On Jan 6 he staged a fiery rally near the White House, calling on the crowd to march on Congress, which was in the process of certifying Biden's victory.
"For McConnell, it's always strategy, it's always about how he can live to fight another day", said Colmon Elridge, chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party.
Then the spotlight found Herrera Beutler.
Trump was impeached on a charge of "incitement to insurrection" for his alleged role in provoking the Capitol riots on January 6, in which five people died. She said Trump initially denied his supporters were involved in the attack, claiming the mob were members of the loosely organized left-wing Antifa movement, a false claim that McCarthy rejected.
That comment set off what was described as a shouting match between Trump and McCarthy.
The House Minority leader told Trump that rioters were breaking into his office through the windows and said to the then-president: "Who the fuck do you think you are talking to?"
The House managers acknowledged this, but they were careful not to make Trump's speech the centerpiece of the proceeding, contending that the Capitol riot was the inevitable outcome of a months-long campaign to undermine the election results.
The trial had been momentarily thrown into confusion when senators suddenly wanted to consider potential witnesses, an hours-long standoff Saturday that stalled the momentum toward a vote.
Many senators kept their votes closely held until the final moments on Saturday, particularly the Republicans representing states where the former president remains popular. Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Mitt Romney (UT), Ben Sasse (NE) and Lindsey Graham (SC)- with Graham changing his no vote to yes once it was clear that the four other Republicans were joining the Democrats.
A week later, the Democratic-controlled House impeached Trump for inciting insurrection.
On Friday, Trump's defense also blamed the impeachment on partisanship, accusing Democrats of "political hatred".
Portraying Trump as a "law and order president", the former president's lawyers countered that Trump used the words "fight like hell" metaphorically, much as politicians of all stripes routinely do. "Trump supporters understand that, and it just inflames the situation ... rather than bring this to a close". However, Cassidy was seen holding a draft statement of acquittal on Friday. He said that the impeachment managers had raised some "intriguing questions" and hoped that Trump's defense counsels would answer them thoroughly. "Showing up the hypocrisy and the First Amendment arguments, they just legally eviscerated" the Democrats' legal team.
Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen objected heatedly.
The Trump defense team sought to rebut the core allegation against the former president: that the "insurrection" was the direct result of Trump's long history of incitement of violence that culminated in his January 6 speech, in which he urged his followers to "fight like hell" to stop Biden from becoming president.
"It is about canceling 75 million Trump voters, and criminalizing political viewpoints".
It seems unlikely that the 100-member Senate will be able to mount the two-thirds vote needed to convict Trump.