Trump’s ‘Disorganized’ Impeachment Legal Team Criticized By Republican & Democratic Senators
The legal team representing former President Donald Trump for day one of his impeachment trial came under attack from both Republican and Democratic senators on Tuesday.
“I don’t think the lawyers did the most effective job,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) when asked about the performance of Trump’s lawyers.
In contrast, the House prosecutors led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) opened the second impeachment trial of Trump with a chilling video showing the Capitol riots timeline, and Trump’s encouragement of the rioters. The video’s clear message resonated with both Democrats and Republican. Another point of bipartisanship between the parties is a joint disappointment with the lawyers representing the former president.
“The House managers were focused. They were organized. They relied upon both precedent, the Constitution and legal scholars. They made a compelling argument. President Trump’s team were disorganized. They did everything they could but to talk about the question at hand,” explained Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) soon after the trial Tuesday. “And when they talked about it, they kind of glided over, almost as if they were embarrassed of their arguments.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said, “I thought the first attorney for the president today did not present a case, which surprised me. Did not make any arguments. The second attorney representing the president clearly did, and did a competent job. I’m puzzled by the presentation of the first attorney.” Both Cassidy and Collins voted that Trump’s trial was constitutional, against the majority of GOP senators.
Lead Trump lawyer Bruce Castor followed prosecutors saying their video and presentation of evidence was “well done” and then proceeded to speak for almost 45 minutes without pause.
“I was really stunned by the first attorney who presented for the former President Trump, couldn’t figure out where he was going. He spent 45 minutes going somewhere,” explained Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). “Mr. Schoen did a better job, but I think they sure had a missed opportunity with their first attorney.”
David Schoen spoke after Castor. He argued that House Democrats intentionally withheld the articles of impeachment until Trump was out of office. Schoen’s argument, however, is easily disproven by the record. The Senate was on recess when the House articles were finalized. The articles were delivered to the Senate as soon as possible because then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to call the chamber back in session.
After Tuesday’s trial, Schoen spoke to reporters in D.C. saying there would be no changes to their legal team, nor their arguments moving forward.