Bruce Castor Gives Winding Opening Trump Impeachment Defense : Trump Impeachment Aftermath: Updates The gist of the former Montgomery County district attorney's remarks hinged on the argument that Democrats were responding in a partisan way to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
NPR logo Attorney Bruce Castor Opens With A Winding Defense Of Former President Trump

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. Handout/Getty Images hide caption

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Handout/Getty Images

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.

Handout/Getty Images

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.