachment trial begins today, and the House impeachment lawyers will once again be front and center as they continue to present their case.
Here’s a recap of what has happened so far in the trial, and what comes next:
Yesterday: The impeachment managers kicked off their two-day presentation walking through Trump’s months of false statements about election fraud and his refusal to concede, arguing that his speeches were designed to anger and incite his supporters, so they were ready to fight when they marched to the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The managers also aired new Capitol security footage showing how the rioters violently breached the Capitol and the threat they posed to everyone in the building during the riots on Jan. 6 as the managers argued that Trump was responsible for inciting the rioters.
The footage included Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman running through the Capitol hallways to respond to the rioters, running into Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah to tell him to turn around to safety.
Democratic Del. Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands, one of the nine impeachment managers, walked senators through the security footage, showing where the rioters breached the Capitol and how close they were to Vice President Mike Pence, whom the rioters were targeting.
On Tuesday: House Democrats previewed their case against Trump on the trial’s opening day, playing a dramatic and visceral 13-minute video that interspersed disturbing video of the rioters breaching the Capitol, attacking police officers and invoking Trump’s name with the President’s Jan. 6 speech and tweets.
Trump’s legal team has argued that the managers are ignoring Trump’s comments on Jan. 6 that the protests should be peaceful, while claiming his call for supporters to fight was figurative political speech protected by the First Amendment.
The Senate also voted 56 to 44 on Tuesday that the trial was constitutional, meaning 44 Senate Republicans voted that the trial itself was unconstitutional. While one Republican, Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, changed his vote as a result of the strong Democratic arguments on the constitutionality of the trial, other Republicans stayed firmly opposed even as they panned the meandering presentation made by Trump’s legal team on Tuesday.
What comes next: Trump’s lawyers will get the chance to respond to the House arguments Friday, and like the House impeachment lawyers, will be allotted up to 16 hours spread over two days to present their cases.
Senators will then have four hours to ask questions submitted in writing to both sides, and the Senate could debate and vote on whether to subpoena witnesses, though it remains unclear whether any will be sought at trial.