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"terry cassidy" Discussed on KQED Radio

KQED Radio

06:20 min | 1 year ago

"terry cassidy" Discussed on KQED Radio

"Warmer in the Sacramento Valley High's between 65 71. Cloud cover and some rain showers on the way starting tomorrow. It's morning edition from NPR News. I'm Sasha Pfeiffer, and I'm Rachel Martin. Good morning. The opening day of the Senate impeachment trial was like living through January 6th all over again, and that was the point. The Democrats leading the push for conviction played a graphic video scenes of the mob storming the U. S Capitol building. Democrat Jamie Raskin were called how he huddled with other lawmakers after he was separated from his family who had come with him to the House floor that day. New chaplain got up instead of prayer for us, and we were told to put our gas masks on. And then there was a sound I will never forget. The sound of pounding on the door like a battering ram. The most haunting sound. I ever heard, and I will never forget it. Today, House impeachment managers will continue trying to convince enough senators to convict former President Donald Trump. Congressional correspondent Kelsey Film and Justice correspondent Ryan Lucas have been covering it all. They joined us down. Good morning, you two good morning morning, so both sides started to lay out their arguments for the first time in this trial. Kelsey what stood out to you in their argument? It was interesting that Democrats were essentially making an argument. They've been previewing for several weeks. Now they're saying that there is no January exception to the Constitution and that Trump was subject to impeachment. On that day, the day of January 6 as he was the day he first took office. You know, Democrats have said that their argument would be visceral, They said it would be based on public evidence, and that is what we saw in the video that we heard a little bit of there. It started with Trump revving up the crowd that gathered near the White House on the On the day of the riot. He's praising them and telling them fight like hell, and the speech was interspersed with really violent graphic videos of the mob attacking police. And it included explicit captions and profanities, and a lot of that video was shot by the mob themselves, people who were kind of filming themselves, storming the Capitol and posting it on social media. No other managers did make Dreier arguments about scholarly interpretations of the Constitution and saying that there was a consensus that the trial itself was constitutional. One moment that I think we'll stick out with many people was in Raskin's closing, where he recounted more of his own story that we heard and he talked about how his daughter and son in law were in the capital that day. It was one day after they buried his son, who took his life days before, and Raskin described his family barricaded into an office while members of the House sent messages to loved ones, fearing that they would die. And that is the note that they ended their remarks on. That is the way that Democrats hoped to reach senators who themselves witnessed that day. We also saw that you know that those arguments were effective enough to switch one vote, Terry Cassidy of Louisiana switched his vote because, he said, Democrats simply did more to convince him So Ryan, let's turn to former President Trump's defense team. I mean, from what I saw, they had a tough go of it. It was not a particularly strong start for them. No. One of Trump's lawyers, Bruce Castor, Started the day with a really kind of rambling 40 plus minutes speech. It was not a particularly coherent legal argument. To put it mildly. We didn't really hear anything from him on the main question of the day, which is whether it is constitutional for the Senate. Try a former president. Castor was followed by Trump's other lead attorney, David shown He was a bit sharper. I would say he started off not so much, though, with legal arguments as political ones here, he is slamming Democrats for holding the trial at all. And to what end for healing for unity for accountability, not for any of those for they, surely they're much better ways to achieve each It is again for pure raw, misguided partisanship that makes them believe playing to our worst instincts somehow is good now shown did address the question of whether the trial of the former president is constitutional. And he argued that the possibility of removing an official from office is a requirement of impeachment. And since Trump is no longer in office, following Shawn's reasoning, that means that the trial is unconstitutional, which, of course, the Senate ultimately did not agree with him. All right, it is constitutional. Kelsey. What did the president's supporters think about what they saw yesterday in terms of the defense? I mean, even many of the people who voted that the trial itself was unconstitutional, said that the showing of President Trump's reformed President Trump's attorneys was poor. The way the people describe. It was rambling. A senator called it terrible, but that really didn't change much When it came to the outcome. Republicans, they're just kind of looking for an argument about the process is a way to vote against conviction. They are looking for opportunities to not have Toulon gauge with what Democrats have been arguing in the more visceral evidence that they're putting out and it would be difficult for someone to vote that the whole the whole trial violates the Constitution and then vote to convict the president in a trial that they say is unconstitutional. We'd have heard from our colleague Tamara Keith. She's reporting that President Trump was watching, and he was not happy with the arguments that he saw. Well, let's talk about this, Ryan. The central question yesterday was about the constitutionality of all this right. So how much of what we heard was about the legal framework, the legality and how much was purely political. Impeachment is a political proceeding, but it's one with legal elements to it. So we really did hear both. We heard both from the impeachment managers as well as from Trump's import legal team. It's important to remember, though, that these two things are inextricably intertwined, while House managers won the day, so to speak on this legal question since the trial did vote, As we said, since the Senate did vote that the trial is constitutional 44 Republicans voted that it was not constitutional and politically. Many Republicans are looking for a reason not to convict, as Kelsey said, and calling this process under unconstitutional gives them that reason without having to get their hands dirty on the merits of the allegations against Trump, Kelsey last word to you what happens over the next couple days? We're expecting to Seymour video. More of that evidence that we saw yesterday. Democrats say they intend to try to connect the dots not just for senators, but for the people at home who are watching because this is not just a court of the Senate, but a court of millions of living rooms..

President Trump president Senate Kelsey Film Trump Ryan Lucas Jamie Raskin senator NPR News Bruce Castor U. S Capitol building Rachel Martin Sasha Pfeiffer Sacramento Valley High Tamara Keith House Dreier White House