As the House impeachment managers continued their presentation yesterday evening, they placed the blame for the mob’s pursuit of Vice President Mike Pence squarely on the shoulders of former President Trump.
“You’ll recall Donald Trump had made Vice President Pence a target. He attacked the Vice President at the rallies, in speeches and on Twitter,” said impeachment manager Rep. Joaquin Castro, adding “and during President Trump’s speech that morning of the attack, he ramped it up again.”
Noting that Trump directed his supporters’ ire at his vice president on nearly a dozen occasions, Castro then quoted the former President, reading a snippet from Trump’s Jan. 6 morning rally.
“Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of your country. And if you’re not, I’m going to be disappointed in you,” read Castro, sharing Trump’s words.
Castro went on to explain the impact those words had on the mob.
“By 2:15 p.m., the crowd was chanting in unison, ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ outside the very building he’d been evacuated from with his family,” said Castro.
And as the insurrectionists continued to threaten Pence, Trump failed to temper the situation. Rather, said Castro, he enflamed it.
“He fueled the fire,” said Castro, further laying out the afternoon timeline. “At 2:24 p.m. [Trump] tweeted ‘Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution.'”
Next, the House impeachment manager linked Trump’s social media posts to the unruly mob’s actions.
“The insurgents amplified President Trump’s tweet, attacking the vice president with a bullhorn,” Castro said. “Some of these insurgents were heard saying ‘that they hoped to find Vice President Mike Pence and execute him, by hanging him from a Capitol Hill tree as a traitor.'”
Finally, Castro presented a photo, one depicting the US Capitol in the background, with instruments of execution framing the government building.
“They erected a gallows with a noose. This is what Donald Trump incited,” he said. “Please, take a close look at that picture. It harkens back to our nation’s worst history of lynching. A President’s words have the power to move people to action. These were the results.”