WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS4) – Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse laid out the prosecution’s case as the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump got underway Wednesday.
Neguse methodically walked senators through the evidence and made the case that Trump deliberately, and over the course of months, primed his supporters for an uprising and then ordered the attack.READ MORE: Here Are 8 Of The Most Popular Fall Colors Viewing Destinations In Colorado
“That mob was summoned, assembled and incited by the former President of the United States,” Neguse said.
He says the attack on the Capitol was foreseeable and predictable, and Trump began laying the groundwork months before the election with what he calls “The Big Lie.”
“That the election was stolen, full of fraud rigged. You will hear him over and over using that lie to urge his supporters to never concede and stop the steal.”
Trump also told supporters, he says, how to stop the steal.READ MORE: 2 Colorado College Students Launch 'Price Medic' With Goal Of Helping Patients Find Affordable Procedures
“That it was his supporters’ patriotic duty to fight like hell, and he got more specific. He told them how, where and when. He sent them a save the date for Jan. 6. He told them ‘march to capitol and fight like hell.’ They confirmed they were following the president’s orders.”
Arrest documents, Neguse says, leave no doubt those orders were to commit violence, including killing the vice president and speaker of the house. Impeachment managers released never before seen video of the Capitol siege, and in one clip, you can see Vice President Mike Pence escorted to safety by security as an officer carries the nuclear football.
Neguse told senators Trump alone had the power to stop the attack and he didn’t.
“Think for a moment of the lives lost that day, of the more than 140 wounded police officers, and ask yourself if as soon as this had started if President Trump had simply gone on TV or logged onto Twitter and said ‘stop the attack.’ If he had done so with even half as much force as he said stop the steal, how many lives save?”
Trumps attorneys have argued his speech is protected under the first amendment. The legal bar for inciting a riot is high. The impeachment managers must prove that Trump knew that what he was saying would lead to immediate violence and that intended to cause the attack.MORE NEWS: Registered Nurse Kurt Vasquez Sentenced To Prison For Theft Of Drugs From Hospital
The trial is expected to last through Saturday. Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette is also one of the nine impeachment managers.