As the House impeachment executives continued their presentation tonight, they blamed former President Trump for the mob’s pursuit of Vice President Mike Pence.
“You will remember Donald Trump targeting Vice President Pence. He attacked the Vice President at rallies, in speeches and on Twitter,” said impeachment manager Rep. Joaquin Castro, adding, “and during the President’s speech Trump on the morning of the attack, he brought it back up. “
Castro noted that Trump turned his supporters’ anger on his vice president nearly a dozen times, then quoted the former president by reading an excerpt from Trump’s January 6th morning rally.
“Mike Pence, I hope you will work for the good of our constitution and for the good of your country. And if not, I will be disappointed in you,” Castro read, sharing Trump’s words verbatim.
Castro went on to explain the impact those words had on the mob.
“At 2:15 pm, the crowd sang ‘Hang Mike Pence’ together in front of the building where he and his family had been evacuated,” said Castro.
And when the insurgents continued to threaten pence, Trump failed to ease the situation. Rather, said Castro, he inflamed it.
“He started the fire,” said Castro, further setting the timeline for the afternoon. “At 2:24 pm [Trump] tweeted, ‘Mike Pence did not have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution.’ “
Next, the Trump’s impeachment manager linked social media posts to the actions of the unruly mob.
“The insurgents amplified President Trump’s tweet and attacked the Vice President with a megaphone,” Castro said. “Some of these insurgents heard that they were hoping to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him by hanging him on a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor.”
Finally, Castro presented a photograph showing the U.S. Capitol in the background, with execution instruments framing the government building.
“They set up a gallows with a noose. That instigated Donald Trump,” he said, urging the staff this evening to really digest the pictures. “Please look at this picture carefully. It reminds us of the worst lynching history in our nation. A president’s words have the power to move people to action. These were the results.”