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Democrats rest case against Trump in impeachment trial, argue Senate must convict to protect democracy

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The Democratic prosecution, in the third day of former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, sought to establish a clear link between Trump's words and his supporters' actions as they attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in an effort to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

The impeachment managers argued that Trump had mobilized extremist groups and cultivated a culture of violence over months and years, laying the groundwork for an insurrection by his supporters which culminated in the worst attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812.

Democrats told Senate jurors that convicting Trump was essential to preserving the future of American democracy by deterring future presidents from attempting to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.

The Senate adjourned just before 4:30 p.m. ET and will reconvene at noon on Friday, when Trump's lawyers will present their case.

On Wednesday, the Democrats' presentation used a mix of video footage, including previously unreleased security tapes of Trump-supporting rioters at the Capitol, to make their case.

Some of the most riveting footage showed Vice President Mike Pence and Sens. Chuck Schumer and Mitt Romney being rushed to safety as insurrectionists breached the building.

While some Republican senators called the evidence "compelling," it remains unlikely that two-thirds of the Senate, which is split 50-50 between parties, will vote to convict Trump.

VIDEO4:3704:37
House Impeachment Managers argue Trump's rhetoric incited Capitol riot