Senators Express Frustration, Exhaustion on Trial's 3rd Day, Expect to Vote on Trump Saturday

As the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump stretched into its third day Thursday, several senators appeared worn down by the ongoing argument that Trump incited the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

"It's just redundant—the same thing over and over again," Senator Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, told reporters during one break. "To me, the more you hear it, the less credibility there is in it."

Attempting to connect Trump to the mob that stormed the Capitol, House impeachment managers again read comments by rioters who have since been arrested and showed footage of the mob arguing that Trump wanted them in the Capitol that day.

They also listed members of the Trump administration who resigned in the days after the riot, and they showed videos Trump released directed at his supporters, urging them to "go home."

About a dozen GOP senators filtered on and off the floor throughout the day. Members are able to watch the proceedings from other closed-off sections of the Senate.

Some members appeared to doodle at their desk, while others appeared to sleepily rub their eyes.

Thursday was a stark contrast from the trial activity on Wednesday, which was marked by dramatic never-before-seen security footage that showed senators narrowly avoiding face-to-face encounters with the mob.

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, told reporters he wasn't aware how close he came to them before Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman redirected him to safety. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, told reporters that he also hadn't realized that there was video footage of his close encounter before his security detail rerouted him. Another video showed a stream of senators evacuating the chamber to a secret safe area, which impeachment manager Eric Swalwell said Wednesday was just 58 steps from rioters, blocked only by a human shield of police officers.

But Republican senators who opposed the trial going forward also appeared unmoved by the House impeachment managers' arguments. Many have said they believe that they can't vote to convict someone who's no longer in office.

"[I] think it's difficult to vote that it's unconstitutional and vote to convict," Senator John Boozman, an Arkansas Republican, told reporters.

Both Republicans and Democrats confirmed that they have been advised that the trial is on track to wrap up Saturday.

Trump's legal team will present its defense case on Friday. Witnesses aren't expected to be called, as House managers had played audio and read written statements from people who were at the Capitol on January 6.

"I don't know what witnesses would add," Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with Democrats, told reporters.

Trump attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen didn't appear to be taking notes for long stretches, as the House prosecutors played clips of protestors and streamed audio and read testimonials from people who were working in the Capitol when the mob stormed the building.

Schoen at one point left the chamber while House managers were presenting to do a live hit on Fox News. He told reporters that he didn't feel the need to be there because the presentation was "more of the same thing" and "the same repetitive videos."

"They haven't in any way tied it to Donald Trump, and I think it's offensive, quite frankly," he said. "It's [the] antithesis to the healing process to continue to show the tragedy that happened here that Donald Trump has condemned, and I think it tears at the American people, quite frankly."

Trump's team is expected to highlight past statements from Democrats who have called on supporters to be disruptive to Republicans and Trump when they begin their presentation on Friday.

Impeachment Day 3
In this screenshot taken from a webcast, Senators recite the Pledge of Allegiance on the third day of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol on February 11, 2021 in Washington, DC. House impeachment managers will make the case that Trump was “singularly responsible” for the January 6th attack at the U.S. Capitol and he should be convicted and barred from ever holding public office again.