The Most Important Revelations So Far From Trump's Second Impeachment Trial

Donald Trump knew Mike Pence was in danger when he attacked the vice president on Twitter during the Capitol riot.

When rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the attack was well-documented. Many of the insurrectionists livestreamed it or posted photos on social media. The Capitol itself was full of journalists, who reported what happened. And numerous charging documents in the weeks since the insurrection have exposed even more. 

Still, there were several key revelations during the initial days of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. The House impeachment managers, led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), introduced evidence previously unseen by the public, but the most damning detail may have been inadvertently revealed by one of Trump’s closest allies in the Senate.

Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

Rioters Came Within 100 Feet Of Pence

Impeachment manager Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) used a model of the Capitol and security camera video previously unseen by the public to show just how close the insurrectionists came to then-Vice President Mike Pence.

“They were within 100 feet of where the vice president was sheltering with his family,” Plaskett told senators. “And they were just a feet [sic] away from one of the doors to [the Senate] chamber, where many of you remained at that time.”

The video showed U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman leading a group of rioters away from an entrance to the Senate chamber around 2:15 p.m. ET as Pence and his family sought shelter in a room nearby. Pence wasn’t evacuated to a secure location until 2:26 p.m., Plaskett said.

In the impeachment managers’ model below, the orange dot represents Pence, the blue represents Goodman, and the red represents the rioters.

House impeachment managers used a model and U.S. Capitol security video to show how close rioters came to then-Vice President
House impeachment managers used a model and U.S. Capitol security video to show how close rioters came to then-Vice President Mike Pence during the Jan. 6 attack.

Trump Knew Pence Was In Danger When He Attacked His VP On Twitter

Newly elected Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), one of Trump’s closest allies in the Senate, appeared to inadvertently confirm on Wednesday that Trump knew Pence was in danger at the Capitol when he denounced his vice president on Twitter.

As the second day of trial wrapped, Tuberville told reporters that Trump had called for his help in delaying the electoral vote certification even as the riot raged. The senator said he explained to the then-president that he didn’t have time to talk at the moment. 

“He didn’t get a chance to say a whole lot because I said, ‘Mr. President, they just took the vice president out. I’ve got to go,’” Tuberville said.

Pence’s security detail removed him from the Senate chamber at 2:14 p.m. As Plaskett noted, he and his family hid in a nearby room until 2:26 p.m. when he was evacuated to a secure location.

This means Trump knew Pence’s safety was at risk when he tweeted at 2:24 p.m.: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution. … USA demands the truth!”

Meanwhile, insurrectionists at the Capitol were chanting “Hang Mike Pence!” and calling him a “traitor” for refusing to try to overturn the election results as Trump had pressured him to do.

Romney, Schumer Ran From The Mob

The security video introduced by the impeachment managers included harrowing, never-before-seen images of congressional members and staffers fleeing the mob. 

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), then-incoming Senate majority leader, can be seen walking down a hallway with some of his aides before quickly turning around and running in the opposite direction to escape the rioters.

In another shot, Officer Goodman directs Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), one of Trump’s most prominent Republican critics, away from the violence. Romney can then be seen running after Goodman.

Sen. Mitt Romney (left) and U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman seen in security camera video during the Jan. 6 attack
Sen. Mitt Romney (left) and U.S. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman seen in security camera video during the Jan. 6 attack.

Police Dispatch Audio Shows Front-Line Terror

The impeachment managers on Tuesday released police dispatch recordings that captured law enforcement’s desperate pleas for backup as they worked to protect the Capitol despite being massively outnumbered by the rioters.

“They’re starting to dismantle the reviewing stand,” an officer says. “They’re throwing metal poles at us.”

Moments later, a panicked voice shouts out to dispatch: “Cruiser 50, give me DSO [Domestic Security Operations] up here now! DSO! Multiple law enforcement injuries! DSO, get up here!” 

Five people died that day, including one police officer. Two other officers who responded to the riot died by suicide in the days that followed.

Roughly 140 officers were wounded in the attack, the Capitol Police officers’ union said last month. Their injuries included head wounds, cracked ribs and smashed spinal discs. One officer had a heart attack. Another was gouged in the eye.