Thomas Gallatin / Feb. 10, 2021

Dems Get Emotional While Trump’s Defense Stumbles

Things did not go well for the former president on day one of Senate impeachment trial.

The show of the Senate’s second impeachment trial got underway yesterday and it was the stuff of Hollywood. It was marked by a video montage of the Capitol riot interspersed with cherry-picked segments of Donald Trump’s rally speech. It also featured sobbing House lawmaker Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who at the time of the riot was already emotionally reeling — the day prior he had buried his adult son who had committed suicide a week earlier. “If [Trump’s remarks were] not an impeachable offense,” Raskin declared, “then there is no such thing.”

If all it took to condemn and convict Donald Trump of the charge of “incitement of insurrection” was displaying the raw emotion of the accusers, then the Democrats have made their case.

The only question we were left with in our humble little shop was why the Democrats hadn’t also enlisted the “harrowing” testimony of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her “near death” experience as she hunkered down in her office bathroom while the Capitol building was being overrun. She was across the street from the riot and safe from any actual danger, but we digress.

Into this circus Trump’s legal team timidly waded. Clearly impacted by the emotional displays, they weakly sought to present their argument against the constitutionality of this clearly politically motivated impeachment charade. Ceding the obvious, Trump defense lawyer Bruce Castor stated, “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.”

However, Castor then went on a rambling and seemingly ill-prepared argument, where at times he even appeared to concede to the Democrats’ dubious narrative on the election being free from fraud (it wasn’t). “The American people just spoke and they just changed administrations,” Castor asserted, adding that the American people were smart enough to “pick a new administration if they don’t like the old one, and they just did.”

Castor’s display was so bad that Trump’s former defense lawyer from the first impeachment, Alan Dershowitz, exclaimed, “I have no idea what he’s doing. I have no idea why he’s saying what he’s saying.” Dershowitz further noted, “He’s introducing himself: ‘I’m a nice guy. I like my senators. I know my senators. Senators are great people.’ Come on. The American people are entitled to an argument, a constitutional argument.”

Trump was reportedly “furious” and “beyond angry” over Castor’s abysmal display, and who could blame him? Castor certainly made no headway against the Democrats’ dubious and emotionally charged impeachment gambit. In fact, if anything he helped the Democrats, who picked up a few Republicans in the vote over the question of the impeachment’s constitutionality, which passed 56-44.

Castor lacked the necessary passion and conviction of the sound position of the argument against impeaching a former president. While it still remains highly unlikely that the Senate will vote to convict Trump, Castor’s display should leave no one feeling comfortable. Indeed, it might have sent a better message for Trump’s team to make his case by not even showing up. Why concede anything to the Democrats’ sham show trial? Too late now.

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