New video footage presented on Wednesday by the House impeachment managers showed in chilling detail how close the January 6 pro-Trump rioters had come to lawmakers inside the US Capitol.
Video and audio clips also showed police officers had begged for help, overwhelmed by the surging and violent rioters.
The rioters were seen roaming the hallways of the Capitol building looking for top officials. They called out for former vice-president Mike Pence — to “hang” him — and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — “Nancy? Where are you, Nancy?”
“You were just 58 steps away” from that mob, Representative Eric Swalwell, one of the nine House impeachment managers, told the senators on Day 2 of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
Majority leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, was seen being led up a ramp by his security detail in one clip from January 6, which in the next instant, showed them hurrying back the same way, surprised perhaps by the incoming mob.
In another video clip, Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican, and an aide were seen being redirected by a Capitol police officer. They were, in fact, headed in the direction of the incoming mob. “I was very fortunate indeed that Officer (Eugene) Goodman was there to get me in the right direction,” Romney told reporters later.
Another video showed former vice-president Pence and his family, who had accompanied him to the US Capitol that day, being led to safety down a stairwell.
House managers used a mix of footage from old videos and those from US Capitol’s security cameras that had not been seen before. They played without sound, slogans and profanities that have come to make up the soundtrack for all other videos seen thus far.
On day two of Trump’s trial, the House managers made their case meticulously, showing how the former president had incited his supporters in the weeks leading up to the insurrection, urged them to march to the Capitol, riled them up against Pence and then refused to stop them.
“Senators, you’ve seen all the evidence so far,” Representative Joaquin Castro, one of the impeachment managers, said towards the end of the eight-hour long presentation. “And this is clear: On January 6th, President Trump left everyone in this Capitol for dead.”
Though chilling and detailed, it wasn’t clear if the House managers’ presentation had persuaded enough Republicans to convict Trump. They will try again, on Thursday.