Who talked the most during Trump’s second impeachment trial

Updated Feb. 14 at 3:14 p.m.

After the conclusion of former president Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, there were more than 27 hours of proceedings, with more than 140,000 words in the record.

That’s according to a Washington Post analysis of the trial transcripts, which include more than 91,000 words from the nine House impeachment managers and almost 33,000 from Trump’s legal team.

While in Trump’s first impeachment trial, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), the lead impeachment manager, spoke by far the most words of anyone in the first seven days of the trial (nearly four times as many words as the second most prominent speaker), the impeachment managers have spread the speaking time a little more evenly this time.

Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.), the lead impeachment manager for this trial, has spoken just over 26,000 words, while Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.), Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), and Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) and Trump lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor Jr. have each spoken more than 10,000 words. Another Trump lawyer, Michael T. van der Veen, took a prominent role late in the trial, speaking 9,600 words.

[Who spoke most during Trump’s first impeachment trial]

Schoen, the Trump lawyer who spoke the most, delivered an aggressive attack on the constitutionality of the trial during arguments Tuesday over the constitutionality of the trial, but added comparatively little to his total Friday, while Castor and van der Veen took the lead.

Trump’s defense team used only one-third of the time House managers took during opening arguments. The Senate ruled on the first day of the trial for up to 16 hours for each side. House managers relied more on video, testimonials and audio footage from Jan. 6 events and Trump’s defense used video montages of Democrats and media coverage.

Both sides relied on video during trial’s opening arguments

[For Raskin and the House managers arguing to convict Trump, less was more]

Senators are commanded at the start of each day to remain silent “on pain of imprisonment,” which is why most said only a few words early on: mostly “yes” or “no” votes on the rules package for the trial and the constitutionality question the Senate considered Monday. On Day Four, some senators stepped forward to offer questions to each side.

A few, though, spoke more often. Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) spoke 1,256 words; he makes a few procedural motions in the trial each day, including introducing the rules package Tuesday that governs how the trial works and calling for the chamber to recess at the end of the day.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who spoke up after the proceedings Wednesday to make an objection, has spoken 342 words. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), who is presiding over the trial as Senate president pro tempore, has spoken more than 12,800 words. A few other officials — the acting Senate sergeant at arms, the chaplain and the clerk (who was asked to read the article of impeachment aloud) — have each spoken as well.

About this story

Transcripts were downloaded from FDCH e-MEDIA. Analysis excludes unidentified speakers and those who spoke on video and audio clips. Independent Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Angus King (Maine) caucus with Democrats and appear with that party here.

Peter W. Stevenson is The Post's senior political video producer. He's been at The Post since 2015 and previously covered national politics for The Fix. He was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for climate change coverage in 2020, and won Edward R. Murrow awards for Investigative Reporting and Excellence in Social Media in 2017.
Harry Stevens is a graphics reporter at The Washington Post. He was part of a team at The Post that won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for the series “2C: Beyond the Limit.”
Daniela Santamariña is a graphics reporter for newsletters covering politics at The Washington Post. Before joining The Post in 2019, she was an editor for National Geographic.