On Tuesday, the Senate convened to hear arguments for whether it has jurisdiction over the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump since Trump is no longer in the White House.
Trump faces the Senate trial after he was impeached by the Democratic House of Representatives on January 13, while he was still in office. The House charged Trump with the incitement of an insurrection after his constant lies about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election led a mob of pro-Trump extremists to storm the United States Capitol in a deadly failed insurrection.
The Democratic House impeachment managers argued the Senate can still hold impeachment trials for former Presidents, citing multiple founding documents and frameworks that influenced the founding fathers, while also reminding the Senate of the gravity of Trump's transgressions.
The argument was even more effective after Trump's head lawyer—Bruce Castor—began to deliver his rebuttal.
In a piece from Karen Heller of the Washington Post earlier this week, Castor was quoted saying:
"I'm not Ken Starr or Alan Dershowitz. You're not going to get a law professor's explanation. I'm a guy who gets up in court and talks."
That philosophy was on full display as Castor proceeded to deliver a rambling, near-incoherent argument that the Senate can't hold an impeachment trial for a former President.
Here are some of the standout moments.
Did Bruce Castor take a wrong turn and end up at the wrong trial? https://t.co/pX33sBJXQH— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1612901726.0
"Nebraska, you're going to hear, is quite a judicial thinking place" -- a real quote from Bruce Castor https://t.co/lwbbl61xVL— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1612903153.0
I challenge you to make sense of what Bruce Castor is trying to say here. This is like the worst college lecture of… https://t.co/8ILW85I9CV— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1612902142.0
Suddenly, Castor's quote in the Washington Post made a lot of sense.
Well, we certainly didn’t get the law professor’s explanation. He got that part right. https://t.co/JhKRY0pUPb— Rick Libert (@Rick Libert) 1612905023.0
Well, that explains it https://t.co/i5lhg9YqbP— Edward Davis (@Edward Davis) 1612904563.0
We've noticed. https://t.co/2gqkRmMvWQ— wonkknow (@wonkknow) 1612903715.0
Even former Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz, whom Castor invoked in the quote, didn't understand what argument Castor was trying to make.
'There is no argument - I have no idea what he is doing,' @AlanDersh on Trump's defense lawyer Bruce Castor 'talki… https://t.co/Nm76gQfxqh— Newsmax (@Newsmax) 1612902707.0
"There is no argument. I have no idea what he's doing. I have no idea why he's saying what he's saying. ... Come on. The American people are entitled to an argument—a constitutional argument."
Dershowitz wasn't the only one befuddled by Castor's attempt at a rebuttal.
He musta got this Lawyer off Craig’s List…— ICE T (@ICE T) 1612903321.0
I don't know what's happening.— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin) 1612902012.0
Maybe confusing everything is the whole point.— Kasie Hunt (@Kasie Hunt) 1612903173.0
this is so bad, im expecting him to say "the definition of trial in webster's dictionary is..."— distinguished gentlewoman 🌹 (@distinguished gentlewoman 🌹) 1612902574.0
So this is what happens when all the top conservative lawyers are unwilling to put their credibility on the line to… https://t.co/xn3hqFRhJc— Chris Cillizza (@Chris Cillizza) 1612902577.0
Courtroom photo of Castor and Schoen at work: https://t.co/zkpzAXTdSL— Michael Beschloss (@Michael Beschloss) 1612904845.0
The Senate voted that it does, in fact, have the jurisdiction to oversee the trial of former President Donald Trump.