WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former President Donald Trump's second Senate impeachment trial (all times local):
Democrats are arguing that former President Donald Trump “built” the mob that attacked the Capitol.
Prosecutors at Trump’s impeachment trial on Wednesday said Trump fired up his supporters with lies about a stolen election and followed up with an invitation to a Jan. 6 rally near the White House.
House impeachment manager Eric Swalwell detailed how Trump announced the rally on Twitter, writing on Dec. 19: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
Swalwell said Jan. 6 was Trump’s “last chance to stop a peaceful transition of power.” Swalwell said Trump’s tweet wasn’t a “casual, one-off reference or a single invitation.” Swalwell said for the next 18 days, he reminded his supporters ”over and over and over” to show up.
Swalwell said, “This was never about one speech. He built this mob over many months with repeated messaging until they believed that they’d been robbed of their vote, and they would do anything to stop the certification."
House Democrats prosecuting Donald Trump’s impeachment trial are methodically tracing his monthslong effort to undermine his supporters’ faith in the election results. They say they will show he is responsible for last month’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.
During arguments Wednesday, impeachment managers showed a flurry of excerpts from Trump speeches in which the then-president told supporters the only way he could lose is if the election results were rigged.
The effort to challenge the results continued after the election, with Trump telling his supporters the election had been stolen and that they shouldn’t accept the results.
Impeachment managers also pushed back at defense team arguments that Trump’s words were protected by the First Amendment. They said the case was not about protected political speech but rather about Trump’s incitement of violence.