A second impeachment trial against former US President Donald Trump kicked off on Tuesday, as Senate lawmakers declared that the trial is constitutional and both sides offered opening arguments. Already impeached in the House, the Senate trial will determine whether Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection in the deadly 6 January Capitol riot.
Newly-surfaced reports suggest Trump is extremely unhappy as Bruce Castor, one of his defense lawyers, made a rambling opening argument on Tuesday that failed to deliver the nuts and bolts of the defense’s case.
His thoughts wandering, Castor went from giving a story about a record player to making a cautionary tale about ancient Greece and Rome while admitting that Americans are “fed up” with Trump since they replaced him with US President Joe Biden. For added measure, Castor dared the US Department of Justice to arrest Trump, among other anecdotes voiced by the lawyer.
Citing two sources familiar with Trump’s reaction, Kaitlin Collins, who serves as CNN’s chief White House correspondent, revealed the former US leader was fuming and “basically screaming” moments after Castor took to the Senate floor.
Collins further noted that the trial unfolded as some on the Trump team expected it would, in light of last-minute changes to the former president’s defense line-up, according to one of the sources.
Similar indications of a frustrated Trump were also highlighted by Politico, which reported that he was particularly upset with the “sharp contrast” between his defense team’s dry reaction and that of the prosecution’s emotionally-driven opening argument.
One individual reiterated to Politico that Trump “was not happy with the performance of his legal team in action,” as he watched the legal proceedings on Newsmax from his Mar-a-Lago private club.
Newsmax coverage of the day’s events was reported to have momentarily cut away from the trial to get a reaction from a former Trump impeachment lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, who acted as if he was flabbergasted by Castor’s opening statements.
“There is no argument. I have no idea what he’s doing. I have no idea why he’s saying what he’s saying,” a purportedly stunned Dershowitz remarked, before adding that Castor’s argument “does not appear to be effective advocacy.”
— Newsmax (@newsmax) February 9, 2021
It is unclear whether Trump watched the coverage that caused Dershowitz to make his feelings known about Castor’s meandering arguments.
Initial plans dictated that fellow Trump attorney David Schoen would kick off the opening arguments; however, Castor was strategically picked to front the argument in an effort to lower the “temperature from the Democrats’ emotionally charged opening argument,” one aide explained to Politico.
Castor acknowledged the switch during his time on the floor.
Beginning Wednesday, the trial will provid