Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

Raskin asks lawmakers if they'd 'bet the lives of more police officers' on Trump not inciting violence again

Democrats during the third day of the Senate's historic impeachment trial on Thursday argued former President Donald Trump, if re-elected and not convicted, wouldn't "stop inciting violence."

House impeachment managers on Thursday continued their arguments in favor of convicting Trump for "incitement of insurrection," making the case that the former president demonstrated a pattern of encouraging violence among his supporters prior to the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol building. Pointing to Trump's defense of his actions leading up to the riot, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), lead House impeachment manager, argued Trump could incite additional violence in office if the Senate acquits him of the charges.

"Is there any political leader in this room who believes that if he is ever allowed by the Senate to get back into the Oval Office, Donald Trump would stop inciting violence to get his way?" Raskin asked. "Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that? Would you bet the safety of your family on that? Would you bet the future of your democracy on that?"

Raskin added that since Trump has defended his conduct as appropriate, if "he gets back into office and it happens again, we'll have no one to blame but ourselves."

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) made a similar point, arguing the former president's "lack of remorse" since the riot "shows that he intended the events of Jan. 6 to happen" and that such violence could occur again in the future. Lieu went on to say that he's "afraid" of the idea of Trump running for president again in 2024 and losing "because he can do this again."

Later, Rep. Diana Degette (D-Colo.) said that Trump's "mob stands ready for more attacks," and she described the impeachment process as a way not to "punish" Trump, but to "prevent the seeds of hatred that he planted from bearing any more fruit." Brendan Morrow