Former impeachment defense attorney Robert Ray predicted Wednesday that former President Donald Trump will be acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial, and that “a substantial defense” will be presented.
Ray appeared on MSNBC’s special coverage of the impeachment trial and was asked by host Hallie Jackson what he thought of the defense’s arguments so far and if he could have done a better job defending Trump. (RELATED: Republican Senator Says Democrats Should Hope Trump Can Run Again To ‘Better’ Their Chances)
“It’s never a good day when your audience, which is obviously the audience of 100 senators, focuses on your presentation as opposed to the merit of the president — the former president’s position,” Ray responded. “The bottom line is that there were 44 senators who have a constitutional problem with this impeachment and unless something substantial changes, obviously, one more vote than they had the last time when this motion came up by Rand Paul, it is not going to change the result and former President Trump will be acquitted by the Senate.”
Ray participated on Trump’s defense team for his first impeachment trial in January of last year, in which Trump was acquitted. He has been outspoken on Trump’ second impeachment saying that the trial is unconstitutional on the basis that Trump has already left office. A majority of Republican senators agreed with this sentiment when they twice voted in favor of dismissing the trial for that reason, although both measures failed to pass.
Trump’s current defense team has received heavy criticism over their opening arguments on Tuesday, specifically Bruce Castor, whose argument was described as “disorganized.” It was reported by multiple outlets that Trump also expressed his displeasure with the arguments.
“I think the point is, as far as presentation and with a view toward, you know, the continuation of this trial, if you tried enough cases like I have, there are good days and bad days in every trial. You move forward and you try to do better. That’s all you can do,” Ray continued.
“There is a substantial defense here that needs to be presented and I think you will hear more from the defense when it’s its turn to talk about the fact that there is not going to ever be proof unless something new is actually presented … That’s not going to be enough to prove a case under the insurrection statute, and on that basis alone, consistent with the First Amendment, I don’t believe that you will have Republican support for a conviction,” he concluded.