Reportedly, former President Donald Trump is not happy with his impeachment lawyers. It started with the legal team’s opening statement, Then, it went downhill from there. People familiar with the former president said that Trump had trouble controlling his emotions while he watched the trial unfold.
The lawyers, Bruce Castor Jr and David Schoen planned to focus on the impeachment’s unconstitutionality. However, they had to switch tactics almost immediately as they faced a prosecuting team that seemed more prepared. The lawyers switched speaking slots at the last minute, leaving Trump’s Senate allies surprised. Schoen should have gone first, but Castor instead went ahead. The legal team said they had to adjust their order on account of the House managers’ “well done” presentation.
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Castor delivered a long-winded argument and even sprinkled some praise for the House impeachment managers for a “well done” presentation. Also, he praised senators from his home state of Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey (R) and Bob Casey (D). When he finally arrived at his point, Castor said Trump’s second impeachment trial in 13 months would “open the floodgates” to future impeachments. Then, he suggested out of the blue that former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder can face impeachment.
Change of Tone
Soon as Schoen took over from Castor, the defense tone changed. Schoen started with guns blazing, charging Democrats of using the impeachment as a political bloodsport to prevent Trump from running for office again. He also accused Democrats of trying to disenfranchise voters who voted for Trump.
A Trump senior adviser explained that Castor attempted to lower the emotional temperature of the Senate hall before Schoen made his scathing attack on the Dems.”This is about lowering the temperature following the Democrats’ emotionally charged opening, before dropping the hammer on the unconstitutional nature of this impeachment witch hunt,” the adviser said.
When the votes came in to determine the trial’s constitutionality, the Senate voted 56-44 in favor of “constitutional.” Reportedly, Trump screamed at the broadcast while Castor struggled to present his point. However, one source defended the team. Given that the team only had less than a week to prepare, the team performed as expected.
While Trump showed his displeasure on how his lawyers handled the first day, his aides remained confident of an acquittal. Given the composition of the Senate, he can still muster enough party votes to secure a “not guilty” verdict. Trump sources say he needs to lie low until the end of the trial. Afterward, he can re-emerge to help get Republicans to win the midterms.
GOP Senators Are Unimpressed
Meanwhile, some GOP senators felt unimpressed with the defense team. Senator John Cornyn (TX) told reporters bluntly it wasn’t a good performance. “I thought the President’s lawyer, the first lawyer, just rambled on and on and on and didn’t really address the constitutional argument,” he said. Still, Cornyn voted the trial unconstitutional. One of the Republicans who voted in favor of “constitutional,” Senator Bill Cassidy (LA) compared the prosecution and the defense teams. He said House managers remained focused and organized, while Trump’s team wasn’t. “They did everything they could but to talk about the question at hand, and when they talked about it they kind of glided over, almost as if they were embarrassed about their arguments,” Cassidy noted.
Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK) also found the defense confusing. “Today was supposed to be an opportunity to, to be briefed on the constitutionality of whether or not you can move forward with an impeachment of a former president,” she said. “I thought that — that the House presented a pretty good, pretty good legal analysis.” She said that she felt stunned at Castor’s presentation. Even after 45 minutes, Murkowski couldn’t figure where the argument is going. “I don’t think he helped with us better understanding where he was coming from on the constitutionality of this,” she added.
A Trump adviser asked “What the hell is going on?” as they tried to come to grips with the opening day. The adviser said that Trump can face serious trouble if his current issues continue to criminal court. The former commander-in-chief is having trouble acquiring a high-profile legal team to take up his cases. “Trump is f–ked if anyone ever charges him. No one wants to work with him,” the adviser said.
Watch the Sky News Australia news video reporting that former President Donald Trump is reportedly not pleased with his lawyers:
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