Lawyer who defended Trump in first impeachment trial says new attorney has ‘no idea what he’s doing’
Alan Dershowitz believes a First Amendment argument would have more merit
Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial began on Tuesday and one of his former lawyers is unimpressed by the defense presented thus far.
Alan Dershowitz was part of Trump’s team during his first Senate impeachment trial last year. He was critical of his current lawyer Bruce Castor, whose strategy as argued in his opening statement, was that it wasn’t within the Senate’s authority to hold Trump responsible for the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol since he was no longer in power, The Hill reported.
Castor added that the proceedings were purely political but praised the senators in the chamber.
“Maybe he’ll bring it home, but right now, it does not appear to me to be effective advocacy,” Dershowitz said on Newsmax during an interview Tuesday. “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.”
Dershowitz insisted that a strong First Amendment defense would have been his course of action.
“You cannot abridge the freedom of speech, and whatever you might think of the President’s speech, and I don’t think very much of it, it can’t be the basis for an impeachment if it’s constitutionally protected,” he said.
“I would have gotten right to that, but again, different strokes for different folks, different styles for different lawyers,” Dershowitz said. “And he’s a folksy lawyer, and folksy lawyers sometimes do very, very well with juries.”
Dershowitz felt that Castor went on a tangent and strayed too far from the point at times. However, he noted that that Castor was in the right for focusing on “revenge,” as the Capitol siege was a motivating factor.
“This is a hard case, this is an emotional case. He did say, and I think very appropriately, that everybody wants to take revenge when they see a horrible event that took place at the Capitol, but then he went off. I just don’t understand it.”
Dershowitz’s comments are not the first instance in which he has shared his thoughts on Trump’s involvement in the Capitol breach and the ensuing fallout. He penned a The Wall Street Journal op-ed last month and insisted the articles of impeachment be dropped since Trump was now a private citizen.
“For the victorious Democrats to seek revenge against Donald Trump would set a terrible precedent, distract from President Biden’s agenda, and make it hard to heal the country. Better to move on,” wrote Dershowitz.
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