Impeachment Manager Jamie Raskin is a rock star. He opened the trial with raw emotion and personal references, giving everyone the feeling of what it was like to be in the Capitol on January 6. He discussed how the riot became personal for him—even as it was personal for everyone else—because his youngest daughter was with him, which he called the “saddest day of our lives,” reminiscing about the son he had just buried. Raskin was also accompanied by his son-in-law, whom Raskin also referred to as his “son.” Raskin said that he hoped the trial will remind all Americans how “personal democracy is” and that the loss of democracy is also personal. The greatest irony in Raskin’s speech was his recollection of his daughter questioning whether it would be safe to go to the Capitol because Trump’s supporters were there. Raskin assured her it would be safe.
On day two, Stacey Plaskett was simply phenomenal. With tears in her eyes, she talked about her love for the Capitol. She went methodically through videos, including videos from inside the Capitol, showing the riot from inside the building. She gave praise to Officer Eugene Goodman, who courageously led the rioters away from the Senate floor, even though he was all alone, and whom we discovered today warned Senator Romney that the Capitol had been breached. So much is coming to light about the insurrection that we did not know before. Plaskett played an audiotape of the officers as the crowd was beginning to rage out of control, which was accompanied by a transcript of their words. It was horrible listening to those words, and watching the videos was like watching a horror movie. To think that normal Americans would behave in this manner is unconscionable, but these are not “normal” Americans. They are people who believe conspiracy theories, and because of those beliefs, hung on every lying word that came out of Donald Trump’s mouth.
As we continue to watch this unfold in the trial, let us never forget that this unbelievable scenario was driven by Donald Trump. He lied to his followers for months before the election, and after he lost, he refused to accept it and continued to lie. We must also not forget his co-conspirators who kept the lie going: Members of various bar associations—Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and Lin Wood—who swore to uphold the truth, and others in government—Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Mo Brooks, Tommy Tuberville, and others—who swore to uphold the Constitution. They are all just as guilty; they all have blood on their hands, and for what? Trump was a terrible president, and he used his ability to create chaos to whip those people into a frenzy until they were foaming at the mouth, the same words used by one of the officers injured in the attack. They were like animals. This kind of behavior must not be tolerated in our country; the one who created it cannot be tolerated in our government. Trump must be convicted so that he might never again stain our government.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years