Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich roasted former President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team on Wednesday, calling their message “incoherent” and adding he had “no idea” what Trump’s lawyers were doing.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen as bad a defense team as the president sent up, and I have no idea what they thought they were doing,” Gingrich told “The Faulkner Focus.” “There’s a good case to be made. I thought they were going to make it. I think it’s amazing that they only lost one Republican given the absolute lack of a coherent defense.”
Gingrich said he would have been “beside myself” if it was his own representation.
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“I’m surprised he didn’t fire [Bruce Castor] some time during the afternoon. It was that bad. Bad lawyers can lose good cases. That’s the danger here,” he said.
Gingrich wasn’t alone in his criticism of Trump’s lawyers, particularly Bruce Castor, whose 45-minute opening statement included praise of the Democratic House impeachment managers and was widely panned as directionless and rambling. Fox News reported Trump himself was “beyond angry” with his defense team’s performance.
Trump’s Senate trial began Tuesday after the House impeached him Jan. 13 on an article of inciting an insurrection against the U.S. Capitol. Democratic House managers showed a video of Trump’s speech to supporters on Jan. 6 about the election being stolen by Joe Biden, spliced with harrowing footage of a mob of Trump backers storming the Capitol building the same day. At least seven deaths have been linked to the riot.
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Trump’s acquittal appears likely, however, as 44 of 50 Senate Republicans voted Tuesday that the trial itself was unconstitutional. Democrats need at least 17 GOP votes to convict Trump and bar him from holding future office.
Six Republicans joined all 50 Democrats in affirming its constitutionaliity, among them Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who voted to dismiss the impeachment charges just two weeks ago.
Gingrich said the Democrats were the “party of Hollywood” and did an effective job in their video presentation, but he said they were trying to shift the focus from the abhorrent behavior of the rioters and pin it unfairly on Trump.
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“The fact is that to say to [74.2 million] Americans we’re going to dictate to you who you are allowed to vote for is just not sustainable,” Gingrich said. “But on the other hand the Democrats are trying to scar up Trump to weaken him …. Trump’s greatest ally is Joe Biden, and every time Biden does something that is destructive, it further reminds the Trump voters why it’s unacceptable to allow the Washington politicians to dictate to the rest of us.”
Trump is the first president to be impeached twice, as well as the first former president to stand trial in the U.S. Senate.