Trump attorney Bruce Castor Jr. presents defense

“This trial is not about trading liberty for security; it’s about suggesting that it’s a good idea that we give up those liberties that we have so long fought for," he said.
48:20 | 02/09/21

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Transcript for Trump attorney Bruce Castor Jr. presents defense
Presents will air. Bruce castor. This president and members of the United States senate. Thank you for taking the time to hear from me my name is Bruce castor. And the lead prosecutor lead. Counsel for the 45 person United States. I was assistant DA for such a long time I keep saying prosecutor but I do understand the difference mistress. Before I begin tonight I wanted to comment on the outstanding presentation for mom and her opponents. The emotion that certainly welled up in congressman rescue. About his family. Being here during. That terrible day in. You'll not hear any member of the team representing. Former president trump. Say anything but in the strongest possible way denounce. The violence. The rioters. And those who breach the capital the very sentinel. Of our democracy. Literally the symbol that flashes on television whenever you're trying to explain. That we're talking about the United States. Instant symbol. To have an attack is repugnant in every sense of the word. The law also blight is horrific. I spent many long years. Prosecuting homicide case is catching criminals are committed murders. I have quite an extensive experience in dealing with. The aftermath. Of those things. Certainly. As a hip OP member and a member of many police organizations myself. We. Mourn the loss of the capitol police officer who understand. Is laying. Not too far away from here. And you know. Many of you in this room. Over your careers before they reach this summit here. In senate. What it had. Times where you. Represented at your local communities as assistant district attorney's assistant commonwealth attorney's justice assistant state attorneys. And you know this to be true that when it horrific event occurred in York. Counting your in your work jurisdiction. If it was a state jurisdiction you know that there is a terrible outcry. And the public immediately reacts with. With. Desire that someone pay it. Because something really bad happening and that is a natural. Reaction. Of human beings. It's natural reaction of human being. Because we are generally a social people. We enjoy. Being around one another. Even in DC. We. Recognize. That people all the world over and especially Americans who share that special bond with one another. Love the freedoms that this country gives us. And we all feel. That if somebody is unsafe when they're walking down the street that the next person that's unsafe could be you your spouse swarm of your children. Some other person that you love and know personally. So you'll never hear anybody. Representing former president trump. Say anything at all other than what happened on January 6. And the storming. And breaching of the capital. Is should be denounced in the most. Vigorous terms. Nor that those persons responsible. Should be prosecuted to the fullest extent. That our rules allow and indeed I have follow some of those cases as those prosecutions and it seems to me. That we're doing a pretty good job of identifying. And prosecuting those persons. Who committed those offenses. I commend the FBI and the district incumbent Columbia police in the other agencies. For their work. It's natural to record old it's an immediate. Thing if comes over you in. Without your ability to stop the desire for retribution who paused this awful thing how do we make them pay. We recognize in the law and I know many of you are lawyers probably. Lawyers some of carpet alert 35 years longer than me. Many longer than me probably. And we know we have a we have a specific. Body of law that deals with. Passion and raged blinding logic and reason. That's the differ streamed manslaughter and murder. Manslaughter. Is the killing of a human being upon sudden and intense provocation. But murder is done with the cold blood. And reflective thought we are so understanding. Of the concept. That people's minds. Can be overpowered. With emotion where logic does not immediately kick in. That we have recognized. Examples that otherwise would be hearsay. And said. That note when you're driving down mistreated hero go over lecture wiping and you say hey you know what that guy's about to drive to the red light and kill that person. Noise here what can testify to what you said. Because even though it's technically hearsay is an exception because it's the event livings through the person why. No opportunity for reflective thought. There's all sorts of examples. That we recognized in the law. For why people. Immediately desire. Retribution. Immediately. Recognized. In the law that. People can be over com. By events. And you know. Senators of the United States. They're not. Ordinary people. There extraordinary people. In the eight technical sense extraordinary people. When I was growing up in suburban Philadelphia. My parents. We're big fans of senator Everett Dirksen from Illinois. And does senator Dirksen. Recorded a series of lectures. That my parents had on a record. And we still no records are right. On the thing you put the needle down on deploy. And. Here's little Bruce 8910 years old listening to this back in the late sixties. And I would be listening to that voice if you ever heard different directions voice its two most commanding gravelly. Voice that just. Just oozes. Belief and sincerity. Must've been a phenomenal United States senator. He doesn't. He doesn't hawk about. Ordinary people as we do in the law we apply the ordinary person standard. He talks about. Extraordinary people. He talks about. Gallant men when his name of the the the album. And now course you sign of the times Gallup men and women. And I would watch television I would watch senator Goldwater senator Byrd or orders senator Mansfield senator dole. And I would be fascinated by these great men. Everybody's parents say this when they're growing up. You think you could grow to be United States senator. You couldn't do that they are just men and women like you are. Well then Everett Dirksen tells us that they're not. Third gallant. Men and women. That do extraordinary things when their country needs them to do it. United States senators really are different. Can't. I have been around a United States senators before. Two of them in this room from Pennsylvania. I like to thank our friendly toward me or at least friends of mine when we're not. Politically adverse. And I have been around. Their predecessors. And one thing I have discovered whether be Democrats or Republicans. United States senators. Are patriots first. Patriots first. Day love their country. They love their families. They love this states that they represent. There isn't a member in this room who has not used the term. I represent the great state of fill in the blank. Why because they're all great yeah. But you think yours is greater than others because what. These are you or people. These are the people that sent you here to do there work. Day trust that you. With the responsibility. Representative. Government. You don't like I feel proud to no mine senators. Senator Casey appeared to back. Senator Twomey over to the left. You know it's funny I this is it aside but it's funny. Ever notice how all when you're talking. Where you hear others talking about you. When your home in your state they they will say. You know Y talk to my senator. Or talk to somebody who. On the staff of my senator it's always my senator why is it that we save my senator. We say that because. The people you represent are proud of their senators. They absolutely feel that connection. Of pride. Because that's not just. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania that's more I senator from Pennsylvania. Or Bob Casey from Scranton. That's my senator. And you like that people like that the people back home really do. And. United States senators. Have a reputation. And its deserved. They reputation for cool headed miss being area died. The men and women that we send from back home to DC to look after our interests. We feel a sense of ownership. And a sense of pride in our senators. There's plenty of times I've been around. In political gatherings and we're right here. There's no way. Senator Toomey is gonna allow that I don't mean to pick what you pat. There's no way senator Casey. He's going to allow that. Because we feel pride and some bad he's potentially in the wind. And we expect our United States senators not reacting to popular will and not reacting to popular. Emotions. We expect them to do what is right. Notwithstanding. What is immediately. And it expedient. That the media tells us is the topic of the day. So senators are patriots. Senators are Fallon men and women. They're fierce advocates for the great state in which they represented. And somewhere far down that list of attributes wave below patriot. And way below love of family and country and way below. Fierce advocates for their states. Far down. At least that's. What I thought anyway. And I still think that. Somewhere far down that list. Senators. Have some obligation to be boards. Two represented group of beliefs that are similar to beliefs. Shared by other United States senators. I understand that. And in fact I have no problem with that system. It helps us debate and decide what is best for America. The robust debate. Of different points of view. And I dare say that senator Schumer and senator McConnell. Represent those things in this body and make sure that everything is talked out and robustly debated in this room before. United States senators make a decision of extreme importance. To them people they represented. I know you aren't a lot of talk but I don't see either one of them Jameer saying I'm wrong about that but I think that that's what happens. I think United States senators tried to listen to each other's views. I think the United States senators try to do what is right for the country. And far down. Is partisanship. In our system of government and if you read the Federalist papers. We were very fortunate. Because the Federalist papers were all third. As an explanation for why it is the states the original states should adopt the constitution these were persuasive documents. About why the constitution. Is a good thing. Because. If it. The individual state legislators legislatures. Didn't. Adopt a constitution. We would not have it. So mr. Jay mr. Madison mr. Hamilton they had an incentive to explain what they were thinking when they rode it. Because they are explain to other area indict people. Who represented individual states why it is that they feel that this is the right thing to do. And in fact as many of you well know. Madison had had to promise that there would be a bill of rights immediately upon adoption or we wouldn't have a constitution. Even then there was. Horse trading going on. Immediate legislative body of the United States. I the other day when I was down here in Washington. I came down earlier in the week to try to figure out how to find my way around. I worked in this building forty years ago I got lost then and I still do. But in studying the constitution. And all the years I was a prosecutor where so many things. Depend on interpretations of phrases in the constitution. I learned that. This body. Which. One of my worthy colleagues. Said is the greatest deliver body in the entire world and I agree. That was that particular aspect of our government was intentionally created if you read. The Federalist papers. The last time. A body such as the United States senate sat at the pennant Golub government. With the responsibility that it has today. It was happening in Athens. And it was happening in wrong. Republicanism. The form of government republicanism. Throughout history. Has always. And without exception. Fall it. Because of flights from within. Because up partisanship from within. Because a bickering from within. And in the each one of those examples that I mentioned and there are certainly others probably that. Are smaller. Countries that lasted for less time I don't know brought off the top of my head but. Each one of them. Once there was the vacuum created. That the greatest deliberative bodies. The senate of Greece and sitting in Athens the senate of wrong. The moment. That they. Devolved into such partisanship. It's not as though they ceased to exist. They cease to exist as representative. Democracy. Both replaced by totalitarianism. Paraphrasing that he beat the famous quote from Benjamin Franklin who as a Philadelphia Hartford also. I can I can do that because. He's mice founding father to. He who would trade liberty for some temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security. If we restrict liberty. To attain security we will lose votes. And isn't the way we have enshrined. In the constitution. The concepts of liberty that we think are critical. The very concepts of liberty that drove us to separate from great Britain and I can't believe these fellas are quoting. What happened pre revolution as though that somehow a value to us we left the British system. If we're really going to use pre revolutionary. History in Great Britain than the president is we have a parliament and we have a kink. Is that the president that we are headed for. Now it's not an accident. That the very first liberty. If you grant me. That our liberties are enumerated in the bill of rights. It's not accident at the very first liberty. In the first article of the bill of rights. Is the First Amendment which says congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech. And etc. Congress shall make no law. Dubbed very first one though most important one the ability to do have free. And robust. Debate. Free and robust political speech. Something that. That mr. raskin and his team. Brought up is that. It's somehow. The suggestion from. Former president trumps team that when. Various public officials were. Not denouncing the violence that we saw all over the summer. But that was somehow. The former president equating me. That speech to his own. Not at all exactly. Backwards. I saw a headline representative so and so seeks to walk back comments about. I forget what it was something that bothered her. I was devastated when I saw this you thought it was necessary to go on television yesterday or the day before and say. She needs to walk back her comments she should be able a comment as much as she wants. And she should be able to say exactly as she feels. In a she feels that dean supporters of then president trump. Are not worthy of having their ideas considered she should be permitted to say that. And anybody who agrees should be permitted. To say they agree. That's what we that's what we broke away from Great Britain ordered be able to do. To be able to say what we thought in the most robust political debate. My colleague Mike van every is going to give U a a a recitation on the on the First Amendment law of the of the United States I commanding. To your attention the analysis that he's going to give you. I don't expect and I don't believe that the former president expects anybody. To walk back any of the language if that's how they feel about the way things transpired. Over the last couple of years in this country. They should be allowed to say that and I will go to court and defend them if anything happens to them as a result if the government takes action against. That state representative rumor that US represented who wants to walk back her comments. The government takes. Takes action against her I have no problem going to court in defending her right to say those things. Even though I don't agree with them. This. Trial is not about. Trading liberties for security. It's about trading it it's about. Suggesting. That it is a good idea that we give up those liberties. That we have so. Long fought for. We have sent. Armies. To other parts of the world. To convince those governments. To implement the freedoms that we in jewelry. This trial. Is about. Truth is about trading liberty for the security from the mob. Honestly know. It can't be we can't be thinking about that we can't possibly be suggesting. That we punish people for political speech in this country. And if people go and commit lawless acts as a result. Their beliefs. And they did they crossed the line they should be locked up. And in fact I've seen some bird quite a number of the complaints that were filed against the people who breached the capital some of them charged as piercing not a single one of I noticed charges conspiracy with the 45 president of the United States. Probably because. Prosecutors. Have an ethical vote. Requirement that they are not allowed to charge people with criminal offenses without probable cause. He might consider that. And if we'd go down the road that might. Very worthy adversary here mr. raskin asks you to go Daryn. The floodgates will open. I was going to say. It will. Instead of floodgates I was going to say originally won't release the whirlwind. Which is up political booked a biblical reference. But I subsequently learned since I got here that that particular phrase has already been taken so I figure I bettered. Change to flood gates. But the political pendulum. Will shift. One day. This chamber and the chamber across the way. Will change. One day. And partisan. In peach reds will become commonplace. You know until the impeachment of Bill Clinton. No one alive. Had ever lived through a presidential impeachment. Not molest some of Euro 150 years old. Not a single person alive had lived through presidential impeachment now most of us have lived through three of them. This is supposed to be the ultimate safety valve. Doug last thing that happens the most. Rare. Treatment. And a session where this body is city as a court of impeachment. Among the most rare things it does. So the slippery slope principal will have taken hold if we continue to go forward with what is happening. Today and scheduled to happen later this week. And after we are long done here and after there has again. A shift in the political wins. And after there is a change in. The make up of the United States House of Representatives in May be a change the makeup of the United States senate. The pressure from those folks back home especially for members of the house. He's going to be tremendous because remember. At the founders recognized. That. The order the argument that I started with that. In. Political. Pressure. Is driven by a they need for immediate action because something. Under contemporary. Community standards. Really horrific happened and the people represented by the members of the United States House of Representatives become incensed. And what do you do if a federal issue through back at suburban Philadelphia. And something happens. That. Makes the people who live there incensed. You call your congressman or your congressman elected every two years with their pulse on the people of their district 750000. People. They respond. And boarded a response team that put the congressman calls you back a step or calls you back. You get all the information that they have on the issue. Sometimes even get invited to submit language that would improve whatever the issue it is. Well. When the pendulum swings perhaps the next person that gets impeached and is said here for you to considers. Eric Holder. During fast and furious the attorney general of the United States. Or any other person that beat the other party. Considers to be a political danger to them down the road because of there about abilities. And and being articulate and having a resume that we that that. Shows that they're capable I picked. Eric civil because I think. I think he has. A tremendous had a tremendous career and he might be somebody that some. Republican some Maer where might be worried about. So maybe. The next person they go after his Eric Holder. And you know the Republicans. Might regain the house in two years. History does send ten troops suggest that the party out of power the White House does well in the mid term elections and certainly they have the 220 elections. The house gained. That you house majority narrowed and where there is a gay Republicans. So the members of the house they have to worry about these consequences because if they don't react. To whatever the problem of the days. Somebody in that jurisdiction there. Somebody. Is going to say. If you make and leave a congressman all react to that. And that these that this sitting member has to worry about. Because their terms are short. And it's not it's just members of the house are represented as would their short. With their short terms. I saw on television the last couple of days. The federal gentleman from Nebraska mr. SaaS I saw that he faced backlash back home. Because of a vote he made some. Weeks ago. They're under political party was complaining about the decision he made as a United States senator. You know it's interesting because I don't want to steal the thunder from the other lawyers but Nebraska you're going to hear is quite. A judicial. Thinking place and just maybe senator SaaS is onto something. You'll hear about what it is that. The Nebraska courts. Have to say about the issue that you all are deciding. This week. They should be some pretty Smart jurist in Nebraska and I can't believe the United States senator don't know that. A senator like the gentleman from Nebraska who Supreme Court. History. Is ever present in his mind and rightfully so. He. He faces a whirlwind. Even though he knows. What they judiciary in his state thanks. People back home will demand their house members continue the cycle as political fortunes rise and fall. The only entity that stands between the bitter infighting that led to the downfall. Of the Greek republic and the Roman republic. And the American. Republic. Is the senate. Of the United States. Shadowed the business of the senate and dust the nation. Come to a halt. Not just for a V. Current weeks while a new president is trying to fill out his administration but shell the business of the senate. And the nation come to a halt because impeachment becomes the rule. Rather than the rare exception. I know you can see this has had a possibility. Because not a single one have you ever thought he would be doing. A second impeachment inside of thirteen months. And the pressure will be enormous to respond in kind. To quote Everett Dirksen the gallant men and women the senate. We will not. Allow that to happen. And this republic. Will endure. Because. The top responsibility. Of the United States senator and the top characteristic that you all. Have in common. And boy this is a diverse group. But there isn't a single one of you who today. Doesn't consider yourself. A patriot of the United States. And two there isn't a single one of you who doesn't consider the other 99. To be patriots. Of the United States. And that is why. This attack on the constitution. Will not prevail. The document that is before you is flawed. The rule of the sound that concerning impeachment documents. Articles of impeachment rule 23 says that. Such documents cannot be divided. You might have seen that we wrote that in the answer. It might have been a little of. Legal mistake or legal he's worked at newspapers to have to. Opine on very much but there is some significance. The to have the house managers. Clever fellows that they are. They cast a broad net. They need to get 67 of you agree there right. And that's a good strategy. I would use the same strategy except there is a role it's just can't use that strategy. He's a rule 23 says that the the the article of impeachment indivisible. And the reason why that's significant. Is. You have to agree that every single aspect of the entire document warrants impeachment. Because it's an all or nothing document you can't cut out. Parts that you agree with warrant impeachment and parts that don't. Because. It's not divisible. It flat out says in the senate rules not divisible. Now previous impeach grants by President Clinton. Said the the the president shall be found guilty of high crimes and misdemeanor for engaging in one or more of the following and then gives a let's sort it all added it was one watt. But they do that here. Has to be all or nothing and some of these things that you are asked to consider might be close calls in your mind. But one problem is not. The arguing about the fourteenth amendment. Is absolutely. Ridiculous. The house. Managers. Tell you. That the president should be impeached because he violated the fourteenth amendment. And here's what the fourteenth amendment says. No person shall be a senator or represented in congress. Or elector of president and vice president Porsche hold any office civil or military under the United States or any other state. Who having previously taken an oath as a member of congress or as an officer of the United States or any member of any state legislature. Or as an executive or judicial officer of any state to support the constitution. And shall have engaged in insurrection. Or rebellion against the same. Or give any aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But congress may vote by two thirds of each house to remove such disability. Now it doesn't take a constitutional scholar to recognize that that's written for. People who. Fought for the confederacy your previous military officers are in the government. Not the confederacy and it doesn't take a constitutional scholar to require that they be convicted first. In a court. With due process of law. So would never take that question can never be right. Until those things have happened now if you agree with those arguments I know you'll get your constitutions out and you'll read it. And if you agree with those arguments the suggestion that the fourteenth amendment applies here is ridiculous and if you come to that conclusion that it. Because the managers have not separated out. The talents and accounts within the the article impeachment the whole thing falls. I didn't write that. They are married to that. I rooted out in individual responses because I didn't how to respond to the V cast a wide net effort. And fortunately. Senators sometime in the past realize that you can't do that because you pass a rule or rule it says he can't do that. So that's why it's flawed it's fought and other ways to in my colleague we'll we'll explain that. I was struck. I I thought being that the house managers who spoke earlier were boom brilliant speakers. And I made some notes and they'll hear about what I think about some of the things they said later. An all time closing the case but other brilliant speakers I'd love listening to him. They're Smart policy. But why are in the house managers afraid. And why is the majority of that also represented as afraid of the American people. I mean let let's understand why we are really here. We are really here because the majority in the House of Representatives does not want to face Donald Trump as a political rival in the future. That's the real reason we're here and that's why they have to get over the jurisdictional hurdle which they can't get over. But that's why they have to get over that in order to get to the part of the constitution that allows removal. So that's the nobody says it that plainly. But unfortunately I way of speaking that way and. The reason that I am having trouble with the with the argument is. The American people just spoke. And they just changed administrations. So in the light most favorable to my colleagues on the other side of the I'll hear. Their system works. The people are Smart enough. In the light most favorable to them they're Smart enough to pick a new administration if they don't like the old one and they just did annie's down their Pennsylvania Avenue now. Probably wondering how come none of my stuff is happening. Up at the capitol. Why. Why. Do you. The majority in the house representatives. Why are they afraid of the very people that sent them to do this job. The people they hope will continue to send them back here. Why are they afraid that those same people who were Smart enough to pick them as their congressman aren't Smart enough to pick. Somebody. Who is a candidate for president of the United States. Why do you fear that the people will all of a sudden forget how to choose and administration. In the next few years and in fact. This happens all the time. When there are changes in administrations. From. One. Term presidents of others. Well Nixon was sort of a one and a half term but Nixon to Ford. Ford to Carter Carter to Reagan bush 41 to Clinton. That happens. The people. Get tired of an administration they don't want and they know how to change it. And they just did. So why he thinks that. They won't know how to do it in 224. If they want to. Or is that what the theories is the fear that the people in 20/20 four in fact will want to change. And will want to go back to Donald Trump. And not the current occupant of the White House president Biden. Because all these other times the people were Smart enough to do it. Choose who the president should be all these other times state Smart have to choose who their members of congress were. And by the way you choose you all as well. But they're not Smart and up to know how to change. The administration. Especially since. They just did. So it seems pretty evident to me that they do tomorrow. It has worked. 100%. Of the time. 100%. Of the time in the United States. When the people got had been fed up with and had enough of the occupant of the White House. They changed the occupant of the White House. Don't. I know. That one of the strengths. Of this body. Is. Its deliberative. Action. And I saw. Senator mansion on the TV the other night. Talking about the filibuster. And the main point was. That. Senator mansion was explaining to those of us who don't operate year all the time. That this body has an obligation to try to reach consensus across the Ohio to legitimize the decisions it makes. Obviously he's capable of making. His own pronouncements on it but that's what it came across on the television and I think that that is a good. Way of saying what why the senator the United States is different than other places. You know the constitution as a document designed to protect the rights of the minority not the rights of the majority. Congress shall make no law abridging. All of these things that's because those were the things that were. Of concern. At the time. It's easy. To beat in favor of liberty. Inequality. And free speech. When it's popular. I think that. I want to give my colleague mr. Sean an opportunity to. Explain to all of us the. The legal. Analysis. On jurisdiction. I'll be quite frank with you. We changed what we were going to do on account that we thought that the house managers' presentation. Was well done. And I wanted you to know that we have responses. To those things. I thought that what the first part of the case was with which was the equivalent of a motion to dismiss was going to be about jurisdiction alone and and one of the the fellows who spoke for the house managers who's a former colonel defense attorney. Seemed to suggest that there's something nefarious that we were discussing jurisdiction trying to get the case dismissed. But this is where it happens in the case. Because jurisdiction is the first thing that has to be found. We have all counter arguments to everything that they raised. And you will hear them later on in the case from mr. Vander being and for myself. What on the issue of jurisdiction. The scholarly issue of jurisdiction. I'll leave you with this before. I invite David to come up. And and give you the the area direct explanation. Some of this was shown on the screen but. Article. One section three. Says judgments. In cases of impeachment shall not extend it further than to removal from office. And comma and disqualification. To hold any office of honor trust or profit under the United States. Colon. But the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment trial judgment and punishment according to law. So this idea of it. And January amnesty is nonsense. If my colleagues on this side of the chamber. Actually saint. That president trump committed a criminal offense and let's understand a high crime is a felony. And a misdemeanor is a misdemeanor the words haven't change that much over time. After he's out of office you go and arrest him. So there is no opportunity. Where the president of the United States can run rampant and in January the editors term and just go away Scot free. The Department of Justice does know what to do with such people. And so far I haven't seen any activity in that direction and not only that. The people who stormed this building. And breached if we're not accused of conspiring with the president. But that's section I read it. Judgment in other words though a bad thing that can happen but judgment in cases of impeachment I eat what we are doing. Shall not extend further. Then removal from office what is so hard about that. What are those which of those words are unclear. Shall not extend further then removal from office president trump. No longer is in office the object of the constitution. Has been achieved. He was removed. By the voters. Mr. shown. Are you ready. Note I've taking all of these time. Thank you must break.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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