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Rep. Jamie Raskin as House managers delivered their impeachment article. Photo: Melina Mara/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Democrats' lead impeachment manager said Wednesday former President Trump's role in inciting the Capitol siege was the "worst presidential offense in the history of the republic," and the evidence against him is "airtight."

Why it matters: While Democrats say there is a direct cause and effect between Trump addressing a crowd of supporters that later broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6, some Republicans have fallen back on procedural defenses. The impeachment managers hope specific, graphic and voluminous evidence will create public pressure to convict the former president.

During a call Wednesday morning with the House Democratic caucus, lead impeachment manger Rep. Jamie Raskin detailed previously unreported injuries to Capitol Police officers, the damaging global view of the insurrection and tried to proactively puncture holes in the defense Trump will mount when his trial begins next week.

  • Raskin (D-Md.) told his colleagues one Capitol Police officer has lost three fingers and another is likely to lose an eye.
  • He said extremist elements in Russia and Germany view the storming of the Capitol as great victory for 21st century fascism.

What we're hearing: Raskin also told House Democrats the impeachment managers received an “embarrassingly thin” response from president’s counsel on Tuesday.

  • Trump's legal team argues he can't be convicted since the First Amendment protects his speech. They, along with some Republican senators, also argue a president can't be tried after leaving office.

Raskin said that argument has been “decisively rejected” by Senate, previously — most famously — in 1876 against the war secretary William Belknap.

  • “This moment was totally foreseen by the framers of the Constitution," Raskin said on the caucus call.
  • "Trump may not know anything about the Founders, but they knew a lot about the likes of him," he added.

The bottom line: Raskin summarized the impeachment managers' argument by saying, "This wasn’t shouting fire in a crowded theater; this was the fire chief sending a mob to the theater."

Go deeper

Updated Feb 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Impeachment managers call Trump "singularly responsible" for Capitol riots

Photo: Pete Marovich - Pool/Getty Images

House impeachment managers on Tuesday made their case for the indictment of former President Trump in a brief, arguing that he pushed his supporters into a "frenzy," while dubbing him "singularly responsible" for the deadly siege at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

What they're saying: The Democratic managers argue that Trump's actions were not protected by the First Amendment, stating, "If provoking an insurrectionary riot against a Joint Session of Congress after losing an election is not an impeachable offense, it is hard to imagine what would be."

Feb 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Fees — not just strategy — blew up Trump's legal team

President Trump boards Air Force One for the final time. Photo: Pete Marovich - Pool/Getty Images

Disagreements over legal strategy weren't the only reason Donald Trump's defense team collapsed just days before his second impeachment trial, Axios has learned.

What we're hearing: The notoriously stingy former president and his lead lawyer, Butch Bowers, wrangled over compensation during a series of tense phone calls, sources familiar with their conversations said. The argument came even though Trump has raised over $170 million from the public that could be used on his legal defenses.

Updated Feb 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

AOC reveals she's a sexual assault survivor while discussing Capitol riots

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/Pool

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said during an Instagram live Monday night that she's "a survivor of sexual assault" and likened Republicans who said the country should "move on" from the U.S. Capitol insurrection to "abusers."

Details: "The reason I'm getting emotional in this moment is because the folks who tell us to move on, that it's not a big deal, that we should forget what's happened, or even telling us to apologize, these are the same tactics of abusers," said a tearful Ocasio-Cortez.