New disclosures that Trump declined to call off mob attack on Capitol stalls Senate trial

WASHINGTON: The Senate impeachment trial of former US President Donald Trump is tantalisingly poised with new bombshell revelations — that he refused to call off rioters attacking the office of a Republican lawmaker despite frantic pleas over the phone — inviting more scrutiny of his behavior on January 6 as a mob of his supports attacked the Capitol.
In disclosures confirmed by a Republican lawmaker, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy had an expletive-laden phone call with Trump while the Capitol was under attack, pleading with him to call off the rioters who he said were Trump supporters. “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump said, according to lawmakers who were briefed on the call afterward by McCarthy.
The call degenerated into a shouting match between the two with a furious McCarthy telling Trump the rioters were breaking into his office through the windows, and ask asking him “Who the f—k do you think you are talking to?” according to an unnamed Republican lawmaker quoted by CNN.
One lawmaker GOP lawmaker, Washington state’s Herrera Beutler, stepped forward to confirm the account on Friday, risking the wrath of Trump and his extremist supporters.
Democratic lawmakers then pressed for a vote calling for new witness testimony, a motion that passed 55-45. So instead of a vote to convict or acquit Trump that was expected on Saturday, the Senate will now hear new testimony.
On Friday, Trump’s legal team concluded its defence of the former President using only three hours of the 16 hours they had at their disposal, using the language and talking points their client and his surrogates typically use. They called the trial a “witchhunt” and a “sham” and accused Democrats of manipulating evidence and acting out of hatred.
In a pushback against the montage of explicit videos that showed Trump supporters storming the capitol seeking out lawmakers, including wanting to hang vice-president Mike Pence, Trump’s defence team rolled out videos stitched together which they claimed showed Democrats encouraging violence by leftist mobs.

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