Trump attorney says he'll 'do better' after criticism from GOP

An attorney on former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump's Facebook ban to stay in place, board rules Trump allies launching nonprofit focused on voter fraud DOJ asks for outside lawyer to review Giuliani evidence MORE’s legal team said he’d have to “do better” after Republicans lined up to criticize Trump’s defense on the first day of the Senate impeachment trial.

David Schoen acknowledged the withering criticism from several top Republican senators who said they were “perplexed” by the “unfocused” and meandering defense put forth by Trump’s legal team.

Schoen was asked in particular about criticism from Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Biden sales pitch heads to Virginia and Louisiana Republicans hammer Biden on infrastructure while administration defends plan Sunday shows - Biden economic agenda dominates MORE (R-La.), who described the Trump legal team as “unfocused.”


“I'm sorry he felt that way,” Schoen told USA Today, when asked about Cassidy’s remarks. “I’ll have to do better next time.”

Most of the criticism from GOP senators was not aimed at Schoen, but rather at Bruce Castor, who was the first member of Trump’s legal team to take the floor after Democrats opened the Senate trial with an emotional video tying Trump’s Jan. 6 speech to the deadly riot that overtook the Capitol.

Castor did not spend much time defending Trump or detailing the case the defense intended to make. Instead, he meandered, talking about the fall of ancient governments, praising the House impeachment managers and the senators seeking to impeach Trump, and recounting anecdotes about getting lost in the halls of Congress.

At one point, Castor said the Senate should not impeach Trump because the voters had already thrown him out.

“Anyone who listened to those arguments would recognize that the House managers were focused, relied upon and trusted upon the opinion of legal scholars,” Cassidy said.

“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.”


Cassidy and five other Republicans joined Democrats on Tuesday in voting to move forward with the trial. Cassidy’s vote was a surprise, as last month he voted that it was illegal to impeach a former president.

Fox News Channel host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityTrump muddles Republican messaging on Afghanistan Hannity to interview Caitlyn Jenner following gubernatorial announcement GOP leader: Biden 'makes Bernie Sanders look like a conservative' MORE, who is close with Trump, told Schoen he’d gotten phone calls from frustrated Republicans wanting the defense to be “harder hitting.”

Schoen said he believes Castor and his team will bounce back.

“I’m sure they will be very well prepared in the future and do a great job in the case,” Schoen said.