Impeachment manager says Trump lawyers acted 'like members of a religious cult'

ReutersRep. Jamie Raskin during former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial on February 9, 2021.
  • Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin said he put together a compelling case for Trump’s conviction.
  • Raskin said he was able to demonstrate the argument that Trump incited a violent insurrection.
  • But “there’s no reasoning with people who basically are acting like members of a religious cult,” Raskin said.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, the impeachment manager tapped by the House to oversee proceedings against former President Donald Trump, said on Sunday that he believes the Democrats put together a compelling case but were bludgeoned by the defence team.

Raskin said he thought he “successfully demolished” arguments from Trumps’ lawyers during the trial “but there’s no reasoning with people who basically are acting like members of a religious cult,” the Maryland lawmaker said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Nobody said to us, nobody on any side, that we didn’t make our case. It was absolutely overwhelming and meticulous and comprehensive,” he said. “I don’t think anybody can watch that without coming away saying Donald Trump incited that violent insurrection.”

“He named the date of the rally, he named the time of the rally, it was timed with the counting of the Electoral College votes, he said ‘stop the steal,'” Raskin continued. “And then he basically fired the canon of the rallygoers that he had gathered right at the Capitol.”

The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump a second time in January, just days after the January 6 riot during which insurrectionists stormed the Capitol building. House members impeached him on an “incitement of insurrection” charge.

Ten Republican House members were among those who voted to impeach Trump.

On Saturday, the Senate voted to acquit Trump. All 50 Democrats and 7 Republicans voted to convict Trump, while 43 Republicans voted to acquit.

The Senate can only convict if it reaches a two-thirds majority decision to do so.

After the decision to acquit Trump, Pelosi released a statement in which she praised Raskin and other House impeachment managers for gathering “irrefutable evidence” of the former president’s involvement in the Capitol siege.

“Our House Managers laid out a case of overwhelming and irrefutable evidence of this searing truth: that Donald Trump incited a violent mob to attack the Capitol and then refused to intervene to stop the attack, even as his mob threatened to ‘hang Mike Pence.'”

Despite the acquittal, Raskin in his “Meet the Press” interview characterised Trump’s impeachment as a “dramatic success in historical terms.”

“It was by far the most bipartisan majority that’s ever assembled in the Senate to convict a president, which has traditionally been a kind of partisan thing in American history,” he said. “We got seven Republicans, and if you look at the 10 Republicans in the House who joined us, it was by far the most bipartisan decision and a complete repudiation of the president’s conduct.”

Raskin also said no one disputed the argument that Trump incited an insurrection, including Sen. Mitch McConnell, who voted to acquit.

McConnell later said Trump is to blame for the Capitol riot.

“There is no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” McConnell said. “The people that stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president.”

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