Trump was ‘screaming’ at TV during his lawyer Bruce Castor’s opening statement, report says

Former president reportedly unimpressed with his legal team's start

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 09 February 2021 23:57
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Trump attorney says defense team changed opening strategy

Donald Trump was "screaming" at his TV during his lawyer Bruce Castor's meandering opening statement at his impeachment trial, reports say.

The ex-president was unhappy with the start made by his defence team his historic second impeachment trial in the US Senate, according to CNN.

"Multiple people tell me Trump was basically screaming as Castor made a meandering opening argument that struggled to get at the heart of the defence team's argument," said CNN's chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.

The former president watched the start of the impeachment trial on Newsmax at his Mar-a-Lago estate and reportedly grew frustrated at his lawyer's presentation after the emotional opening given by House impeachment managers.

"President Trump was not happy with the performance of his legal team in action,” one person familiar with his thinking told Politico.

At one point Newsmax cut away from the trial for punditry from Mr Trump's former impeachment lawyer, Alan Dershowitz.

"I have no idea what he is doing,” said Mr Dershowitz said about Mr Castor.

“The American people are entitled to an argument … but this, just, after all kinds of very strong presentations on the part of the House managers … it does not appear to me to be effective advocacy.”

Republican Senators were also seemingly unimpressed with what they had seen.

“I thought the president's lawyer, the first lawyer, just rambled on and on and on and didn't really address the constitutional argument. That was not one of the finest I've seen," said Senator John Cornyn of Texas.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine was also "perplexed" with Mr Trump's defence lawyer.

"He did not seem to make any arguments at all, which was an unusual approach to take," she told reporters.

Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy said Mr Trump’s team did a “terrible job” and was “disorganised,” “random” and “did everything they could but to talk about the question at hand”. 

In response to the criticism, Mr Castor told reporters, "We had a good day."

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