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What Happened During The 2nd Day Of Former President Donald Trump's Impeachment Trial

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

It's Day 2 of former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial. And after arguing over the constitutionality of the trial itself yesterday, today, the impeachment managers began presenting their evidence. It's been an afternoon of tweets, videos, arrest documents, all of which Democrats say prove that Trump incited the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Here is how lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin set the day up.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JAMIE RASKIN: The evidence will show you that ex-President Trump was no innocent bystander. The evidence will show that he clearly incited the January 6 insurrection. It will show that Donald Trump surrendered his role as commander-in-chief and became the inciter-in-chief.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Democrats combined the extraordinary events of last year and the first few days of this year into one narrative - describing a single-minded effort by Trump to undermine American democracy, starting with Trump's urging his supporters to reject a Biden win, then falsely claiming the election was rigged, pressuring Republicans at the local, state and federal level to overturn results, asking courts to toss out ballots and, finally, in the weeks leading up to January 6, helping publicize the rally and encourage people to come out and fight.

KELLY: Now, Democrats need 17 Republican votes to convict Trump. And so today, they tailored their arguments to Republicans, many of whom have spent months defending Trump's attacks on the integrity of the presidential election.

Eric Swalwell of California tried to give them an out.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ERIC SWALWELL: What our commander-in-chief did was wildly different from what anyone here in this room did to raise election concerns. This was a deliberate, premeditated incitement to his base to attack our Capitol while the counting was going on.

SHAPIRO: Later, Stacey Plaskett, a delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands, ticked off a list of times she said Trump's supporters acted violently in his name, building up to her conclusion that it is false to claim no one could have predicted Trump's rhetoric would lead to the attack on the Capitol.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

STACEY PLASKETT: Donald Trump, over many months, cultivated violence, praised it. And then when he saw the violence his supporters were capable of, he channeled it to his big, wild, historic event. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.