Just how bad were Trump impeachment lawyer Bruce Castor’s opening remarks on Tuesday? Moments after Castor began his defense, pro-Trump cable news outlet Newsmax cut in to complain that they “have no idea why he’s saying what he’s saying.”
Prior to Castor presenting former President Donald Trump’s defense, House Democrats offered up an impassioned and powerful argument that the ex-president incited and fanned the flames of an insurrectionist mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory.
The House impeachment managers’ opening remarks, meanwhile, were capped by Rep. Jamie Raskin’s emotional recounting of the Capitol riot, imploring senators that “this cannot be our future” while referencing the pain his family felt.
Castor followed up the Democrats’ well-prepared presentation, which featured a lengthy video linking Trump’s rhetoric with the violence of the riots, by seemingly riffing and ad-libbing while trying to appeal to individual Republican senators who may vote to convict Trump.
With Castor already sparking online mockery with his rambling remarks, Newsmax decided to dip in while he was still speaking in order to ask famed Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz—a regular Newsmax analyst—to weigh in on Castor’s defense strategy.
“What are you making of Bruce Castor’s argument so far,” a bewildered anchor Heather Childers wondered aloud. “Where is he heading with this?!”
“There is no argument,” Dershowitz, who worked on Trump’s defense during last year’s impeachment, said. “I have no idea what he’s doing. I have no idea why he’s saying what he’s saying.”
Contrasting Castor’s shambolic argument with the “very strong presentations” made by the House Democrats, Dershowitz continued to rail against the Trump attorney.
“I have no idea what he’s doing. Maybe he'll bring it home, but right now, it does not appear to me to be effective advocacy,” he exclaimed. “He may know the senators better than I do. Maybe they want to be buttered up. Maybe they want to be told what great people they are and how he knows two senators. But it’s not the kind of argument I would have made, I have to tell you that.”
Anchor Bob Sellers, continuing the pile on, rhetorically asked if Castor is “forgetting that this is on TV,” reminding everyone that this was “playing to a lot of people in their living rooms.”
Dershowitz, meanwhile, ended his analysis of Castor’s approach by calling on him to make some kind of cohesive argument, saying that he should make the case that Trump’s freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment.
“But again, different strokes for different folks. Different styles for different lawyers, and he's a folksy lawyer and folksy lawyers sometimes do very, very well with juries,” he concluded, offering up a backhanded compliment.