Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial got off to a predictably surreal start on Tuesday thanks to Bruce Castor Jr., an attorney representing the former president who delivered the defense’s opening statement. Trump went through five lawyer before settling on Castor and his colleague, David Schoen, who’ve been tasked with defending someone who’s even being denounced by QAnon Shaman. And yet many were still surprised with a speech that rambled for over an hour with little focus, and was even filled with things that undoubtedly drove Trump nuts.
“I’ll be quite frank with you, we changed what we were going to do on account that we thought the House managers’ presentation was well done,” Castor admitted at one point, and praising the lawyers trying to convict Trump was just the tip of the iceberg. Castor, for some reason, spent a lot of time praising the senators. He called Nebraska “quite a judicial thinking place.” He even actually admitted Trump lost the election, then dared the DOJ to arrest him.
It was such a confounding hour that even die-hard Trumpists like Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax, “I have no idea what he’s doing.”
How bad is Bruce Castor's presentation in defense of Trump so far? Newsmax cuts into it so Alan Dershowitz can trash it.
"There is no argument. I have no idea what he's doing. I have no idea why he's saying what he's saying!" pic.twitter.com/3tVD9V3UcZ
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 9, 2021
To others, an unfocused, spluttering opening statement got people thinking about something else: Austin Pendleton’s stage-struck public defender who represents one of the defendants in the 1991 comedy fave My Cousin Vinny.
This is a "My Cousin Vinny"-level mismatch of opening statements so far
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) February 9, 2021
This is real “the public defender from My Cousin Vinny” energy right here pic.twitter.com/1HqgHbPQpV
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) February 9, 2021
Remember the public defender originally defendin' the two "utes" in "My Cousin Vinny?" Trump's lawyer trained him.#ImpeachmentTrial
— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) February 9, 2021
— Rob76 (@Chelsea_Mod) February 9, 2021
My Cousin Vinny was clearer & more succinct.
— Gail Young (@GailEiffel) February 9, 2021
So far, “My Cousin Vinny” had a better trial scene
— Gulf Toast (@BayouRising) February 9, 2021
All I can think of is the dude from My Cousin Vinny! pic.twitter.com/cKw2zCl2bt
— Kevin Lang (@wu_lang_clan) February 9, 2021
The comparison was apt: After all, it was also Vinny star Joe Pesci’s birthday.
It's wonderful the Joe Pesci is trending on his birthday because of the My Cousin Vinny performance of Trump lawyers. But @WGAWest would like to note that every word Vinny spoke was written by Dale Launer. https://t.co/SDvUwEQOEA
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) February 9, 2021
Wait, so that's why Trump's lawyers are doing their tribute to "My Cousin Vinny"? https://t.co/racp52fiDX
— Will Bunch Sign Up For My Newsletter (@Will_Bunch) February 9, 2021
There were plenty of other jokes about Castor’s performance as well.
Bruce Castor making his opening statement. pic.twitter.com/JX25zdokBd
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) February 9, 2021
Just in: Bruce Castor is being paid by the word.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 9, 2021
I'm no lawyer, but not even a cat filter could save Bruce Castor right now.
— Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) February 9, 2021
At the end of the day, the Senate voted to hear the trial out, so this probably won’t be the last time we’re put to sleep by Mr. Castor. In the meantime, My Cousin Vinny streams with a Cinemax Go subscription. And happy birthday, Joe Pesci!