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Trump lawyer says Democrats fear 2024 run

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The first day of the dramatic proceedings in the 100-seat Senate will end in a vote on the question of whether holding a trial after Donald Trump has left office, as he did on Jan. 20, violates the U.S. Constitution, which allows for impeachment for "high crimes and misdemeanors."

Democrats hope to disqualify Trump from ever again holding public office.

Castor said Trump was impeached because the Democrats who control the House do not want to face Trump as a political rival in the future and "fear that the people in 2024, in fact, will want to change and will want to go back to Donald Trump."

Castor added that the storming of the Capitol "should be denounced in the most vigorous terms" and the rioters should be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible - reflecting the defense contention that "a small group of criminals" - not Trump - were responsible for the violence.

Video Transcript

BRUCE CASTOR: But why are the House managers afraid, and why is the majority of the House of Representatives afraid of the American people? I mean, 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 have a way of speaking that way. And the reason that I am having trouble 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 aisle here, 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, and he's down there at Pennsylvania Avenue now, probably wondering, how come none of my stuff is happening up at the Capitol?

But the section I read, "Judgment--" in other words, the bad thing that can happen, "The judgment in cases of impeachment," i.e. what we are doing, "shall not extend further than removal from office." What is so hard about that?

Which of those words are unclear? "Shall not extend further than removal from office." President Trump no longer is in office. The object of the Constitution has been achieved. He was removed by the voters.