Having watched three Democratic members as prosecutors of former President Donald J. Trump, I am now watching another eight prosecutors — CNN anchors and hand-picked experts, all sharing one anti-Trump brain.
So let me turn down the volume and share my impressions.
First, in a completely predictable outcome, the Senate voted that the impeachment process itself was Constitutional and could proceed, which it will tomorrow.
Sad to say, of the five attorneys in the limelight Tuesday, former Montgomery County D.A. Bruce Castor finished last.
Speaking extemporaneously from a yellow legal pad, Castor spent his first 20 minutes sucking up to his audience of “jurors,” making the case that senators are “extraordinary” people, “gallant,” and “patriotic,” which we — and they — know is a load of crap.
I guess he was trying to get them to rise above partisanship.
I will pause now while you laugh.
Spoiler Alert: The Senate will fail to achieve the 67 votes needed to convict.
Castor seemed to be editing his notes as he went along, he wobbled, and lacked the high drama delivered by, say, Democrat Jamie Raskin, who almost brought himself to tears in a melodramatic revelation that his daughter never wants to return to the Capitol.
Partly to allay Raskin’s video of the riot, Castor said his side stipulates there was a riot, he denounced it and said it was “repugnant,” but not caused by Trump.
It was kind of stunning to hear Castor claim that Trump had been punished enough by losing the election when Trump still doesn’t believe he lost the election.
His attempt at praising opposing counsel was unbelievable, and his mentions of unnamed other parties — did he reference screwball U.S. Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene? — was confusing.
His colleague, David Schoen, worked from a script, and was more effective in attacking the Constitutional basis for the action.
At one point he waved his copy of the Constitution, followed by what seemed like Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book, to demonstrate a system that believes in due process and free expression, and another that doesn’t.
He ticked off many examples of the House action lacking due process and fairness, to no avail.
Anyone with common sense knew the outcome was preordained.
Oh — social media will have a field day with the way Schoen took a sip of water from a small bottle, and held the top of his head with his other hand. (Remember Trump’s two-handed water grip?) My guess is Schoen, an Orthodox Jew, usually wears a yarmulke, and uses that move to keep the skull cap from falling off.
On the other side, Raskin was polished and effective and, as I said, dramatic.
“It’s all about the facts,” he said, but many of his “facts” where not relevant.
There is no question a riot/insurrection took place. The issue was causal — did Trump cause it?
Everyone has already made up their mind.
The video was very effective, and should be embarrassing to Trump supporters. Not because he caused it, but because some of them were chanting, “Fuck the police.”
These are supposed to be the “law and order” people?
The opening day went to the prosecution.