Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Trump Reduced To "Screaming" At His TV, Watching His Lawyer Ramble Nonsensically For 45 Minutes While Undercutting His Bogus Arguments And Suggesting He Be Criminally Prosecuted (Numerous Republicans Admit They Had No Idea What The Fuck They Heard)

Senator Chris Coons (Delaware): "This was the Four Seasons Landscaping of the legal profession."

Even Diehard Trump Cultists Had No Clue What Castor Was Talking About

Bruce Castor: The Disaster Artist
Tim Miller, The Bulwark, February 9, 2021
Bruce Castor's opening statement in defense of former President Donald Trump was one of the worst presentations I have ever seen by a public speaker, in any context.

On style, he was akin to a checked-out, tenured college professor who did no preparation for a lecture that had been designed by his TA. His manner was listless and utterly devoid of charisma—halting mumblecore, with Castor frequently pausing for applause. (There was none.) . . .

Castor's argumentation was so indolent that it made Sleepy Joe Biden look like the Energizer Bunny on meth.

His substance was not much better . . . [I]t is hard to summarize what exactly Castor's argument in defense of Trump was.

Don't take my word for it. Trump supplicant Alan Dershowitz literally told the gentle viewers of Newsmax, "There is no argument. I have no idea what he is doing." Newsmax cut away from the proceedings to spare their audience. . . .

He began anecdotes only to abandon them. He took meandering digressions—remember what a record player was? His allegories were hard to decipher. At one point early in the argument, he seemed to imply that Trump's crimes were more akin to manslaughter than murder. (Agree!) . . .

Castor repeatedly spoke to his friend "Pat" (that is, Senator Toomey) off camera, making asides that he himself acknowledged weren't to the point.

In the end Castor's case for Trump might be generously described as follows:

  • Punting on the specifics of the constitutionality question that Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Col.) skillfully obliterated during the House managers' presentation.
  • Lecturing the senators about comity and friendship.
  • Arguing that the voters already removed Trump from office (before the insurrection) despite the fact that the insurrection was premised on the Big Lie that Trump himself still maintains.
  • Reminding people repeatedly that he is pals with Pat Toomey.
  • Ignoring the merits of the case against Trump altogether. . . .

The reality is that almost none of Trump's defenders are attempting to defend him on the merits. Marco Rubio is pretending to be upset that the Senate isn't working on other things. Lindsey Graham and Sean Hannity are pretending that equally impeachable things were done by Eric Holder, Cory Booker, and Maxine Waters (just to pick three Democrats completely at random). Rob Portman says what Trump did was bad, just not bad enough to do anything about.

So what we have is an impeachment trial where both sides are more or less stipulating that Trump's actions are indefensible. But Republicans can't say that out loud, because they live in fear of their own voters.

And that's how you get the inept, incompetent, ill-fitting, hapless, ineffectual, meandering, bumbling Bruce.

The Rambling, Stumbling Case For Trump's Acquittal
Jeremy Stahl, Slate, February 9, 2021

Bruce Castor, the former Pennsylvania district attorney who is most famous for having declined to prosecute Bill Cosby for rape, opened up the defense arguments and let's just say it did not go well. . . .

What was so bad about Castor's performance? For one, in what was supposed to be the opening of a specific procedural and jurisdictional defense, it was hard to identify a consistent narrative thread or particular legal argument he was trying to make. . . .

In an effort to convince the Senate that the impeachment trial was unnecessary, Castor repeatedly pointed out that the American people had already fairly voted Trump out of office—the opposite of what Trump said in his months of complaints about election theft, which had ultimately inspired his supporters to attack the Capitol. . . .

Inexplicably, Castor repeated the Trump lost the election so you don't have to punish him for trying to steal it argument a couple more times before moving to ground the former president will surely appreciate even less: If the Senate determined it doesn't have jurisdiction to try Trump, then he can always be prosecuted by the Justice Department.

"After he's out of office, you go and arrest him," Castor said.

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Over And Over And Over, Arrested Rioters Say What Spurred Them: Trump
Philip Bump, Washington Post, February 9, 2021

From those who've been arrested already, we hear a consistent refrain: They were there to support Trump or, in their view, there at his behest.

That's what Douglas Sweet of Virginia said after he was arrested on Jan. 7: "Trump asked all the patriots to show up, so I did."

Jacob Chansley, the "QAnon Shaman," told FBI agents that "he came as a part of a group effort, with other 'patriots' from Arizona, at the request of the President that all 'patriots' come to D.C. on January 6, 2021."

In an interview with the New Yorker, Larry Brock of Texas said that "the president asked for his supporters to be there to attend, and I felt like it was important, because of how much I love this country, to actually be there."

Someone who spoke with the FBI told agents that Robert Sanford, arrested Jan. 14, had been part of a group that "had gone to the White House and listened to President Donald J. Trump's speech and then had followed the President's instructions and gone to the Capitol."

Jennifer Ryan, a real estate agent from Texas arrested on Jan. 15, told a local television station that she had simply "answered the call of my president."

In a message to someone she was trying to recruit to come to Washington that day, Jessica Watkins of Ohio allegedly said that "Trump wants all able bodied Patriots to come."

The FBI quoted Christopher Grider of Texas, arrested on Jan. 21, saying in a TV interview: "The president asked people to come and show their support. I feel like it's the least that we can do. It's kind of why I came from Central Texas all the way to D.C."

On Facebook, Kenneth Grayson of Pennsylvania allegedly wrote: "IM THERE IF TRUMP TELLS US TO STORM THE F---- CAPITAL IMA DO THAT THEN."

Bruno Cua of Georgia, arrested last week, allegedly wrote on the social media site Parler that "President Trump is calling us to FIGHT!" by way of explaining his trip to Washington.

The same rationale was offered by unidentified people in video recorded at the White House.

"Our president wants us here. We wait and take orders from our president," one person said.

"We were invited here," said another. "We were invited by the president of the United States."

It's worth noting that these are the known testimonials. That so many suspects are still sought by law enforcement serves as a reminder that other similar arguments may still emerge.
President Donald Trump was "horrified" when violence broke out at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, as a joint session of Congress convened to confirm that he lost the election, according to his defense attorneys. . . .

But that revisionist history conflicts with the timeline of events on the day of the Capitol riot, as well as accounts of multiple people in contact with the president that day, who have said Trump was initially pleased to see a halt in the counting of the electoral college votes. Some former White House officials have acknowledged that he only belatedly and reluctantly issued calls for peace, after first ignoring public and private entreaties to do so. . . .

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) told conservative radio broadcaster Hugh Hewitt that it was "not an open question" as to whether Trump had been "derelict in his duty . . . As this was unfolding on television, Donald Trump was walking around the White House confused about why other people on his team weren't as excited as he was as you had rioters pushing against Capitol Police trying to get into the building." . . .

For many White House aides, lawmakers and others who had been ensconced in the Capitol, Trump's actions after the riots began were particularly offensive — even more objectionable, some said, than what he did to incite the crowd. . . .

Another close adviser said that rather than appearing appalled, Trump was voraciously consuming the events on television, enjoying the spectacle and encouraged to see his supporters fighting for him. . . .

While Trump's defense attorneys claim he and the White House "took immediate steps to coordinate with authorities," the president played no known role in organizing reinforcements that day.

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