Trump Impeachment Lawyer Bruce Castor Explains Why Defense's Strategy Changed During Trial

Posted: Feb 10, 2021 2:00 PM
Trump Impeachment Lawyer Bruce Castor Explains Why Defense's Strategy Changed During Trial

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

Trump impeachment attorney Bruce Castor is pushing back on criticism of his performance Tuesday at the Senate impeachment trial, including reports that the 45th president was “furious” with him.

“My reaction is you need to check those sources because that has not been communicated to me by the president or anybody associated with the president," Castor said during an interview on Fox News. "Including Mark Meadows, who specifically came to the Capitol yesterday to tell me don’t read news coverage."

He recalled Meadow telling him “everything is going fine" and to "continue doing what you’re doing."

It wasn’t just Democrats who panned the opening remarks—Republican senators piled on, and Fox News’ Sean Hannity even asked Trump impeachment lawyer David Schoen about it on his Tuesday program, wondering if the defense will be better prepared in the coming days. 

“Well, the fellow who you say did the opening today has his law firm there. They seem to be very capable people. I’m sure -- today, he hadn't planned on going. And so, I’m sure they will be very well-prepared in the future and do a great job in the case,” Schoen answered. 

Indeed, Castor confirmed he was “not planning to speak at all.”

"Yesterday was a pre-trial motion. It was supposed to be, according to the Senate resolution, a legal discussion on the issue of jurisdiction. We took the Senate resolution literally and were prepared to argue jurisdiction," Castor said, noting that "the House Managers deviated substantially from the mandate and made a very strong, and direct emotional appeal."

He said their strategy changed after Lead Manager Jamie Raskin’s opening remarks. 

"I thought the likelihood of the senators paying attention to our jurisdiction argument would go up if I could lower the temperature in the chamber before David spoke," Castor explained. "And that is why I changed the strategy, and essentially, gave a portion of what was going to be my opening statement in the trial later in the case."

He said he was merely attempting to “dial back the emotion” in the room. 

"Because when you distill the House Managers' case down to its smallest essence, their case is what happened on January 6 is so bad that it justifies the abrogation of all constitutional protections,” he said. "There is no set of facts that ever justifies abrogating the freedoms granted to Americans in the United States Constitution."