Accolades for how Democratic House managers presented their case to indict President Donald Trump within the Senate impeachment trial are widespread, with particular attention being paid to remarkable speeches like Rep. Adam Schiff’s on Thursday night.
And while Republican lawmakers aren’t likely to support the cause to remove Trump for office, even the most ardent supporters of the president have taken note of the stark differences between House managers’ arguments for indictment versus the president’s legal team’s lackluster approach to the trial.
Rep. Matt Gaetz is one of those Republican lawmakers. During the impeachment inquiry, Gaetz was a voice for Trump in Congress, even leading a large group of GOP representatives in an attempt to break into a secured hearing area where the private portions of the impeachment inquiry were taking place.
Beyond that political stunt, Gaetz has been outspoken in his belief that Trump’s impeachment was unjust. That being said, even the Florida Republican can recognize that Democratic House managers, at least on style, are winning the debate.
What’s @RepMattGaetz up to? First, his good war powers vote. Now this. Could his candid praise for the House Managers and his amply justified but disloyal trashing of the Trump Defense Team have something to do with his punitive exclusion from that team?https://t.co/BxyQ1l6o7A
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 24, 2020
According to a report from Politico, Gaetz recognized that House managers were treating the proceedings in a serious way — he noted, for instance, that they presented their case in a similar manner to how “cable news” looks, he said.
Though he’s not necessarily agreeing with their arguments, that concession from Gaetz is pretty remarkable — and his statements on how the president’s handlers have used their time so far is even more jaw-dropping.
Gaetz noted that Trump’s legal team’s statements at the start of the trial looked more like “an 8th-grade book report” than a proper defense of the president, he said. “Actually, no, I take that back,” Gaetz quipped, stating that even 8th-grade students know how to use hardware like iPads and software programs like PowerPoint.
Trump’s legal counsel has time to redeem itself, however. Starting on Saturday, they have three days of remarks in which they will make the case against indicting and removing the president from office.