PHILADELPHIA (CBS/CNN) — Former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor is defending Donald Trump during the former president’s impeachment trial in the Senate chambers on Tuesday. Castor started trending on Twitter as both sides of the aisle criticized his often rambling opening statement about the constitutionality of the trial.
Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for “incitement of insurrection” for his actions leading up to last month’s deadly U.S. Capitol riot.READ MORE: WATCH LIVE: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Officials Join With Area Hospital Leadership To Discuss COVID Surge
During his remarks, Castor said House Democrats only impeached Trump because they didn’t want to face him politically again.
“You will not hear any member of the team representing former President Trump say anything but in the strongest possible way denounce the violence of the rioters and those that breached the Capitol,” Castor said.
In his often meandering remarks, Castor repeatedly praised the Democratic impeachment managers for an “outstanding” presentation, later commenting that the House presentation was so “well done” that the former president’s team “changed” their presentation.
“I thought they were brilliant speakers and I loved listening to them,” Castor said.
Castor also praised the greatness of U.S. senators, the history of the Roman Senate, the legal foundations of the Constitution, the importance of free speech and more.
Castor did not spend much time defending Trump’s words and actions or addressing key constitutional arguments.
Users flooded social media with their takes on Castor, causing the former DA to trend on Twitter.
Former Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who joined his legal team during Trump’s first impeachment trial in 2020, told Newsmax that he has “no idea what’s he’s doing. I have no idea why he’s saying what he’s saying.”
“He may know the senators better than I do. Maybe they want to be buttered up. Maybe they want to be told what great people they are and how he knows two senators. But, boy, it’s not the kind of argument I would have made, I have to tell you that,” Dershowitz continued.
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'There is no argument – I have no idea what he is doing,' @AlanDersh on Trump's defense lawyer Bruce Castor 'talking nice' to U.S. Senators – via Newsmax TV's 'American Agenda.' https://t.co/VlT7z8drtO pic.twitter.com/7P7uVk5X19
— Newsmax (@newsmax) February 9, 2021
Christina Bobb, a host on the pro-Trump One America News Network, tweeted that “David Shoen [sic] is saving Bruce Castor’s reputation. Castor should take notes.”
David Shoen is saving Bruce Castor’s reputation. Castor should take notes.
— Christina Bobb (@christina_bobb) February 9, 2021
Meanwhile, the House Judiciary GOP voiced support for Castor, tweeting “Bruce Castor speaking the TRUTH. Partisanship won’t get us anywhere. Unfortunately Democrats are ravenous to convict President Trump in the Senate. Why? Partisanship. #AcquitTrump.”
Bruce Castor speaking the TRUTH. Partisanship won’t get us anywhere.
Unfortunately, Democrats are ravenous to convict President Trump in the Senate.
Why? Partisanship. #AcquitTrump
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) February 9, 2021
The vast majority of reaction on social media was critical of Castor’s arguments.
Jamie Raskin talked about burying his son & worrying his family would die in a coup while Bruce Castor is impersonating My Cousin Vinny
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) February 9, 2021
Bruce Castor has said 50,000 words and 3 sentences.
— Windsor Mann (@WindsorMann) February 9, 2021
Bruce Castor making his opening statement. pic.twitter.com/JX25zdokBd
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) February 9, 2021
I'm no lawyer, but not even a cat filter could save Bruce Castor right now.
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) February 9, 2021
Just in: Bruce Castor is being paid by the word.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 9, 2021
If nothing else, I must say Bruce Castor's truly authentic phil-uh-DOLL-fee-uh accent is really taking me back@jaketapper, ya feel me?
— Elliot Williams (@elliotcwilliams) February 9, 2021
Bruce Castor up there rambling like my uncle at Thanksgiving.
— Bobby Hughes (@CoachBarney) February 9, 2021
A wide array of Senate Republicans harshly criticized former President Donald Trump’s defense team on the opening day of his second impeachment trial, arguing that Trump attorney Bruce Castor had delivered a rambling and unfocused argument in making the case that the proceedings are unconstitutional.
“I thought the President’s lawyer, the first lawyer, just rambled on and on and on,” John Cornyn of Texas, a member of Senate GOP leadership, said of Castor, adding that the lawyer “didn’t really address the constitutional argument. Finally the second lawyer got around to it, and, I thought, did an effective job.”
GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said, “I was really stunned at the first attorney who presented for former President Trump. I couldn’t figure out where he was going, spent 45 minutes going somewhere, but I don’t think he helped with us better understanding where he was coming from on the constitutionality of this. And I felt that Mr. Schoen … did a better job, but I think they sure had a missed opportunity with their first, first attorney there.”
GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was also critical of Castor’s performance, telling CNN, “I thought the second lawyer … made the arguments very well. I was perplexed by the first attorney, who did not seem to make any arguments at all, which was an unusual approach to take.”
GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said that “anyone who listened to President Trump’s legal team saw they were unfocused, they attempted to avoid the issue. And they talked about everything but the issue at hand.”
“I don’t think the lawyers did the most effective job,” said GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas when asked about Trump’s lawyers. He added that Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Maryland Democrat who’s the lead House impeachment manager, was “impressive” and a “serious lawyer.”
A conviction of Trump will require a two-thirds vote, but will warrant a separate majority vote from the Senate to disqualify the former president from future office. If acquitted, Trump may not be out of the woods. Civil or criminal proceedings could still be filed against Trump.MORE NEWS: Dump Truck, 3 Other Vehicles Involved In Chester County Crash On Route 30
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