WASHINGTON – Republican Senator Bill Cassidy blew up Donald Trump’s legal team in a messy, haphazard and confused position after the first day of the former president’s trial on Tuesday.
The trial began with Trump’s attorney, Bruce Castor, making a winding speech that contained hard-to-follow misconceptions about things. the legal culture in Nebraska that it embarrassed the observers. At one point, My cousin Vinny, the classic 1992 trial comedy, where Joe Pesci bombards while opening the big trial, was popular on Twitter. The day ended with a Senate vote of 56-44 that it was constitutionally valid to hold a trial for accountability against Trump, even though he was no longer president.
Cassidy was one of six Republicans who voted to continue the trial. It was a reversal of his position a week ago, but he said he changed his mind because Trump’s legal team did such a bad job.
“It was messy, random. They talked about a lot, but they didn’t talk about the issue, ”Cassidy said.
– I’m a unique juror. If one party does a great job and the other party does a terrible job on the issue, as an impartial juror, I will vote for the side that did a great job. “
Cassidy praised the Democratic Prosecution Managers, who had the actual role of a prosecutor in organizing and delivering a “coercive, persuasive case”. Asked why he thinks Trump’s lawyers are so bad, he said, “Did you listen? Speaks for itself. “
Cassidy would not say whether she would eventually vote to convict Trump for committing high crimes and misdemeanors for inciting the Capitol’s January 6 attack, but said she would be open.
Even Senator Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s most important allies in Congress, criticized Castor’s performance. “I thought I knew where I was going and I really didn’t know where he was going,” he said.
Although Tuesday was devoted to the constitutionality of the trial, Castor’s arguments barely touched on that issue. He admitted for a moment that he had abandoned his prepared remarks and decided to improvise after looking at the opening arguments of Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin, the head of accountability. “I’ll be very honest with you: we changed things because we thought the housekeeper’s performance went well,” Castor said.
Raskin showed dramatic footage of the Capitol attack and told his story when his daughter and son-in-law are hiding in an office and think they are going to die. The day before the Capitol riot, Raskin watched the funeral of his son, Tommy.
Democrats have also argued that because of Trump’s exemption from Trump’s dismissal, future presidents will be given free admission to commit crimes after their terms expire, knowing they will be free from the consequences if they leave the White House.
Castor, who referred to Raskin as a “worthy opponent,” jumped between several defenses, arguing that the former president’s dismissal would violate free speech and lead to a surge in partisan offsets in the future. At one point, he seemed to be arguing that Trump would be held accountable because people’s minds were “empowered by emotion”. He talked at length about how special and patriotic American senators are.
Castor has repeatedly stated that the system worked properly because voters did not want Trump’s office, so they voted out. “People get tired of an administration and they know how to change it. And they just did, ”he said.
To this day, Trump has refused to acknowledge the reality that he lost the election. He reiterated his unfounded and rejected claims that he had indeed won in a “landslide”. In fact, he lost more than 7 million votes. But he repeated these lies to the crowd of supporters moments before they moved to the Capitol on January 6 and interrupted the counting of the Electoral College votes.
Castort was followed by Trump’s other attorney, David Schoen, who dealt with the constitutional issue more forcefully and aggressively. Schoen argued that the Constitution only refers to holding the sitting president accountable and that the Senate has no jurisdiction over private citizens.
This argument ultimately failed. At the end of the day, even some Republicans expressed surprise in Trump’s defense.
“I thought he was the president’s first lawyer today.” [Castor] he didn’t present a case that would have surprised him, ”Senator Susan Collins said. “The second lawyer representing the president has done and done a clearly competent job. But I’m embarrassed by the first lawyer’s presentation, so I don’t know how they’ll move on from here on out.
Despite the rocky start, Trump is likely to be released. Judgment requires a two-thirds majority of the Senate, or 67 senators, not a straight majority. Most Republicans record that they don’t think a trial should even be held, and Trump is acquitted unless a significant portion of them change their minds.