Donald Trump was reportedly not pleased with the performance of his legal team. According to Politico and the New York Times, the former president was “furious” as he watched his lawyer Bruce Castor Jr. deliver his opening argument.
That is not surprising, as Castor said that voters were “smart” enough to vote Trump out of office and did not need Congress to impeach the former president. The Democrats, on the other hand, made a much better argument, which was conceded even by Republicans.
Castor’s opening argument left many confused, and included a diatribe on ancient Athens and Rome, and many seemingly unrelated subjects.
Trump’s lawyer praised the case presented by the Democrats and admitted the team changed his own argument to respond. Their presentation included a video from the Jan. 6 Capitol protests.
The video included footage of protestors fighting with the police,
Among his more congruent arguments, Castor claimed that the reason for the impeachment is purely political.
“We are really here because the majority in the House of Representatives does not want to face Donald Trump as a political rival in the future. That’s the real reason we’re here,” Castor said.
He warned the warned the Democrats not to set a precedent that would allow for the same thing to happen to them.
“The political pendulum will shift one day — this chamber and the chamber across the way will change one day and partisan impeachments will become commonplace,” he said.
The performance was so bad that it may have cost Trump the ability to swiftly end the impeachment trial.
Not so long ago Republicans had all but committed to acquitting Trump, stating that the whole process was unconstitutional.
“The Founders designed the impeachment process as a way to remove officeholders from public office—not as a tool to punish private citizens,” a memo circulated in the Republican National Committee wrote. Now, some have changed their mind.
Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana joined five other Senate Republicans in voting that the trial itself was Constitutional, even though he voted against the trial in a vote triggered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in January.
“If you listen to it, it speaks for itself,” Cassidy told reporters. “It was disorganized, random … they talked about many things but did not talk about the issue at hand.”
“The president’s lawyer just rambled on and on,” said Senator John Cornyn, a Republican of Texas. “I’ve seen a lot of lawyers and a lot of arguments, and that was not one of the finest I’ve seen.”
Sen. Ted Cruz also criticized his performance.
“I don’t think the lawyers did the most effective job,” he said while praising the Democrat argument as “impressive.”
Cassidy himself agreed with his critics. He stated that, if he was an “impartial juror” he had to admit the Democrat House impeachment managers did a “much better job.”
After Trump’s previous legal team left him as they were unwilling to claim election fraud, Trump hastily gathered lawyers with far less scruples. Bruce Castor was a district attorney in 2005 when he decided not to prosecute Bill Cosby for sexual assault against Andrea Constand.
His other lawyer David Schoen defended Roger Stone and was expected to represent Jeffrey Epstein before his death.
“I represented all sorts of reputed mobster figures: alleged head of Russian mafia in this country, Israeli mafia, and two Italian bosses, as well a guy the government claimed was the biggest mafioso in the world,” he told the Atlanta Jewish Times. It looks like his choice of a legal team seriously backfired.