The United States Senate commenced the second impeachment trial of former President, Donald Trump on Tuesday.
Trump is accused of “incitement of insurrection” after rioters stormed the US Capitol on January 6.
Five people including a police officer died. Hours earlier, the Republican vowed never to concede.
Chuck Schumer, Democratic leader, said the trial was about “the gravest charges ever brought against a president of the United States in American history”.
Jamie Raskin, an impeachment manager and prosecutor sent by the House of Representatives played a video.
It started with Trump’s speech to his supporters wherein he insisted the election was “stolen” and charged them to go “stop the steal”.
The footage showed scenes of violence and a mob raiding the US Capitol and offices.
Another impeachment manager, Congressman Joe Neguse, called the incident “the framers’ worst nightmare come to life”.
“Presidents can’t inflame insurrection in their final weeks and then walk away like nothing happened,” he said.
Trump’s lawyer, Bruce Castor argued that his comments after the mayhem were protected under the first amendment.
“We can’t possibly be suggesting that we punish people for political speech in this country,” Castor said.
Trump survived Senate’s first impeachment in February 2020. The House of Representatives impeached Trump – for the second time – in January 2021.