The Republican Impeachment Lawyer Is Bombing His Television Debut

We look forward to our television-minded president’s meltdown over Steve Castor’s brutal performance.

Alex Brandon/AP

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Steve Castor, the staff lawyer Republicans picked to question witnesses in the impeachment inquiry, is emerging as one of the star players in the impeachment saga—and for all the wrong reasons. 

Republicans are eager to create made-for-TV moments aimed at painting the probe’s witnesses—many of whom offered highly damaging allegations against President Donald Trump—as part of a political plot to take down the president. They’d also like to convince the public that Trump’s efforts to coerce Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 election were perfectly just.

So far, Castor has not carried out these missions successfully. He appeared to bungle his questioning repeatedly: He falsely suggested that the Justice Department’s probe into the 2016 election included Ukraine, had to learn about routine State Department protocol on the spot, and received deadpanned looks from the witnesses, both of whom are seasoned, well-respected diplomats.

Take a look at the bipartisan reception to his debut:

Did Castor also say the quiet part out loud? It sure seems like it!

George Kent and Bill Taylor, the first two witnesses to appear before the public hearings, appeared consistently confused by Castor’s line of questioning. Which puts me, a very confused viewer, in good company. 

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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