Various Senate Republicans have publicly criticized former President Donald Trump’s legal defense team’s performance on day 1 of his second impeachment trial.
Most of the criticism was reserved for attorney Bruce Castor, who delivered a sometimes rambling and unfocused opening argument while trying to make the case that the trial was unconstitutional.
“I thought the President’s lawyer, the first lawyer, just rambled on and on and on,” John Cornyn of Texas, a member of Senate GOP leadership, said of Castor, adding that the lawyer “didn’t really address the constitutional argument.
“I was really stunned at the first attorney who presented for former President Trump. I couldn’t figure out where he was going, spent 45 minutes going somewhere, but I don’t think he helped with us better understanding where he was coming from on the constitutionality of this,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Murkowski said she “felt that Mr. Schoen,” another of Trump’s attorneys, “did a better job.”
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was also critical of Castor’s performance, “I was perplexed by the first attorney, who did not seem to make any arguments at all, which was an unusual approach to take.”
Some of the Republican Senators went as far as to heap praise on lead impeachment manager Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota told CNN that Raskin did a “superior job” and the Trump team was “not very well prepared.”
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas also spoke favorable of Raskin, saying he was “impressive” and a “serious lawyer.”
CNN is reporting that Trump is unhappy with Mr. Castor’s performance as well. The report says that Trump was almost screaming at the television while Castor was speaking.
Despite the criticisms, 44 GOP Senators still voted that the trial was unconstitutional, with only 6 joining the Democrats to vote to have the trial proceed.