GOP Senators Pan Trump Defense’s ‘Pretty Rocky’ Opening Arguments: ‘Just Rambled On and On’

Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Ted Cruz

Photo credit: Stefani Reynolds, POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

Donald Trump’s impeachment defense got off to a “pretty rocky” and “inappropriate” start on the first day of his trial for inciting insurrection — and to give a sense of how bad things were for the former president, many of those dismal reviews came from Senate Republicans.

Most notable among the critics was Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy (R), who was so put off by the Trump’s team’s “disorganized” and “random” opening arguments that he switched his vote on the constitutionality of the Senate trial.

But Cassidy was far from alone. Even die-hard Trump supporter Sen. Ted Cruz, who votedagainst the Electoral College certification of Joe Biden’s victory after the Capitol insurrection, publicly conceded that. Cruz acknowledged that he didn’t think that Trump lawyers Bruce Castor and David Schoen  “did the most effective job” compared to lead House Impeachment Manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD).

Likewise, two moderate GOP Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) came out and expressed their confusion about the meandering and unfocused nature of the Trump defense counsel’s performance.

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn also noted that the defense “just rambled on and on” in an argument that was “not one of the finest I’ve seen.”

Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker backed into a critique of the Trump team by praising the House Democrat Managers as the “better team this time.”

Staunch Trump ally Lindsey Graham singled out Castor for what seemed like the weird ad-libbing of an opening statement that was impossible to follow: “I thought I knew where he was going, and I really didn’t know where he was going.”

Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota pulled no punches, however, admitting that Castor’s opening was “disorganized” and “frankly, a pretty rocky start” for the president’s first day on trial for incitement.

And, finally, in a classic case of “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” Sen. Joni Ernst tiptoed around a direct comment on Castor’s wandering and confounding statement in what was damning with missing praise.

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