Trump’s lawyers are worried because they have watched the Democratic case against Trump, and they are surprised that it has been so strong and good.
As Donald Trump’s defense team prepares to make its first arguments on the floor of the Senate on Saturday, top Republicans are increasingly worried that Trump’s lawyers are woefully unprepared to counter Democrats’ meticulous, fact-based case for removing Trump. In the president’s circle there’s not full-blown panic—but there’s worry. “A lot of Republicans think the Democrats have done a very good job,” a prominent Republican who is close to Trump’s legal team told me. “It’s been a lot better than we expected.” Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, one of Trump’s fiercest House allies, seemingly spoke for many when he blasted Trump’s lawyers, telling Politico this week that the Trump team’s presentation was worse than “an eighth-grade book report.”
Trump himself is making the situation worse, both with his rages—he set a 142-tweet record on Wednesday—and his insistence that Republicans buy in fully to his defense strategy. “It’s really not helpful,” the Republican close to the legal team said.
The White House has realized that impeachment is dragging down Trump’s reelection campaign, and Trump is thinking about shaking up his staff because Jared Kushner got a Time magazine cover.
Trump’s lawyers appeared to be woefully unprepared during the first day of the trial. The president’s defense has no facts to argue, so they are going to spin conspiracy theories and tall tales, but the reality is that they are scared.
The president’s lawyers must not have been paying attention, because Democrats have had a strong case from day one.
Donald Trump is in deep trouble, and the White House is realizing that the political damage from impeachment will linger long after the end of the trial.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association