Impeachment trial video gives Ossoff, Warnock new perspective of Capitol riot

WASHINGTON — Rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol the day after both of Georgia’s U.S. senators won their runoffs, flipping control of the Senate.

The harrowing video of the Jan. 6 insurrection shared by House impeachment managers on Monday provided them an inside view of the violence that they had not experienced themselves, unlike most of their colleagues.

Both Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock said they found the 13 minutes of footage both off-putting and impactful. It included video of police officers being attacked and shouting rioters interspersed with portions of Donald Trump’s speech at a rally earlier in the day.

“It was disturbing to see the human consequences of a terrible decision by the then-president of the United States,” Warnock said as he headed into the chambers for the second day of Trump’s impeachment trial on charges he incited the insurrection.

Ossoff said he had not seen much of the footage beforehand. He described it as intense.

“It clarified the violent nature of the event, as well as the size of the mob that breached and entered the U.S. Capitol,” he said.

Both Warnock and Ossoff were among the 56 senators who voted Monday to allow the trial to proceed, rejecting the Trump defense’s argument that he cannot face charges since he is no longer in office. Six Republicans joined with all 50 Democratic senators in that decision.

Warnock and Ossoff both said they are open to hearing from witnesses if House managers or Trump’s defense attorneys want to do so.

“If neither legal team views that as necessary for prosecution or defense, then I’ll review the evidence they do present as I make my decision,” Ossoff said.

Each side currently has 16 hours to make its case to senators. Afterward, members will have the opportunity to ask questions before taking a vote on whether Trump is guilty.