Inside Trump’s historic second impeachment

Key players and those on the ground recount Democrats’ chilling evidence and how the former president scrambled for a defense. “Trump: The Reckoning” is now streaming on Hulu.
11:04 | 02/17/21

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Transcript for Inside Trump’s historic second impeachment
So there you have it. 57 votes for guilty, 43 for not guilty. Donald John trump, former president of the United States, is not guilty as charged in the article of impeachment, and he is hereby acquitted of the charge. What we saw in that senate today was a cowardly group of Republicans. We have no power to convict and disqualify a former office holder who is now a private citizen. Another sham impeachment down the drain. This was about choosing country over Donald Trump. And 43 Republican members chose trump. Reporter: A defining moment in American politics. The president of the united States impeached and acquitted for a second time. It's not just Donald Trump on trial. It's this entire era of our history. It's a reckoning of, how did we get here? Who have we become? How did this happen? Reporter: The entire saga examined in a new ABC news documentary for hulu, "Trump, the reckoning." It all happened here. At the heart of our democracy. That magnificent capitol All within about a month, you had insurrection, you had people storming the capitol. Weeks after that, the inauguration. And then the impeachment trial. It's a moment of truth for America. You have the house Democrats who are the prosecutors, led by gene Raskin and his team. Our case is based on cold, hard facts. He violated his oath of office in the greatest breach of a presidential oath in U.S. History. The Democrats are trying to make the case that everything that happened on January 6th is because of one man, and that's Donald Trump. Let's start with the big lie, that the election was stolen. He continued to spread the It's the only way we can lose, in my opinion, is massive fraud. On January 6th, we know who lit the fuse. Donald Trump told these insurrectionists to come to the capitol. Usa, usa, usa! And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. What president trump wanted that day, he simply wanted a peaceful and honest airing of the question of whether there were election irregularities in six battleground states. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. At his signal -- After this, we're going to walk down, and I'll be there with you -- He struck a match. We're going to walk down to the capitol. And he aimed it straight at this building. At us. Take the capitol! Take it! Take the capitol! We are going to the capitol! Where our problems are! It's that direction! We saw the house impeachment managers play this 13-minute-long video. That the public has not seen, that the senators themselves had not seen. We know those hallways. We recognize those corners. It's deeply upsetting. It is anxiety-provoking. It is frightening. That awful day could have been so much worse. Oh Nancy! Nancy! Where are you, Nancy? Reporter: Multiple members of our government had near run-ins with the mob. Senator Mitt Romney. Senate majority leader chuck Schumer. And vice president Mike pence. We saw for the first time security footage of Mike pence being hustled out of the chamber, and his family. I thought of vice president Cheney on 9/11 being taken to the bunker under the white house. 2:24 P.M., just 12 minutes after pence is taken out of the chamber, Donald Trump tweets an attack against his own vice president. He tweeted, quote, Mike pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our he further incites the mob against his own vice president. Where's Mike pence? Where's Mike pence? What the house managers did so effectively is they all told their personal stories. Trying to help the senate understand that you went through this and we did too. Reporter: Congressman Jamie Raskin was there in the capitol with his family on January 6th, one day after burying his son. I told my daughter how sorry I was, and I promised her that it would not be like this again the next time she came back to the capitol with me. And you know what she said? She said, "Dad, I don't want to come back to the capitol." It was really just about what a terrible day that was for America, that our capitol was brought down to the depths of hell by Donald Trump. The body cam videos from the police officers show just how ferocious this fight was. How do you tell those police officers who fought for four or five hours against a mob that what happened to them needs to be just forgotten, let's just forget about it and move on? House managers weren't just talking about how Donald Trump incited the riot before it happened. They were also talking about what he did while those rioters were rampaging through the capitol. We know that Donald Trump rebuffed efforts to call the National Guard up to capitol You better run, cops! At 4:17 P.M., Mr. Trump released a preordered video. This was a fraudulent election. But we can't play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace. So go home. We love you. You're very special. No matter how much truly horrifying footage we see of the conduct of the rioters, that does not change the fact that Mr. Trump is innocent of the charges against him. Trump defense team is trying to make this argument that they recognize January 6th was a horrible day in American history, but in their eyes, you can't blame Donald Trump for You'd have to really be pretty thick in the head to have watched Donald J. Trump over the past five years and think that he would ever condone any aspect of mob violence. It is constitutional cancel And really at the core of trump's defense is that the trial itself should not even be happening that it's unconstitutional because he is a former president. The Democrats are trying to cancel the guy who 74 million Americans voted for. They don't want president trump on the ballot ever again. Donald Trump's legal team, they are not Washington insiders. They are not constitutional scholars. One, in fact, is a personal injury attorney. The trump team, they weren't ready for primetime. I had eight days to get ready for this thing. We had a group that came together under very challenging conditions, put together a strong defense of president trump in this. We got it done. We kno that the president would never have wanted such a riot to occur. How do you incite a breach of the capitol when it was already preplanned? How do you incite a breach of the capitol when you tell the people at the rally to peacefully and patriotic make their voices heard? Another aspect of the argument was that Donald Trump has a free speech right to say whatever he wants to say. And we fight. We fight like hell. These are the metaphorical, rhetorical uses of the word "Fight." Suddenly the word "Fight" is off limits? Spare us the hypocrisy and false indignation. I took it as to, you know, stand up for your word. And stand up for what you believe in. And you can peacefully protest. I didn't see it as, go to the capitol and start threatening people's lives and destroying buildings. Usa! President trump did not make anybody break the law, encourage anybody to break the law. Jurors will take their seats. Now is the time to vote your conscience. This is a rorschach test. You either view Donald Trump through the prism of his reality or reality. The senate is now ready to vote on the article of impeachment. Senators, is the respondent, Donald John trump, guilty or not guilty? Miss Baldwin. Mr. Blackburn. Miss Duckworth. Mr. Durbin. Yeas 57 nays 43. Donald Jon trp, former president of the United States, is not guilty as charged in the article of impeachment. The headline is that seven Republicans broke ranks and voted to convict Donald Trump. That's huge. That was by far the most bipartisan impeachment and conviction vote in the history of the United States. We can go and put this behind us, but I think the sad reality is that for many Democrats and partisans in Washington, they're going to continue as long as president trump has the support of 75 million Americans and is the single biggest name, the single biggest influence in American politics. The acquittal is heartbreaking on so many levels. But I believe the impeachment trial will show for history that this was the worst traitor, betrayer of his oath, and of our democracy. And you can watch "Trump, the reckoning" exclusively on hulu.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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