New York Times reports Trump was “furious” as he watched his lawyer Bruce Castor Jr. deliver his opening argument after the gripping visual and emotional performance put on by Democrats, citing “people briefed on his reaction” and on a scale of one to 10, Trump was an eight.
Politico reports Trump “grew increasingly frustrated” as the trial continued, citing “people familiar with his thinking.”
At one point during the trial, Castor
praised the presentation of the Democrats and admitted the team changed his own argument to respond. At another point, he argued voters were “smart” enough to vote Trump out of office and did not need Congress to impeach the former president.
Senate Republicans were not impressed with the performance either.
Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
joined five other Senate Republicans in voting that the trial itself was Constitutional, even though he voted against the trial in a vote triggered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in January.
“If you listen to it, it speaks for itself,” Cassidy told reporters. “It was disorganized, random … they talked about many things but did not talk about the issue at hand.”
Cassidy said if he was an “impartial juror” he had to admit the Democrat House impeachment managers did a “much better job.”
Sen. Ted Cruz also
panned the performance.
“I don’t think the lawyers did the most effective job,” he said while praising the Democrat argument as “impressive.”
Perhaps more alarming was a
Bloomberg report that McConnell would not press his colleagues to back the president, again floating the notion of supporting the articles of impeachment even though he voted Tuesday that the trial itself was unconstitutional.
Trump’s legal team experienced a tumultuous preparation for the trial after Trump’s initial lead lawyer Butch Bowers and lawyer Deborah Barbier left the team due to disputes over legal fees and strategy,
according to reports.
announced Castor as his lead impeachment lawyer just ten days before the trial.