Trump lawyer denounces Capitol riot as ‘repugnant’ in winding opening argument

Trump lawyer denounces Capitol riot as ‘repugnant’ in winding opening argument

Bruce Castor, former President Donald Trump’s defense lawyer, opened his impeachment trial remarks Tuesday by condemning the Capitol riot as “repugnant” while also praising senators as “extraordinary people.”

“You will not hear any member of the team representing former President Trump say anything but in the strongest possible way denounce the violence of the rioters and those that breached the Capitol,” Castor said.

In a meandering statement, Castor also denied Trump’s culpability in the Capitol riot by evoking the former president’s right to free speech. Castor said if the Senate were to convict Trump, “the floodgates will open.”

His comments included a wide range of philosophical musings, evoking democracy’s origins in Ancient Greece and claiming an impeachment conviction would lead to a “slippery slope.” Castor said only the Senate could stop the “bitter infighting” from decaying the country’s republic and denounced the trial as an “attack on the Constitution.”

Castor spent a large portion of his remarks heaping praise on senators, saying they are “extraordinary people” and personally calling out Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. He also offered modest praise to the House impeachment managers, saying they delivered an “outstanding presentation” and calling them “clever fellows.”

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