Transcript for Trump’s 2nd impeachment trial begins
original member of the supremes. Good evening and it's great to have you with us here on a Tuesday night. And we begin tonight with the history made in Washington, as the impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump gets under way. The first time a president has ever faced impeachment for a second time and the first president to face an impeachment trial after leaving office. The former president facing one count of incitement of insurrection after the siege at the capitol on January 6th. The indictment saying hi was singularly responsible for it. The senate chamber a crime scene just a month ago, now a courtroom today. The senators that witnessed the deadly rioting serving as jurors. 6,500 National Guard troops still on duty there. Democratic house managers who are prosecuting the case beginning with a 13-minute video, with the president's own words. And what supporters were saying when storming the capitol. Some saying, "We are following president trump." Jamie Raskin saying, if that's not impeachable, there's no such thing. Lawmakers and their staff members huddling from the rioters. The former president's lawyers denouncing the rioters, but insisting tonight the former president is not to blame. And that the trial is unconstitutional. But late today, six Republicans joining the Democrats, voting the trial is constitutional and will move forward. We have it all covered tonight on what was a sense and emotional day inside that chamber. ABC's Rachel Scott leading us off tonight from the hill. Reporter: Tonight, history made in Washington. The first time a president faces a second impeachment trial. And the first time a president is tried after leaving office. Everybody in, this way! Reporter: And today, Democrats wasted no time making their case against Donald Trump. Forcing senators to relive the harrowing moments from one month ago, sitting in the very chamber that came under attack. Take the building! Traitor pence! We're listening to trump, your boss! Reporter: House impeachment managers playing a graphic 13-minute video, reminding senators what the president told his supporters right before the capitol siege. We fight. We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore. Reporter: Trying to link former president trump's own words in the weeks and hours before the deadly riots to the chaos that then played out in the capitol. The senators watching in rapt silence. You ask what a high crime and misdemeanor is under our constitution? That's a high crime and misdemeanor. If that's not an impeachable offense, then there is no such thing. Reporter: Lead prosecutor representative Jamie Raskin growing emotional. Members of his family were with him that day at the capitol. Recalling what his daughter said to him. And you know what she said? She said, "Dad, I don't want to come back to the capitol." Reporter: Democrats argue the constitution is on their side and say even though trump is no longer the president, that he should still be held accountable for his actions in the final weeks of his presidency. Asking, if they don't hold him accountable, what could future presidents do in their final weeks? Insisting there should be no "January exception," in their words. What you experienced that day, what we experienced that day, what our country experienced that day, is the framers' worst nightmare come to life. Presidents can't inflame insurrection in their final weeks and then walk away like nothing happened. Reporter: Then, the former president's team. Lead defense attorney Bruce castor denouncing the insurrection, insisting those responsible are criminals and should be prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law, but arguing trump is not one of them. We can't possibly be suggesting that we punish people for political speech in this country. Reporter: The defense saying since trump was removed from the white house by voters, the Democrats' case has no ground, and that it's unconstitional to hold an impeachment trial for a former president. For a great many Americans see this process for exactly what it is. A chance by a group of partisan politicians seeking to eliminate Donald Trump from the American political scene. Reporter: And after four hours of arguments, six Republicans siding with Democrats, voting the trial should move forward. All right, so, let's get right to Rachel Scott up on the hill again tonight for us and Rachel, we've been reporting all along here from the beginning that Democrats need 17 Republicans to convict. Of course, as you just reported late today, six Republicans voting with the Democrats, obviously no guarantee those six would vote to convict. This remains a very steep climb for Democrats. Reporter: It will be an uphill challenge, David. It was complete silence inside of the chamber when Democrats played that 13-minute long video. The sound of the chaos and the violence echoing inside. Republican senator Susan Collins and Lisa murkowski were spotted taking extensive notes. Even if Republicans were compelled by the presentation put forward by Democrats tonight, there is still that question of whether or not it will be enough to get 17 Republicans to vote to convict. Tonight, David, that still seems unlikely. And as you point out, they could hear a pin drop, there were reports, it was so silent in that room after that video. Rachel Scott leading us off tonight. Rachel, thank you.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.