Throughout the day, the House team merged footage that’s become all too familiar with images taken from security cameras and police body cameras that had not previously been seen by the public. The result was the most chilling and complete view of the events on Jan. 6 that has been seen so far. Through the use of alternating shots from inside and outside the chambers of Congress, the managers revealed just how close the insurgents came to laying their hands on Mike Pence, Nancy Pelosi, and other members of Congress.
In addition to the videos, the team used a model of the Capitol that highlighted locations of the rioters and their targets. The combination was extremely effective, and perhaps never more so than in the segment delivered by Virigin Islands Delegate Stacey Plaskett.
Also impactful in retelling the moments of that day were slides and audio recordings from the Capitol Police and Metro D.C. Police. In their statements and voices there was an awful sense of terror and a recognition that their positions had become indefensible.
If there was any other moment that carried the same level of impact as Plaskett’s presentation of actions as the seditionists entered the Capitol, it was likely the presentation split between Rep. Rep. Joaquin Castro and Rep. David Cicilline that detailed Trump’s reaction to the invasion and violence. Not only did this include reports of Trump’s “delight” and “excitement,” it made extremely clear his inaction over a period of hours when he might have moved to help.
But no matter how many requests Trump got from insider or outside the White House, Trump was content to watch his supporters hunting Mike Pence and members of Congress.
At the very end of the day, as the House managers were moving to close their case, Republican Sen. Mike Lee rose to object, saying that some portion of the presentation had misquoted him. The action caused a disruption. In part that’s because Senators are not allowed to object to statements of fact during this part of the presentation, but it was even more confusing because the only time Lee was mentioned during the whole day was in connection to a phone call from Trump in which Lee’s entire statement was just letting Trump know that he was not Sen. Tommy Tuberville.
If anything, Lee’s objection only served to draw more attention to that call. And that call is a critical part of one part of the case — showing Trump’s level of depraved indifference. Because in comments that evening, Tuberville made it clear that he told Trump during the phone call that Pence had just been taken from the chamber. When Trump hung up from that call, what Trump did wasn’t to get help, but to make tweet about Pence.
Using the model and split screen, Rep. Castro had already pointed out that Trump’s tweet about Pence came just as the crowd was chanting “Hang Mike Pence.” That crowd read the tweet in real time, with one person even blaring it out on a bullhorn. And, as Rep. Plaskett’s presentation showed, insurgents were at that moment passing within a few feet of Pence as he escaped the building.
That moment was already one of the most impactful of the day. Lee’s objection only served to underline it’s importance.