As the Senate impeachment trial of ex-President Donald Trump moved forward this week, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman reported on Twitter that the former commander-in-chief “has been getting angrier as the trial played out,” according to a source. This report came days after CNN’s chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins said that Trump was “basically screaming” while watching an opening presentation from one of his lawyers this past Tuesday. At the time, Trump lawyer Bruce Castor attracted criticism for a rambling opening statement in which he, among other things, praised the voice of the late Senator Everett Dirksen, spoke nostalgically about record players, and called Nebraska a “judicial thinking place.”
Multiple people tell me Trump was basically screaming as Castor made a meandering opening argument that struggled to get at the heart of the defense team's argument.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) February 9, 2021
On Saturday, Haberman reported as follows:
‘A Trump source says that this week has been a slog and that despite all the talk of him being mellow, Trump has been getting angrier as the trial played out.’
Can confirm. A Trump source says that this week has been a slog and that despite all the talk of him being mellow, Trump has been getting angrier as the trial played out. https://t.co/x0DLw5lcsy
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 13, 2021
On Saturday, the prospect of witnesses was briefly raised after the Senate voted in favor of hearing from witnesses — but then, possibly in the interest of getting the trial wrapped up promptly, those involved in the trial struck a deal to enter an already public statement from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) into the record and move on. Herrera Beutler revealed that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) shared details with her of a call in which Trump expressed support for the rioters at the Capitol on January 6. Addressing McCarthy, then-President Trump approvingly characterized the rioters as “more upset about the election than you are.”
As the final vote in the trial approached, there was no particular indication that 17 Republicans would join Democrats in voting for conviction as required to actually enact the move. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) formally announced his intention to vote to acquit Trump early Saturday morning, insisting that the Senate does not have jurisdiction to put a former president on trial. Five Republican Senators, including Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and others, disagreed with this assessment and repeatedly voted in favor of moving forward with the trial proceedings in the first place.