Trump Enraged by Protection Legal professionals’ Efficiency
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On the first day of his second impeachment trial, former President Donald J. Trump was largely invisible at Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Florida on Tuesday, moving from the new office where the staff worked – his private one Quarter outside the main building.
Mr Trump reportedly held meetings that were added to his calendar to coincide with his defense team’s presentation and keep him busy. Even so, he managed to see his two lawyers Bruce L. Castor Jr. and David I. Schoen on TV – and he didn’t like what he saw, so two people were informed of his reaction.
Mr Castor, who spoke first, delivered an expansive, almost somnambulant, defense of the former president for almost an hour. Mr Trump, who often leaves the TV on in the background even when he’s holding meetings, was angry, said people familiar with his reaction.
On a scale of one to ten, with 10 being the most annoying, Mr. Trump was “an eight,” said one person familiar with his reaction.
And while encouraged that his other attorney, Mr Schön, did a more spirited performance, Mr Trump ended the day frustrated and angry, said those familiar with his reaction.
Unlike his first Senate impeachment just over a year ago, Mr Trump doesn’t have a Twitter feed for doing what he thinks is better than anyone – defending himself – and threatening retaliation over the head dangling of Republican Senators who are in office on the impeachment jury.
The Trump impeachment ›
What you need to know
- A court case will determine whether former President Donald J. Trump is guilty of instigating a deadly crowd of his supporters when they stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, violently violated security measures, and went into hiding when they met, to certify President Biden’s victory.
- Parliament voted 232 votes to 197 in favor of a single impeachment trial, accusing Mr. Trump of “inciting violence against the United States government” in order to dismiss the election results. Ten Republicans voted against him alongside the Democrats.
- To convict Mr Trump, the Senate would need a two-thirds majority to agree. This means that at least 17 Republican senators would have to vote with Senate Democrats to convict.
- A conviction seems unlikely. Last month, only five Senate Republicans sided with the Democrats in repelling a Republican attempt to dismiss the charges because Mr Trump is no longer in office. Only 27 senators say they are not sure whether to convict Mr. Trump.
- If the Senate convicts Mr. Trump and finds him guilty of “inciting violence against the United States government,” the Senators could vote on whether he should be expelled from office. That vote would only require a simple majority, and when it came to party lines, the Democrats would prevail if Vice President Kamala Harris casts the casting vote.
- If the Senate does not condemn Mr Trump, the former president could run for office again. Public opinion polls show he remains by far the most popular national figure in the Republican Party.
The former president was therefore forced to rely on a traditional method of defense – lawyers in the Senate Chamber’s well and allies publicizing their plans to defend him against charges of “inciting insurrection” for his role in the deadly attack the Capitol on January 6th by a crowd of followers.
Leading up to the trial this week, Mr Trump’s allies and advisers said he seemed to be more or less willing to face his second impeachment, preoccupied with his golf game and difficult business, and try to ignore what was inside him Washington went.
The fact that he was struggling to keep a full team of lawyers on trial was a concern for some of his staff. None of the impeachment lawyers defending Mr Trump returned for the second round. And most of the team he originally hired abruptly broke up with him days before the trial began.
Several former president advisors and staff said they huddled at the performance of Mr. Castor, a former Pennsylvania prosecutor, who spoke first after House Democratic executives presented their impeachment case using graphic videos of the January 6 attack and had provided a meandering defense.
An adviser to Mr. Trump, who spoke about the background during the attorney’s defense, insisted that Mr. Castor had always planned to lower the temperature in the chamber because the former president and his aides expected an emotional presentation from the Democrats.
But Mr Castor undermined this by stating at the beginning that he and Mr Schön had changed the order of their presentations because the Democrats’ case had been so good.
That one of his own lawyers praised the prosecutors surprised and enraged Mr. Trump, said people familiar with his reaction. And other Trump allies said privately that some members of the legal team appeared surprised by the raw clips of the uprising that the Democrats were showing, even though the property managers had signaled for days that this was their plan.
Mr Schön presented a more forceful argument with the intensity Mr Trump prefers. Mr. Schoen, who is based in Atlanta, argued that the process itself was unconstitutional because the former president was no longer in office and that the efforts were aimed at undermining Mr. Trump’s initial adjustment rights.
But despite his acquittal, Mr. Trump was far from satisfied with the arguments put forward on his behalf.
The presidential advisers distributed more targeted “topics of conversation” in the morning and afternoon and later that day called on Democrats to “open the case exactly as we all expected: by glorifying violence and deliberately misleading the Constitution”.
“In doing so, the Democrats have set a terrible precedent for the remainder of the impeachment process by making it clear that they will be selective about everything from video footage to comments from legal scholars to the Constitution itself – which is a polite way of ‘lying’ to say “Said the topics of conversation.
In the first impeachment trial, which focused on Trump’s call to the President of Ukraine to investigate President Biden and his son Hunter when Mr Trump withheld Congressional military aid to Ukraine, Republicans and Mr Trump’s lawyers argued over the conduct was not accusable.
But, aside from keeping Mr Trump’s speech safe from the constitutional rampage, Republicans generally stayed away from defending the day’s events.
The lack of a defense against the core impeachment charge – and Mr Castor’s difficulty in getting a clear point – did not escape the Senate Republicans’ attention.
Senator Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana, criticized Mr. Trump’s attorneys by explaining why he voted “yes” on whether the Senate has jurisdiction when Mr. Trump is not in office.
When asked why he believed they were doing badly, Mr. Cassidy replied to reporters, “Did you hear it?”
“It was disorganized, random – they talked about a lot of things, but they didn’t talk about the problem at hand,” he said.