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Attorney Bruce Castor Opens With A Winding Defense Of Former President Trump

In this screenshot taken from a congress.gov webcast, Bruce Castor Jr. defense lawyer for former President Trump speaks on the first day of Trump's second impeachment trial.
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In this screenshot taken from a congress.gov webcast, Bruce Castor Jr. defense lawyer for former President Trump speaks on the first day of Trump's second impeachment trial.

Bruce Castor, an attorney representing former President Trump in his second impeachment trial, opened Trump's defense with a long-winded, nonlinear opening argument, claiming that the effort to try Trump was nothing more than an emotionally-driven partisan response to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.

"The political pendulum will shift one day," he said. "And partisan impeachments will become commonplace."

Castor, who is a former Montgomery County, Pa., district attorney, spent much of the early part of his defense swaying between personal anecdotes and showering praise on the Senate as a body of "extraordinary" and "gallant" people.

In response to the article of impeachment accusing Trump of inciting riot that left five people dead, Castor accused Democrats of being overly reactionary to the day's events.

"The Republicans might regain the House in two years," he said, adding that the pressure to respond in kind with further impeachments would be "enormous."

Castor's opening argument followed the Democrats' argument for why the impeachment proceedings of a former president were within the bounds of the Constitution, including an impassioned speech by lead House manager, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who recalled his experience in the Capitol that day.

The senators will vote on a motion about the constitutionality of the impeachment trial later on Tuesday.

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Alana Wise joined WAMU in September 2018 as the 2018-2020 Audion Reporting Fellow for Guns & America. Selected as one of 10 recipients nationwide of the Audion Reporting Fellowship, Alana works in the WAMU newsroom as part of a national reporting project and is spending two years focusing on the impact of guns in the Washington region.
Alana Wise
Alana Wise is a politics reporter on the Washington desk at NPR.