As I said in a previous article, my personal experience with Trump impeachment defense lawyer Bruce L. Castor is an old and unhappy one. Though until Tuesday I never saw him in action, his inimical reputation darkened the doorstep of my previous cause: advocacy for the victims of Bill Cosby.
Until Tuesday I just assumed Castor was evil. Now I realize I was mistaken. Castor simply isn’t very bright.
I say this without pleasure. I have some sympathy for people who are born without, let us say, any brains to spare. Provided, of course, they don’t use their absence of intellectual merit to do harm. Even then I view their crimes as lesser ones. I’m not ready to forgive Mr. Castor for advocating for Trump any more than I am willing to forgive him for advocating against Cosby victim Andrea Constand. But if ever there was a case of “he knows not what he does,” Bruce Castor is it.
Napoleon once said, “Never demand of Fortune more than she is willing to give,” and if ever a man demanded more from fortune than he merited as a gift it was Bruce L. Castor. He is a man who was born out of his depth, and he kept going.
Castor, a lifelong old school Republican, as District Attorney of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, failed to prosecute Bill Cosby when he had the chance. Andrea Constand brought him a virtually open and shut case against Cosby for sexual assault, and Castor not only bungled it, he arrogantly presumed Constand was lying.
What made the case unique was it was the only instance of 64 cases of allegations of rape and sexual assault against Cosby that hadn’t expired due to Byzantine statute of limitations laws. Castor had the case of a lifetime, but because he was a typical Republican misogynistic bozo, he decided to believe the famous defendant and his pile of money over the poor and voiceless complainant.
Fortunately some years later Castor lost his bid to become the District Attorney for Montgomery County a second time. He was beaten by Democrat Kevin Steele, who prosecuted Cosby as soon as he took office. It was close, because Steele had only days to spare before the statute of limitations in Constand’s case against Cosby finally ran out.
Castor said some nasty and shockingly inappropriate things about Andrea Constand. Constand sued Castor for defamation of character. She won an undisclosed amount after Castor finally saw his case was unwinnable and decided to settle out of court.
It may be because of his nefarious antecedents that Trump hired Bruce Castor. After all, if a man will speak out for Bill Cosby and against Cosby’s victims, chances are he’ll advocate for just about anybody. Besides, Trump has a history of hiring people with shady pasts.
Whatever the reason, Castor’s performance at the impeachment trial was so amateurish as to be embarrassing. It was a performance worth every penny Trump will no doubt fail to pay him.
It’s hard enough in the first place to advocate for a man who is so clearly guilty as Trump. But the history of sophistry is replete with people able to make fairly credible arguments for just about anything. Whatever talent is required to make such a case, few people have less of it than Bruce Castor.
Castor gave a tedious, rambling, incoherent “defense” of Trump that was so badly organized I simply don’t know how to summarize it. At one point Castor actually followed a point “A” with a concluding point “2.” I’m not making this up. I actually tweeted about it as soon as I heard him do it.
Castor was followed by marginally less incompetent co-counsel David Schoen. Schoen was clearly angry that Trump, a private citizen, was being tried in the Senate. Trump’s insistence that he be referred to as “the 45th President of the United States” and not “former president and private citizen Trump” must be something of an embarrassment to both Schoen and Castor.
Whatever the case, it doesn’t matter if Trump is being tried as a private citizen or a sitting president. It doesn’t even matter that he was impeached by the House while he was still in office — Secretary of War William Belknap was impeached by the House after he resigned. There is precedent for impeaching and trying Trump, and no Constitutional proscription against it.
Trump’s conduct on January 6th isn’t just impeachable, it is the only instance of incitement to violent insurrection by one competing sacred branch of government against another in the entire history of the United States, and it therefore must be impeached. If Republican Senators have a shred of decency, Trump must be found guilty as well. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.