Six of the most bizarre things that happened on day one of Trump’s impeachment trial

The impeachment trial of Donald Trump will move forward after the Senate vote on Tuesday
The impeachment trial of Donald Trump will move forward after the Senate vote on Tuesday

The first day of the unprecedented second impeachment trial of Donald Trump kicked off in the Senate on Tuesday, and things didn’t quite go as planned for the former president.

As Trump is no longer in office, the initial proceedings were a debate about the constitutionality of the trial. A vote to convict Trump would bar him from holding high office ever again.

This impeachment comes after the deadly Capitol riot incited by then-President Trump in early January (the first impeachment trial occurred after he was accused of soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election).

And even though Trump did not attend on Tuesday, the first day of the trial was still full of political theatre. Here are some of the most bizarre moments from the day:

Trump’s lawyer made a very poor first impression

Bruce Castor, Trump's lead lawyer, spent most of his 48 minutes on the floor meandering through topics that weren't related to the questions facing the Senate.

"Senators are patriots first, they love their country, they love their families," he said. "They love the state they represent."

He also made bizarre references to ancient Greece and the Bible and botched pronunciations.

...And praised the state of Nebraska, calling it "quite a judicial thinking place," which seemed very random and confused everyone.

Even Republicans did not know what to make of it:

"I thought I knew where it was going, and I really didn't know where it was going," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters.

"I've seen a lot of lawyers and a lot of arguments, and that was not one of the finest I've seen," John Cornyn, senator from Texas, said.

Some even voted with Democrats, criticising Trump’s team:

Republican Bill Cassidy voted with Democrats in support of the constitutionality of the trial, and made his position clear that Trump's team did a 'terrible job'.

"President Trump's team was disorganised – they did everything they could but talk about the question at hand. And when they talked about it, they kind of glided over it, almost as if they were embarrassed of their arguments," he said. "If I'm an impartial juror, and one side is doing a great job and the other side is doing a terrible job ... I'm going to vote for the side that did the good job."

Celebrities were also quick to ridicule Castor’s incoherent speech.

Rapper Ice-T had a lot to say about the whole thing, writing on Twitter, “He shoulda used a Public Defender….” and “He musta got this Lawyer off Craig’s List…”

Comedian Henry Winkler also weighed in, surprised when Trump’s lawyer literally admitted he lost the election fair-and-square (something Trump and his supporters do not agree with).

Turns out, Trump was definitely not happy with his representation.

The former president was reportedly "screaming" at his TV at his Mar-a-Lago estate during Castor's meandering opening statement at his impeachment trial.

"Multiple people tell me Trump was basically screaming as Castor made a meandering opening argument that struggled to get at the heart of the defense team's argument," said CNN's chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.

Senators were forced to relive Capitol riot

On a more serious note, Democrats played a long documentary-style graphic video of the Capitol riot for senators, a harrowing video that showed footage from that afternoon and what lead to it.

The clips starts with Trump’s address to supporters gathered at the 'Stop the Steal' rally on January 6. In the footage, Trump insists he won,assures the crowd that “this was not a close election” and pledges to walk to the Capitol with them.

At the end of the day, a 56-44 vote rejected an argument from Trump's attorneys that it is unconstitutional to try a former president so the trial will go ahead. While six Republicans voted with the Democrats, the Senate would still need a supermajority to convict Trump. Let’s see what Day Two holds…

The Conversation (0)