Yesterday marked the opening day of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial in the Senate. If convicted, Trump, who only served one term, could be disallowed from running for president again in the future.
For the Democratic Impeachment Managers--the select group of Representatives sent to prosecute the case against Trump--the task ahead is simple: prove that the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol was incited by Donald Trump, the then sitting President of the US.
Recent reporting from ABC News has illustrated that drawing the connection shouldn't be that hard. In fact, several of the insurrectionists who've been charged have already claimed to have acted in service of Trump's wishes.
One of them, Garret Miller of Texas, passed the buck when he apologized for threatening to assassinate Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York.
Clearly speaking based on the advice of his attorney, Miller tried to revise his past:
"I believed I was following the instructions of former President Trump. I also left Washington and started back to Texas immediately after President Trump asked us to go home."
"While I never intended to harm Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez nor harm any members of the Capitol police force, I recognize that my social media posts were completely inappropriate."
"They were made at a time when Donald Trump had me believing that an American election was stolen. I want to publicly apologize to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and the Capitol police officers."
For many people who read that reporting, it was case closed in the question of whether Trump incited the events of January 6.
@ABC damning evidence of Trump's direct connection and responsibility. Conviction=accountability.— rstribz (@rstribz)1612897956.0
@ABC It’s simple. Trump is the coach and they are the team. Enough said.— james c abney (@james c abney)1612898426.0
@ABC Of course, they were. It's obvious to anyone looking honestly.— Get Real (@Get Real)1612898159.0
@ABC SHEEP!!!!!!!! https://t.co/JRpayQO6Bd— Edward Niger (@Edward Niger)1612898506.0
Others noted how Trump left the insurrectionists out to dry in the fallout since the Capitol riot.
After, he was still President for two weeks following the failed coup attempt.
@ABC ..and boy are they pissed....a mess of them got arrested, more to come, but Trump did not pardon any of them...NOT ONE.— BJR Adrian (@BJR Adrian)1612898076.0
@ABC Trump should’ve pardoned them now they’re throwing him under the bus 😂— Melissa_NYC (@Melissa_NYC)1612898302.0
@ABC Trump set them up, now a bunch of them facing seditious conspiracy charges of up to 20 years in prison, lol.— Itisme (@Itisme)1612899745.0
As for Ocasio-Cortez, she thankfully evacuated along with all the other lawmakers before any physical harm could be done.
But the psychological toll was very real.
She recently made waves when she shared an Instagram live video walking viewers through her experience on January 6. In the video, she discussed the grave fear she felt when she heard the rioters storming the building, banging on doors and walls.
With the impeachment set to continue over the next few days, this may only be the beginning of our understanding of the direct connection between Trump's rhetoric and that already infamous siege of the Capitol building.