‘Pretty damning’: Murkowski says start of 2nd Trump impeachment case is compelling

Anti-Trump protesters took to the Capitol lawn in September 2019. (Liz Ruskin/Alaska Public Media)

It was an emotional afternoon Wednesday in the impeachment trial of former President Trump.

U.S. Senators looked tense as they watched multiple videos showing the insurrection at the Capitol Jan. 6.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she was disturbed and angry to relive the experience, and to see the violence as it played out elsewhere in the Capitol that day.

“I knew what it meant to be running down this hallway with my colleagues. I wasn’t fully aware of everything else that was happening in the building,” she told reporters afterward. “And so when you see all the pieces come together, just the total awareness of that the enormity of this, this threat, not just to us as people, as lawmakers, but the threat to the institution and what Congress represents.”

Trump is charged with inciting his followers to carry out an insurrection at the Capitol.

Murkowski says the House managers prosecuting the case have built a compelling timeline linking Trump’s words to the violence of the day.

“The evidence that has been presented thus far is pretty damning,” she said, though she also said she’d consider all the evidence and the defense.

If 17 Republican senators join Democrats to convict Trump, the senate could then decide whether to bar Trump from future office. But conviction seems unlikely because only six Republican voted this week to proceed with the impeachment trial.

After the American public sees the whole case, Murkowski said she doesn’t imagine Trump could win another term in the White House.

Sen. Dan Sullivan was visibly disturbed as he watched the videos. He held his hand over his chest at one point and his face flushed. He slightly shook his head.

“Replaying what happened, we knew it was going to be an intense experience,” he told a CNN reporter when the Senate broke for dinner. “For me, at least, (it) brings back a lot of anger.”

Sullivan didn’t comment on the strength of the case against Trump.

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