Fox News host Sean Hannity joined the conservative pile-on over the Trump impeachment team’s widely panned performance on Tuesday, gently dragging Bruce Castor over his “meandering” presentation while pressing fellow Trump lawyer David Schoen to potentially replace Castor.
Following the House Democrats’ powerful and highly prepared opening arguments during Tuesday’s Senate impeachment trial, which drew praise from many Senate Republicans and even Castor himself, Castor delivered a rambling, nonsensical, and free-form performance that was roundly mocked and left former President Donald Trump furious.
With conservatives and Trump allies blasting the Trump defense attorney, going so far as to say they “have no idea what he’s doing,” Hannity spent much of his show Tuesday night criticizing Castor before welcoming Schoen on for an interview.
Having already complained to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that he felt Castor was “a little lackluster” and needed a “little more focus,” the pro-Trump host introduced Schoen by taking a muted shot at his colleague.
“I thought it started a little meandering. Sort of like a lot of free-associating in the beginning,” Hannity, a close confidant and adviser to the former president, said. “And I’m not attacking your partner, I don’t know him at all, but I like focused arguments.”
Schoen, meanwhile, was largely praised by Hannity for his opening arguments, which struck a defiant and angry tone. Besides arguing that the impeachment of Trump for inciting an insurrection was unconstitutional because Trump is out of office, Schoen implied that convicting the ex-president would lead to civil war and argued that Democrats’ rhetoric has been even more incendiary than Trump’s.
At one point during his interview with Hannity, Schoen even seemingly contended that the only reason Democrats haven’t incited a seditious mob to act out violently with their rhetoric is that they don’t have the influence over their supporters that Trump does.
“They are using rhetoric that is just as inflammatory, or more so,” Schoen declared. “The problem is they don’t have followers, dedicated followers, when they give speeches.”
Toward the end of their discussion, Hannity circled back to Castor, once again criticizing the hapless attorney while prodding Schoen about finding a replacement before the end of the week.
“There’s a lot of criticism of the opening, not your part in particular. It seemed to be free-associating, extemporaneous, somewhat meandering,” Hannity stated, adding that Schoen won’t be at trial this coming weekend.
“Will this be more focused and will it be more prepared?” Hannity continued. “Are there other people that are planning to make those arguments? ‘Cause some conservatives called me and said, ‘Whoa, we need somebody harder-hitting here.’”
Schoen, for his part, stood up for his defense partner, saying Castor is “very capable” while excusing the shambolic performance on Castor apparently not planning to argue on Tuesday.
Following the end of Hannity’s broadcast, fellow pro-Trump Fox News host Laura Ingraham applauded her colleague during the handoff between their shows for pressing Schoen on Castor’s “terrible” performance.
“How much time could you spend praising the Democrats?” Ingraham groused about Castor. “The whole thing was a walk down memory lane about how much he loves the Senate and this was like storytime at the trial. It was ridiculous!”