Durbin 'gave up' on Trump lawyer: 'I couldn't understand his line of thinking'

Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinManchin working on 'adjustments' to energy policies in Biden spending plan Schumer: 'Good conversation' with McConnell on debt hike  Graham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks MORE (D-Ill.) said he had trouble following one of former President TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE's defense attorneys, Bruce Castor, during the first day of the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday and "gave up." 

"They really expected a spirited defense of the president and that didn't happen," Durbin said of his Republican colleagues during an interview on CNN's "New Day" early Wednesday. "I wanted to take notes to follow, and I just gave up on Mr. Castor. I couldn't understand his line of thinking."

Durbin said that he thought maybe Castor was "the good cop" and fellow Trump defense attorney David Schoen was "the bad cop," adding that "that's the best I could come up with." 


Castor's performance, at times meandering and unorganized, confused Trump's allies in the Senate and reportedly sent the former president into a rage as he watched the proceedings on television. 

Durbin on Wednesday described the mood among members of the Senate GOP as "disappointed" after Tuesday's proceedings. 


"You just can't expect to stand up in front of a group like that and read for an hour and expect to make an impact," Durbin said, referring to Castor. "I really believe that the House managers did a professional job, the video they played was just an amazing piece of work to start this and the arguments they made were understandable." 

"I'm not sure where they're going with this," Durbin said of Trump's legal team. "It's not a very strong position and it's understandable why they've had a very tough time enlisting lawyers to argue it." 

Trump faces impeachment on one House-passed article of inciting insurrection against the government following rioting by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

House impeachment managers made an emotional plea to senators during their opening statements on Tuesday, playing visceral video of the deadly rioting at the Capitol and invoking their own personal experiences feeling unsafe and angry that day. Still, Democrats will need to convince 17 Republican senators to join them in voting for removal in order to convict Trump. 

Following Tuesday's opening arguments, the Senate held a vote to determine whether an impeachment against a former president was constitutional. Six Republicans, including Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidySunday shows preview: New COVID-19 variant emerges; supply chain issues and inflation persist Legislators look to expand health care access through telehealth, biosimilars Infrastructure deal is proof that Congress can still do good, bipartisan work MORE (R-La.), defected from Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate nearing deal on defense bill after setback On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Schumer eyeing Build Back Better vote as soon as week of Dec. 13 MORE's (R-Ky.) caucus and upheld the proceedings' constitutionality. 

"I said I'd be an impartial juror. Anyone listening to those arguments — the House managers were focused. They were organized. They relied upon both precedent, the constitution and legal scholars. They made a compelling reason. President Trump's team were disorganized," Cassidy said Tuesday. "They did everything they could but to 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. Now, I'm an impartial juror, and one side is doing a great job, and the other side is doing a terrible job on the issue at hand. As an impartial juror, I'm going to vote for the side that did the good job."