Former President Donald Trump's second Senate impeachment trial started on Feb. 9, giving his legal team the opportunity to step up and defend his name in front of the entire nation. So, how's all that going? According to Twitter, it's a mess. These tweets about Trump's impeachment lawyer, Bruce Castor, all joke about his improv-style opening argument, and they make some pretty funny points.
Trump was impeached for the second time on Jan. 13, 2021 on charges of inciting insurrection for his alleged role in prompting the Capitol riot. On Jan. 6, following a Trump rally, a mob of the then-president's supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol building and interrupted the confirmation of current President Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election. Lawmakers were forced to evacuate the legislative chambers and hide from insurrectionists, and at least five people died. Representatives for Trump did not previously respond to Elite Daily's request for comment on the impeachment or Trump's role regarding the riot, which has been characterized as an insurrection.
Given the importance of the situation — it's Trump's second impeachment, and the country's fourth presidential impeachment ever — you'd expect a solemn, serious affair with both sides presenting thoroughly researched and meticulously planned. However, that's not what Americans got. Following impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin's moving opening statement for the prosecution side, Trump's attorney, Castor, took his turn to deliver a rambling, sometimes incoherent opening statement. In his "defense" of the president, the lawyer instead went off on asides about senators he knew, the U.S. Constitution, and other off-topic things. As some people pointed out on social media, it was like he missed the memo to prepare for a class presentation and decided instead to just wing it.
It's apparently not all Castor's fault for not having his ducks in a row. Per The New York Times, Trump abruptly hired Castor and his impeachment colleague David Schoen after his first legal defense team fell apart — meaning Castor was given little more than a week to prepare an argument alongside Schoen. The two had never worked together before, per the Times.
These circumstances may explain why Castor's opening statement sounded like, as one Twitter user suggested, "word salad."
As the former elected district attorney for Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Castor was previously perhaps best known for his controversial 2005 decision to not prosecute Bill Cosby for alleged sexual assault, per The Washington Post. Cosby was later prosecuted in and convicted in 2018 on three charges of aggravated indecent assault, though he has maintained his innocence and continued to appeal. Castor has since stood by his decision not to prosecute the case, per the Post, saying, "I have nothing to regret."
Now, in 2021, Castor has tapped into the one of the most high-profile cases he's had since then: Trump's impeachment trial. It's likely that Trump will ultimately be acquitted by the Senate for the second time, but that still doesn't mean this historic moment is one to phone in.