Editor’s Note: Some of the material shown at the trial may contain graphic, violent material NBC News will not be censoring it.
WATCH LIVE: Day 2 of former President Trump’s second impeachment trial
WASHINGTON (AP) — Opening arguments begin Wednesday in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial after an emotional first day that wrenched senators and the nation back to the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Trump’s attorneys sought to halt the trial on constitutional grounds, but lost that bid on Tuesday. Their arguments were meandering at times, leaving Trump fuming over his lawyers’ performance and allies questioning the defense strategy. Some called for yet another shakeup to his legal team.
House Democratic prosecutors are seeking to link Trump directly to the riot that left five people dead, replaying videos of the rioters trying to stop the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory and Trump’s statements urging them to fight the election results.
On Wednesday, they plan to use Capitol security footage that hasn’t been publicly released before as they argue that Trump incited the insurrection, according to Democratic aides working on the case.
Senators, many of whom fled for safety the day of the attack, watched Tuesday’s graphic videos of the Trump supporters who battled past police to storm the halls, Trump flags waving. More video is expected Wednesday, including some that hasn’t been seen before.
Trump is the first president to face an impeachment trial after leaving office and the first to be twice impeached. The riot followed a rally during which Trump urged his supporters to “fight like hell,” words his lawyers say were simply a figure of speech. He is charged with “incitement of insurrection.”
“That’s a high crime and misdemeanor,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., declared in opening remarks. “If that’s not an impeachable offense, then there’s no such thing.”
On Wednesday and into Thursday, the managers plan to tell a “succinct” story, according to the aides, who were granted anonymity to discuss the upcoming arguments. They will start with Trump’s false claims that there was massive election fraud and build to the Jan. 6 riots as a “culmination” of his efforts to overturn his defeat.
The Democrats will argue that Trump inflamed and encouraged groups that had violent backgrounds, the aides say, and they will show how much worse it could have been. The aides said they will use the new Capitol security footage to make that case, but did not describe it.
Security remains extremely tight at the Capitol, fenced off with razor wire and patrolled by National Guard troops.