During the day, the House team pooled footage that is all too familiar with images from surveillance cameras and police cameras that had not previously been seen by the public. The result was the most terrifying and complete view of the January 6th events yet. By alternating shots from inside and outside the Chamber of Congress, the managers showed how close the insurgents were to taking control of Mike Pence, Nancy Pelosi, and other members of Congress.
In addition to the videos, the team used a model of the Capitol that highlighted the rioters’ locations and their goals. The combination was extremely effective, and perhaps never more effective than in the segment delivered by Stacey Plaskett, Virgin Islands delegate.
Slides and audio recordings from the Capitol Police and Metro DC Police were also effective in retelling the moments of that day. There was a terrible sense of terror in their statements and voices and a realization that their positions were no longer justifiable.
If there was any other moment that had the same effect as Plaskett’s account of the actions when the Seditionists entered the Capitol, it was likely that the presentation was split between Rep. Joaquin Castro and Rep. David Cicilline, who described Trump’s response to the invasion and violence. Not only did this include reports of Trump’s “joy” and “excitement”, it also made abundantly clear his inaction for a period of hours that he may have moved to help.
But no matter how many inquiries Trump received inside or outside the White House, Trump was content to watch his supporters hunt down Mike Pence and members of Congress.
At the end of the day, when the property managers were about to close their case, Republican Senator Mike Lee rose to object and said part of the presentation misquoted him. The action caused a disturbance. This is in part because Senators are not allowed to object to factual statements during this part of the presentation, but it was even more confusing because Lee was only mentioned in connection with a phone call from Trump all day in which Lee’s entire testimony left Trump just know he wasn’t Senator Tommy Tuberville.
If anything, Lee’s objection was only intended to draw more attention to this appeal. And that appeal is a critical part of part of the case – it shows Trump’s level of depraved indifference. Because in comments that evening, Tuberville made it clear that he told Trump during the phone conversation that Pence had just been taken out of the chamber. When Trump hung up from that call, it wasn’t Trump to get help but to tweet about Pence.
With the model and split screen, Rep. Castro had already indicated that Trump’s tweet about Pence came just as the crowd sang “Hang Mike Pence”. This crowd read the tweet in real time, with one person even uttering it on a megaphone. And as the presentation by Rep. Plaskett showed, the insurgents passed just a few meters from Pence at that moment when he escaped from the building.
This moment was already one of the most effective of the day. Lee’s objection was only to emphasize its importance.