By JOHN PARKINSON, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — Rep. Stacey Plaskett’s life journey has taken her from the housing projects in Brooklyn, New York, to a historic role in the Senate impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump.
Plaskett, a delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands, is one of nine Democrats tasked with prosecuting the House’s impeachment case against Trump. On Wednesday afternoon, Plaskett presented new evidence in the impeachment trial – showing previously unreleased videos of the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, contending Trump “fanned the flame of violence, and it worked.”
“I want to show you why this violence was foreseeable and why Donald Trump was different than any other politician just telling their fighters — their supporters, to fight for something. The violence that occurred on Jan. 6, like the attack itself, did not just appear,” Plaskett said Wednesday. “You’ll see that Donald Trump knew the people he was inciting, he saw the violence that they were capable of, and he had a pattern and practice of praising and encouraging that violence, never, ever condemning it.”
Plaskett is a former law student of lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, who was a constitutional law professor at American University. As he introduced her Wednesday afternoon as the first delegate to participate in a Senate trial, Raskin reflected that introducing Plaskett during the Senate trial is “a moment of special pride for me.”
“I hope I’m not violating any records or laws saying she was an A student then and an A+ student now,” Raskin quipped.
Plaskett, who grew up in Brooklyn and a housing community on Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, said she was a congressional staffer during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
“My office was on the west front of the Capitol, I worked in the Capitol and I was on the House side. This year is 20 years since the attacks of Sept. 11 and almost every day, I remember 44 Americans gave their lives to stop the plane headed to this Capitol building. I thanked them every day for saving my life and the lives of so many others.”
Plaskett, a mother of five, sheltered in her office during the siege on the Capitol.
“The chilling evidence shows that Jan. 6, armed and organized insurrectionists trained their sights on Speaker Pelosi,” she said. “They sought out the speaker on the floor and in her office, publicly declared their intent to harm or kill her, ransacked her office, and terrorized her staff. And they did it because Donald Trump sent them on this mission.”
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