Trump demoted defense lawyer during impeachment trial: report

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Milley warns of 'Sputnik moment' for China WSJ publishes letter from Trump continuing to allege voter fraud in PA Oath Keeper who was at Capitol on Jan. 6 runs for New Jersey State Assembly MORE reportedly demoted one of his defense lawyers in the midst of his second impeachment trial due to the attorney's performance on the Senate floor last week.

The New York Times reports that one of Trump’s advisers, Justin Clark, told Bruce Castor last Wednesday that the former president did not want the attorney to again appear on television during the trial.

Castor then reportedly stood up while shouting and arguing that Trump was wrong in demoting him. According to the Times, the argument became so heated that Castor eventually left the conference room, although he later apologized to Clark.

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The Times noted that half a dozen members of Trump’s legal team relayed their accounts of the incident during a meeting in a conference room at the former president's hotel in Washington, D.C.

The Hill has reached out to Trump's office for comment.

Castor was added to Trump's defense team about a week before the trial was set to begin after reportedly being recommended by his cousin Stephen Castor, one of Trump's aides. The Pennsylvania attorney's hasty hiring occurred after reports came out that Butch Bowers, a South Carolina attorney who was set to lead Trump's defense team, left along with four other attorneys due to disagreements with Trump on how to approach the trial.

Commenters and politicians on both sides of the aisle criticized Castor's hours-long defense of the former president last week.

“Anyone who listened to President Trump’s legal team saw they were unfocused, they attempted to avoid the issue and they talked about everything but the issue at hand,” Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyTrump goes after Cassidy after senator says he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Hillicon Valley — Presented by American Edge Project — Americans blame politicians, social media for spread of misinformation: poll MORE (R-La.), one of seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump, said after Castor's remarks.

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Castor shot back at the criticism, telling reporters, “Only one person’s opinion matters, and that’s what I’m going by."

“You have to remember that we had literally one week and one day to prepare the defense and we were all people who never had met each other before,” David Schoen, another member of Trump's legal team, said to the Times in a statement.

Schoen told the newspaper that he regretted not pushing back on Castor's agenda as well as not informing Trump of Castor's prominent role in the trial.

“I admired his courage for jumping right in,” Schoen told the Times. “Unfortunately, he got panned by the media pretty soundly and a number of people thought perhaps the agenda should be reconsidered.”