Bruce Castor says impeachment trial opening 'designed' to 'dial back the emotion' after Trump expresses anger
Bruce Castor, one of former President Donald J. Trump's lawyers in the Senate impeachment trial, defended his controversial opening arguments in an interview with Fox News. Castor's arguments were ripped by former Trump impeachment lawyer Alan Dershowitz on Newsmax before he had even finished speaking. Meanwhile, some claimed Trump was "furious" and "angry" over his defense's showing Tuesday. Castor, however, rebuffed those claims.
"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," he said. "Including Mark Meadows, who specifically came to the Capitol yesterday to tell me don't read news coverage."
Castor asserted that Trump "is paying me to win the case."
"If winning the case has a consequence that I have to take a few torpedos in order to focus attention on us and away from what the House managers are doing, then that is part of the danger in being a trial lawyer, when prevailing is of greater importance than personal grandiosement," Castor said. "One of the reasons I made the audible I did yesterday was to dial back the emotion," he continued. "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 added: "There is no set of facts that ever justifies abrogating the freedoms granted to Americans in the United States Constitution."
Meanwhile, Castor said his arguments on Tuesday were an intentional response to the emotional display by House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin.
"That was by design," Castor said. "I don’t like reading bad stuff about me in the newspaper any more than anyone else does, or my legal colleagues around the country saying I’m stupid, but the reason I made the change was precisely so that in lowering the temperature in the room, the public coverage would be more about what I said than about what the House Managers said."
Castor raised eyebrows at one point in his remarks Tuesday, when he said the "American people just spoke and they just changed administrations," adding that the public was wise enough to "pick a new administration if they don’t like the old one, and they just did."
However, he clarified those remarks during his appearance on Fox News.
"What I said was in a light most favorable to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. The people have spoken and the administration changed," Castor said. "The point that I am making is that if we accept as true the position of the Democrats that the election was fair, and that the people chose President Biden over now-former President Trump—if we take that as fact—then they now must concede that the American public does know how to change administration if they want to."
"Taking from President Trump the ability to hold office in the future demonstrates to me that the Democrats are afraid that the people of the United States can’t be trusted with the power to change administrations, and should not be given the choice of returning to President Trump if that is what they want," Castor added.