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Experts amazed as GOP counsel Castor offers stunningly weak defense of Trump at hearing

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Attorney Steve Castor, the Republican Party’s lead counsel in House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings, did his best to defend President Donald Trump — but many experts believe his best was far from sufficient.

Throughout his opening statement, Castor barely touched upon the core allegations that Trump abused his office in order to pressure a foreign government to launch an investigation into his top rival in the 2020 presidential election.

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In fact, Castor spent most of his time attacking Democrats, whom he accused of making up wild charges to bring down the president.

One of Castor’s more unique arguments was criticizing Democrats for asking former Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen to testify earlier this year on the grounds that Cohen had already pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. What Castor didn’t mention, however, was that Cohen lied to Congress with the explicit intent of defending the president.

“Steve Castor’s attack on Michael Cohen’s credibility offers an exciting concept for the GOP defense of the president: ‘You can’t trust any of these witnesses, they worked for Donald Trump, obviously they are criminals,'” joked conservative David Frum on Twitter.

“Castor tries to dismiss Michael Cohen’s testimony by calling him a ‘disgraced felon,'” wrote Princeton historian Kevin Kruse. “Yeah, wow. Imagine who would ever use that guy as their personal attorney and fixer.”

Former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks, meanwhile, shot down Castor’s talking point that Democrats had uncovered no significant evidence against the president.

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“Castor saying this is the thinnest factual record in any impeachment does not make it true,” she wrote. “In fact, the evidence is more than ample and clearly establishes 45 endangered US security by extorted Ukraine to benefit his 2020 reelection.”

And criminal defense attorney Teri Kanefield said that Castor’s defense of Trump was so bad that he would have been laughed out of court.

“Sometimes defense lawyers have no choice but to present lame defenses — but the unspoken rule is that the defense has to pass two legal tests: the Laugh Test and the Eye-roll Test,” she wrote. “Steve Castor’s defense fails both.”

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‘Rattled’ White House was blindsided by Bolton revelations: report

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In an appearance on CNN's "New Day," on Monday morning, Axios reporter Jonathan Swan revealed that the Donald Trump's White House was "rattled" by revelations contained in former national security advisor John Bolton's upcoming book -- and that they appeared to be unaware of them until they read them in the New York Times.

Speaking with hosts Alisyn Camerota, and John Berman, Swan was asked how the White House was responding to the bombshell revelations that blow a huge hole in Trump's impeachment defense.

"The New York Times knew about the content of the Bolton book before you say the press shop at the White House did. What itself is the significance there?" host Berman asked.

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Frantic Trump tries to block Senate from calling Bolton after bombshell book blows up his Ukraine defense

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President Donald Trump went to bed fretting about John Bolton, and he woke up worried about his former national security adviser.

Excerpts from Bolton's new book leaked Sunday, claiming that Trump told him that Ukraine aid was tied to an investigation of Joe Biden and his son -- putting new pressure on Republican senators to approve additional witness testimony in the impeachment trial.

"The Democrat controlled House never even asked John Bolton to testify," Trump tweeted Monday morning. "It is up to them, not up to the Senate!"

The Democrat controlled House never even asked John Bolton to testify. It is up to them, not up to the Senate!

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GOP senators will ignore Bolton bombshell because they ‘just want this over’: ex-White House official

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Appearing on CNN's "New Day," in the wake of the New York Times bombshell revelation that former national security adviser John Bolton book blows up the central impeachment defense put forward by Donald Trump's lawyers, former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart said it may not be enough to persuade Senate Republicans to allow witnesses.

According to the Times, "President Trump directly tied the withholding of almost $400 million in American security aid to investigations that he sought from Ukrainian officials, according to an unpublished manuscript of a book that John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, wrote about his time in the White House. The firsthand account of the link between the aid and investigations, which is based on meetings and conversations Mr. Bolton had with Mr. Trump, undercuts a key component of the president’s impeachment defense."

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