Trump smokes, GOP senators are puzzled at the debut of the legal team

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former President Donald Trump thought that the action of his lawyers on the opening day of the second indictment trial was a disaster as allies and Republican senators questioned the strategy and some called for another shake for his legal team.

Trump, who watched the Washington proceedings from his club in Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida, was angry at what he saw, according to a person skilled in his mind. Senators also criticized their untargeted and raging performance when Trump’s team and Democratic House leaders began spreading their cases before a Senate jury.

While it is still unlikely that more than one Republican will join the Democrats in condemning the former president at the end of the trial, the proceedings gave Trump a chance to try to repair some of the damage to his legacy caused by the country’s storm. With the mass of Capitol supporters. Trump was charged with inciting the January 6 uprising, and last month he became the first president in history to be reported twice by the House.

But Trump’s team – which was announced just over a week ago – they seemed unprepared when they tried to carry out a good cop, a bad cop test that went from flattery to legal and was in dramatic contrast to the Democratic concentrated emotional calls.

Trump – once the showman – impressed Democrats, who opened Tuesday’s session with a huge video compiling scenes of a deadly attack on Congress. And he complained that his team – especially Bruce Castor, a leading lawyer – came badly on television and seemed weak compared to the person who spoke anonymously to discuss private conversations.

The anger was echoed by Trump’s allies, who blew up lawyers publicly and privately, with repeated profanity.

“There is no argument. I have no idea what he’s doing. I have no idea why he says what he says. , ”Said Alan Dershowitz, the attorney who represented Trump in his first prosecution lawsuit, while considering Castor during his appearance at Newsmax as they attended the meeting.

Peter Navarro, a former Trump’s former commercial adviser, had already called on the former president to flood his legal team and employ Republican MP Matt Gaetz before the trial began, warning: “You need to get rid of these guys. These people do not understand. This is a political trial. “

Republican members of the Senate showed up just as incomprehensibly, especially at Castor, who spent most of his time anointing the senators with compliments, praising the cause of the Democrats and continuing with touches.

GOP Senator Texas-based John Cornyn said Castor “just went on, went on and on, and didn’t really deal with constitutional reasoning. According to him, second-speaking Trump attorney David Schoen “touched” and did an effective job. But I saw a lot of lawyers and a lot of arguments, and it wasn’t one of the best.

Before the criticism was voiced, another Trump consultant described Castor’s presentation as part of a “very clear, deliberative strategy”. The counselor said that after the emotionally charged opening of the Democrats, Castor set out to “lower the temperature” before “dropping the hammer on the unconstitutional nature of this penitentiary”.

The hammer did not seem to hit his nails.

Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy, who voted with Democrats on the progress of the trial on Tuesday, said Trump’s team did “terrible work” and “disorganized”, “random” and “did everything just to talk about the issue. “

Susan Collins of Maine, the GOP senate who also voted with the Democrats, said Castor was “embarrassed”, “who does not seem to have made any arguments at all, which was an unusual approach”.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, one of Trump’s most convincing allies, said the lawyers did not do the “most efficient job,” while South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, another close ally of Trump, said he didn’t know where Castor went. arguments.

Trump’s team did not respond to requests for comment on the events of the day or to the question of whether any shaking for the legal team is planned.

He asked for a response to the GOP’s criticism when he left the trial, Castor – who said during the trial that the team “changed what we were going to do” at the last minute because the house leaders did a good job – would just say “good we had a day. ” Schoen told reporters he hadn’t spoken to the president yet, but “he needs to do better next time”.

“I mean, I always hope to improve. I hope I can do it, ”he said.

Trump’s paths parted with his original indictment group just over a week before the Senate lawsuit began, in part because Trump wanted to apply a defense based on unfounded allegations of election fraud, and lawyers refused to do so.


Mary Clare Jalonick of Washington, the writer of the Associated Press, contributed to the report.