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Democrats have made their case against Donald Trump at his impeachment trial by showing chilling recordings – including previously unseen video – from the Capitol riot.

The goal of the prosecution has been clear – to link Mr Trump and his words to the deadly riot that followed.

They also want to ensure the jury of senators – and, importantly, Americans watching at home – see the brutal violence of the mob, the panic of police, and the fear of lawmakers.

Democrats opened the trial on Tuesday with a 13-minute montage of the day.

They changed their tactics slightly on Wednesday, and offered up a nearly minute-by-minute look at the violence, including Mr Trump’s tweets.

Here are the key moments from the day

08:17

President Donald Trump tweets allegations of vote fraud ahead of his rally in Washington DC.

10:58

Members of the Proud Boy movement, a right-wing militia are seen heading towards the Capitol. Speaking to Newsnight’s US correspondent David Grossman, one member of the group says: “We’re taking our country back.”

One of the group has a radio. “It was clear he was communicating – getting messages, sending messages to somebody,” our correspondent said.

12:00

President Trump begins his speech to supporters in Washington. Some 15 minutes into it, he starts urging them to converge on the Capitol.

“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” he said.

12:53

As the president speaks, a crowd outside the Capitol is swelling. They begin marching towards the police barrier and get past officers. The police, outnumbered, try to contain them.

Trump supporters wield flags and weapons. One man stands on a makeshift gallows, complete with a noose. The crowd chants: “Fight for Trump.”

Minutes later, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi commences the certification process.

13:10

Mr Trump ends his speech with the words: “We fight. We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Shortly afterwards a Capitol police officer calls for backup.

“They’re throwing metal poles at us,” he says. “Multiple law-enforcement injuries,” he adds in a panicked voice.

Capitol police send an evacuation warning.

13:45

Protesters surge past Capitol police protecting the west steps, the side facing the White House.

Minutes later, an officer declares there is a riot at the Capitol. “We’re going to give riot warnings,” he says. “We’re going to try to get compliance but this is now effectively a riot.”

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Meanwhile Vice President Mike Pence is continuing to preside over the session.

14:12

Secret Service quickly and suddenly evacuate Mr Pence from the Senate floor.

The protesters break through the windows. They push inside, hopping through the broken glass. They then kick open the doors to let others in. Some wear hoods and helmets, some hold cameras or Confederate flags.

An immediate recess of the Senate is called.

A minute later, Officer Eugene Goodman runs to respond to the initial breach. He warns Senator Mitt Romney that the mob is approaching. Mr Romney turns and runs through a capitol hallway to safety.

The mob, a floor below them, has already begun to search for the Senate chamber.

Officer Goodman makes his way down to the first floor where he encounters the mob.

He lures the armed rioters away from the upper chamber. Many of these individuals have been calling for Mr Pence to be hanged.

By that point, the rioters are “within 100ft” (30m) of Mr Pence and a foot away from one of the doors to the chamber. Many senators are still inside.

At the same time, Ms Pelosi is rushed from the house floor. She is evacuated entirely from the Capitol complex to a secure off-site location.

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Her staff barricade themselves into a conference room, hiding under a table.

Staff members of the House leader speak softly, frantically, to each other. Just outside, rioters are spreading out across the building, searching for Ms Pelosi herself.

The rioters chant: “Where are you Nancy?” In an audio clip, we hear one staff member whisper: “They’re pounding on doors trying to find her.”

One man breaks open the outer door to the office where the staff are hiding, but not the inner door. Another tries as well, but eventually moves on.

14:24

President Trump tweets about Mr Pence.

At the same time, Mr Pence is evacuated to a secure location.

Rioters start to spread through the buildings. Others break in from outside through various doors around the building.

They open the east side door of the rotunda to let more people in, flooding through the doors and overwhelming the officers.

The House floor debate is suspended to update members. House members are told to reach for tear gas masks and be prepared to use them.

The House is called back into session in the hope of continuing the count.

But minutes later the House is abruptly recessed. Members are told to get down under their chairs if necessary.

“Folks have entered the rotunda and are coming this way,” lawmakers are told.

Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell sends a text to his wife: “I love you and the babies. Please hug them for me”.

The mob outside the chamber grows larger and they get within feet of the house door.

14:41

Ashli Babbit is seen turning the corner towards the House lobby doors as members are leaving.

House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern is spotted by the mob as he leaves the House floor.

In a hallway outside the House chamber, a group attempts to force its way through a set of locked doors. The glass window panes on the doors are shattered. A rioter uses a baton to smash through as the crowd around him chants “break it down, break it down”.

Footage shows the hands of an officer on the other side, holding a gun and pointing it toward the mob. We hear a shot and see Babbitt fall to the ground.

People still inside the gallery of the chamber are trapped. They tell each other to take off their congressional pins.

In the meantime, a number of rioters reach the inside of the Senate gallery.

“Is this the Senate?” one demands to know. “Where are they?” another asks, apparently referring to the evacuated senators.

Video footage shows some rioters rifling through papers and materials left behind by lawmakers. “There’s got to be something we can use against these scumbags,” one says.

15:13

Trump tweets asking for people to “remain peaceful”.

Meanwhile the mob are still at the Capitol.

Footage shows a sprawling mob, a sea of people on the Capitol grounds. A Confederate flag waves in the foreground.

16:17

Trump releases a video in which he tells the mob to go home.

18:00

Fifteen minutes after police confirm Ashli Babbitt has died, Trump tweets again.

He refers to those at the Capitol as “great patriots”.

The defence denies Mr Trump incited the riot, and argued at the trial on Tuesday that the impeachment was unconstitutional. A majority of senators, including six Republicans, voted for the trial to go ahead.

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Capitol Police

Trump supporters want to ‘blow up’ Capitol – police chief

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“Members of militia groups that were present on Jan. 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union,” Pittman told members of the House Appropriations Committee.

“We think that it’s prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture until we address those vulnerabilities going forward,” she said.

A date has not been announced for Biden to deliver his State of the Union address to Congress, which typically happens early in the year.

Unprecedented security measures were imposed in Washington following the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, including fences topped with razor wire and checkpoints manned by the National Guard.

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About 5,000 troops are expected to stay through mid-March.

Video Transcript

YOGANANDA PITTMAN: We know that members of the militia groups that were present on January 6 have stated their desires that they want to blow up the Capitol and kill as many members as possible with a direct nexus to the State of the Union, which we know that date has not been identified. So based on that information, we think that it’s prudent that Capitol Police maintain its enhanced and robust security posture until we address those vulnerabilities going forward.

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Congress aims to avoid politics with independent Jan. 6 investigation

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As Congress looks to set up an independent outside panel to investigate the Capitol siege, Democrats and Republicans both have pointed to the 9/11 Commission as a model of bipartisan cooperation.

But 20 years later, veterans of the commission’s investigation into the 2001 terror attacks worry that it will be challenging to keep politics out of an inquiry into the Jan. 6 attack that led to President Donald Trump’s unprecedented second impeachment, on charges he incited the riot.

Trump was acquitted last week. His lawyers argued he wasn’t responsible for the violence at the Capitol and against the propriety of convicting a former president. Seven Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in the 57-43 vote, short of the two-thirds majority needed for conviction.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has shared proposed legislation to set up the panel with Republicans after seeking input from lawmakers, relevant committees and leaders of the 9/11 Commission, including former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, Lee Hamilton, the former Indiana congressman who served as co-chair, and Tim Roemer, another former Democratic congressman.

In interviews with ABC News, Kean, Hamilton and Roemer said they told Pelosi a successful commission would require appointing members who can avoid the partisan fray, supplying them with adequate resources and providing enough time to investigate on their own timetable, rather than one laid out by Congress or the White House.

“You cannot have people on the commission whose job is to defend the president or defend the speaker,” said Kean, a Republican, and chair of the 9/11 Commission. “You’ve got to have people who follow the facts.”

To blunt partisanship on the panel, Kean established a strong relationship with Hamilton and didn’t hire any staff who’d recently worked on a political campaign.

The composition of the committee is essential to its success, added Roemer, who has been consulting with Pelosi and her staff over the past two weeks on the drafting of the legislation. Roemer added that the commissioners must have experience in complex areas of policy, from cybersecurity and law enforcement to racial issues and disinformation campaigns.

“You need to pick people who have worked across the aisle and have deep experience in the issue areas involved. The commission will likely be 10 or 11 people, with the president getting to pick the chair and the leadership selecting other people,” Roemer said.

The 9/11 Commission faced resistance from the Bush White House as it explored what intelligence was known about the plot before the attack, and it was pressured to conclude its investigation before the 2004 election, Kean recalled.

Pelosi, in a statement on Monday, said the commission would “investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex” relating to “the interference with the peaceful transfer of power, including facts and causes relating to the preparedness and response of the United States Capitol Police and other Federal, State, and local law enforcement in the National Capitol Region.”

At an earlier press conference, Pelosi said the new panel would have “nothing to do with President Trump” but would focus on Capitol security, along with white supremacy and anti-Semitism.

“The mandate, the remit, the purpose section of the legislative needs to be specific, it needs to be precise and it needs to be crystal clear,” Roemer said. “It should not be only about how to protect the Capitol complex or how high the walls should be, it should also include what led to attacks and how to strengthen the institutions of our representative democracy.”

It’s not yet clear whether Republicans will back the speaker’s effort. At least 10 Republicans will need to support any proposal in the Senate to clear the 60-vote filibuster threshold in the chamber to pass the legislation.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was noncommittal in a statement to ABC News, and pointed to the commission legislation proposed by House Republicans several weeks ago.

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“It is our responsibility to understand the security and intelligence breakdowns that led to the riots on January 6 so that we can better protect this institution and the men and women working inside it,” his statement read. “A commission should follow the guidance of Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton to be ‘both independent and bipartisan,’ and to preserve that integrity it must be evenly split between both parties.”

Some of Trump’s top allies in Congress have tried to shift blame to Pelosi — questioning her handling of Capitol security before the attack — and could bristle at any closer examination of Trump.

“I want to look at what Pelosi knew, when she knew it, what President Trump did after the attack, and on the Senate side, was Senate leadership informed of a threat?” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“For this to work,” Pelosi said during a press conference on Thursday, “it really has to be strongly bipartisan. You have to have subpoena power.”

“That is the solution to getting access to people and information in this case,” Roemer told ABC News. “Getting access to the material that was out there when President Trump was in office and the cooperation of key witnesses – subpoenaing those people who were there. Others may be absolutely willing to come in without a subpoena.”

Initial Democratic and Republican proposals for the commission differ on the scope of the inquiry, whether members of Congress could serve on the panel, and whether it would explore issues like online disinformation.

Philip Zelikow, a professor at the University of Virginia who served as the executive director of the 9/11 Commission and helped author its bestselling report, told ABC News that the ongoing FBI investigations into Capitol rioters could create “lots of hindrances and potential delays” along with any investigations into Trump’s phone call with Georgia’s secretary of state.

At least 237 people are facing federal charges stemming from the Capitol riot, according to an ABC News review of charging documents.

“We did mutually benefit from a colossal FBI investigation,” he said of the 9/11 Commission. “But the FBI investigation was not in the process of being presented to a grand jury.”

John Farmer, a former attorney general of New Jersey who served as senior counsel on the 9/11 Commission, told ABC News that the panel should be able to confer immunity to witnesses in exchange for help, to incentivize cooperation, although that could complicate ongoing criminal investigations and future inquiries into holding people accountable for the attack.

“A judgment will have to be made in some cases whether a full account of what happened on Jan. 6 is more important than individual culpability,” Farmer said.

At least seven House and Senate committees also are conducting their own investigations into the attack, seeking records and testimony from senior congressional security officials, the FBI and social media platforms, such as Parler, that authorities say were used by rioters to communicate ahead of the siege.

On Friday, the FBI and National Counterterrorism Center produced records to the House panels as part of their inquiry into what federal intelligence agencies knew about the potential for an attack ahead of Jan. 6, a House committee official told ABC News. The Department of Homeland Security is expected to produce records for the committees in the coming weeks.

Several House and Senate panels plan to hold the first public hearings on the Jan. 6 attack, featuring current and former congressional security officials, next week.

Hamilton, the 9/11 Commission co-chair, said the most difficult work will be making sure that any recommendations the commission ends up making are passed into law.

“There isn’t any magic here, no formula, just common sense and the political will to do it,” he told ABC News.
(ABC news)

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Capitol Building

Video: Thirty-five Capitol police officers under investigation, six suspended

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Six Capitol police officers has being suspended in response to Jan 6 riot. One of the officers suspended allegedly took a selfie with one of the rioters and 35 other officers are under investigation.

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(fox news)

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