Who is Bruce Castor? Trump Attorney who will lead impeachment defense, Biography, Wiki
Donald Trump has announced attorneys David Schoen and Bruce Castor will head the legal team in his second impeachment trial.
The former president released a statement through his office calling the trial lawyers ‘highly-respected’.
He also said that both Schoen and Castor agree that the impeachment is ‘unconstitutional – a fact 45 Senators voted in agreement with last week’.
What we Know about Bruce Castor?
Bruce L. Castor Jr. is an American lawyer and retired Republican politician from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He was appointed as the first Solicitor General of Pennsylvania on March 21, 2016, and First Deputy Attorney General on July 20, 2016, effectively merging the two positions and making him next in line of succession to become attorney general. Castor became Acting Attorney General less than a month later.
After serving stints beginning in 1981 with, respectively, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, the Northampton County (PA) District Attorney’s Office, as an LBJ Congressional Scholar (Washington, DC) and defending Federal prisoners at FCI-Alderson (WV), Castor began his professional career as an assistant district attorney in 1985 before becoming district attorney of Montgomery County from 2000 to 2008. He next took a seat on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, an elected position he held until January 4, 2016, when he was succeeded by Joe Gale. Castor was defeated for re-election as Montgomery County’s District Attorney in November 2015. Castor is a partner in the law firm of Rogers Castor and completed a nearly three-year term as a special assistant district attorney of Centre County, Pennsylvania on December 31, 2017, followed by an appointment as a special assistant district attorney of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania on January 6, 2018. On March 29, 2016, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced Castor’s appointment (back-dated to March 21, when he actually took office) to the newly created position of Solicitor General of Pennsylvania. While he operated freely as the de facto Attorney General and was widely recognized as such, Castor formally became the state’s Acting Attorney General, replacing Kane, who resigned on August 17, 2016, following a conviction of a third degree felony perjury charge and several related misdemeanors. Governor Tom Wolf later nominated Bruce Beemer to fulfill the remaining balance of Kane’s term which expired in January 2017.
(born October 24, 1961)
According to multiple reports, Castor explored a bid for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014. A May 6, 2013, report in The Legal Intelligencer also mentioned Castor as a possible appointee to a vacant position on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Castor issued a public statement that he would not run for governor in 2014, but would accept the supreme court appointment if it was offered. Eventually, Tom Corbett, who had defeated Castor in the 2004 Republican primary for Attorney General (as discussed below), and later became governor of Pennsylvania, ended up being the only Republican governor’s office or Republican U.S. Senate seat to change parties in the 2014 general election. This created speculation that if state Republican leaders, as had Castor, recognized the un-electibility of the incumbent, the GOP would have had a chance to hold the office with Castor or another Republican candidate.
Montgomery County District Attorney
After serving in the office since 1985, Castor was twice elected district attorney for Montgomery County, in which he is a lifelong resident, assuming office in January 2000. After his second term ended, he was succeeded by Risa Vetri Ferman. When she sought (and won) election as judge in November 2015, Castor sought to return to that office, but lost to Ferman’s first assistant, Kevin Steele, who ran an 11th-hour campaign contending Castor should have charged entertainer Bill Cosby in 2005. Castor countered that Steele could have arrested Cosby himself in the intervening years if he believed credible evidence existed to do so. A week before the election, Andrea Constand, who had accused Cosby of sexual assault in Montgomery County, sued Castor, claiming he defamed her by intimating she was not credible. The Washington Post said that this suit contributed to Castor’s defeat. In November 2017, Castor sued Costand and her lawyers for defamation, charging that the lawsuit and its timing were retaliatory and ruined his political career. In 2017, Cosby stood trial, but the trial ended in a hung jury with jurors unable to agree on Cosby’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, as Castor had predicted in 2005 would happen if he had elected to charge Cosby. However at Cosby’s retrial he was convicted on all three counts and has been sentenced to serve 3 to 10 years in prison.
Trump names two attorneys who will lead impeachment defense
Trump’s announcement followed reports he parted ways with his lead impeachment lawyers just over a week before the trial is set to begin, after the president insisted they argue that the election was stolen from him.
Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, both South Carolina lawyers who were expected to be among the lead attorneys for the case, are no longer with Trump’s defense team.
Josh Howard, a North Carolina attorney who was recently added to the team, as well as Greg Harris and Johnny Gasser, two former federal prosecutors from South Carolina, have also left, according to CNN.
The parting was reportedly a ‘mutual decision’ that reflected a difference of opinion on the direction of the case.
Trump had wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud, and fell out with the lawyers who wanted to focus on the legality of convicting a president after he’s left office, according to CNN sources.