Trump lawyers look to avoid repeat of early trial stumbles
Former President Trump’s legal team is looking to rebound at the impeachment trial Friday after a rough initial showing that was ridiculed by Senate Republicans.
Trump’s lawyers will take center stage after two days of compelling and emotional testimony from the House Democratic impeachment managers, who introduced harrowing new footage of the deadly riots that left lawmakers shaken.
Attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen are under immense pressure after a rocky start that was so bad it moved Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) to vote to move forward with the impeachment trial, after he previously voted it was unconstitutional.
But the math does not appear to have changed dramatically, and it seems likely that Republicans will acquit Trump for a second time at the end of the trial, with only a handful of potential defectors.
Still, the Trump era is very much on trial this week as well, meaning the effectiveness of Trump’s attorneys could reverberate politically long after the trial ends.
“We know the outcome, it’s all process now. But it’s important we don’t leave any attacks unanswered because there is a sense that they’re trying to indict not just Trump but everyone who has ever supported him,” said a Republican who is in touch with the defense team.
Trump’s lawyers have a total of 16 hours to present their defense, though adviser Jason Miller has said they would likely use just half that time.
Schoen, who received high marks from Trump’s allies after Castor’s meandering performance on the first day of the trial, will be stepping aside at sundown on Friday in observance of the Jewish Sabbath.