Politics: Who is Stephen R. Castor, the GOP staff attorney in the impeachment hearings? - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Who is Stephen R. Castor, the GOP staff attorney in the impeachment hearings?

06:40  13 november  2019
06:40  13 november  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

White House to add two aides to lead impeachment messaging

  White House to add two aides to lead impeachment messaging The White House is expected to add a pair of aides tasked with leading its impeachment communications team as the House prepares to go public with its inquiry into President Trump.Two officials confirmed to The Hill that former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and former Treasury spokesman Tony Sayegh will join the White House communications staff "to work on proactive impeachment messaging and other special projects as they arise."Two officials confirmed to The Hill that former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and former Treasury spokesman Tony Sayegh will join the White House communications staff "to work on proactive impeachment messaging and other special projects as they arise.

Stephen R . Castor , right, and then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa ( R -Calif.) during a committee meeting on whether to hold Attorney General The Republican staff member charged with questioning impeachment witnesses has served as an investigator in some of the biggest House

The public impeachment hearings this week will be at least as important for what is not said as for what is. Congress will no doubt focus a lot on President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and his secret plan to get that government to announce a public investigation of the man he considered his chief

The Republican staff member charged with questioning impeachment witnesses has served as an investigator in some of the biggest House probes of the last 15 years, including inquiries related to Hurricane Katrina, a gun-tracking operation known as Operation Fast and Furious and the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Darrell Issa et al. sitting at a table: Stephen R. Castor, right, and then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) during a committee meeting on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress in 2012.© J. Scott Applewhite/AP Stephen R. Castor, right, and then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) during a committee meeting on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress in 2012.

Yet the task facing Stephen R. Castor on Wednesday will be completely new, as Republicans seize the chance to bolster President Trump’s case that there was no quid pro quo involving Ukraine during the impeachment inquiry’s first public hearing.

Impeachment investigators subpoena Mick Mulvaney

  Impeachment investigators subpoena Mick Mulvaney Impeachment investigators subpoena Mick MulvaneyMulvaney had already signaled he would likely refuse lawmakers’ demands to testify, and the White House has issued a blanket order against cooperating with the impeachment probe.

The hearings in the House Intelligence Committee are a major milestone in the impeachment inquiry the House started this fall. The Republicans will most likely lean on Steve Castor , a congressional investigator who has worked in the House since 2005.

A Republican staff memo, laying out talking points for the hearings , asserts that the The theory resurfaced from GOP lawmakers in the closed impeachment hearings , exasperating Nor is there any illegal takeover afoot — the impeachment process is unfolding as outlined in the Constitution

Castor will help lead the effort as general counsel for the House Oversight and Reform Committee. In contrast with his Democratic counterpart — Daniel S. Goldman, a prosecutor turned television legal analyst — Castor has spent his career avoiding the media spotlight, rising through the ranks over nearly 15 years and seven consecutive chairmanships to become the Oversight panel’s top GOP lawyer.

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Castor declined to comment for this report, but a half-dozen former colleagues and bosses praised him as a straight-shooting attorney whose deliberate, low-key style will make him an asset to Republicans amid intense public scrutiny of the impeachment hearings.

This Is the Lawyer Doing the Questioning for House Republicans in Public Impeachment Hearings

  This Is the Lawyer Doing the Questioning for House Republicans in Public Impeachment Hearings With the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump set to begin airing live on every major cable news station in the nation tomorrow, the vast majority of viewers will likely be laying their eyes on attorney Steve Castor for the very first time. © Provided by Mediaite, LLC[image via YouTube screengrab]Castor will be the doing the questioning for House Republicans. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Steve Castor , a congressional investigator who has worked in the House since 2005, will ask That time can be delegated to the staff lawyers, which Mr. Schiff said he was likely to do for a substantial If it’s the case where the impeachment hearings are really more of a dramatic reading of material

GOP staff attorney Steve Castor said, moving the conversation with Taylor toward the company that hired Hunter Biden. Republicans also grilled her and her attorney about how her opening statement ended up in The Post. Lawmakers sought to cast former NSC official Fiona Hill as a leaker, asking

“It’s not something he would have asked for,” former Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who left the House in 2017, said of Castor’s moment at center stage. “It’s not in his DNA to ask for something like this. He’s a fairly unassuming guy, but he speaks with authority. . . . He’ll just ask a few simple questions and demonstrate that there’s no there there.”

Another former Oversight chairman, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), said Castor will be focused on “making complex things simple” as he presents the GOP’s case that Trump did not withhold military aid for Ukraine to force investigations that would benefit him politically. Issa said he “wouldn’t want to play poker against [Castor]” because he “doesn’t easily give up what he’s thinking.”

“I did ask him — I guess last night — ‘How do you feel about 11 million people watching you on television?’ And he said, ‘I’m going to look at the witness,’ ” Issa said Tuesday.

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The public impeachment inquiry hearings pit a Democratic attorney who built his reputation as a federal mob prosecutor against a GOP investigator who helped Goldman spent about a decade as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York. He stepped away from his gig as an MSNBC

The theory resurfaced from GOP lawmakers in the closed impeachment hearings , exasperating Fiona Hill, an intelligence official from the Bush and Obama administrations who Nor is there any illegal takeover afoot — the impeachment process is unfolding as outlined in the Constitution, which gives

Castor, 46, was hired by then-Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-Va.) in 2005 after spending roughly four years as a commercial litigator at the Philadelphia and Washington offices of the law firm Blank Rome.

One of his first investigations involved the George W. Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina, giving him early experience in investigating a president from his own party. As part of its probe, the GOP-led committee held nine hearings, obtained more than 500,000 pages of documents and released a 569-page final report that was critical of the Bush White House.

Investigations during the Obama administration, such as the probes of the Benghazi attacks and the “Fast and Furious” scandal, were more controversial and politically charged.

Former bosses and colleagues said Castor, described by several as introverted, is an institutionalist who often acted as a bridge between opposing wings of the GOP.

“He’s not a mean guy,” said Davis, who left the House in 2008. “I don’t think he’s a particularly ideological guy. He’s just thorough and effective.”

Support for Trump's impeachment unchanged after hearings begin: Reuters/Ipsos poll

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GOP staff attorney Steve Castor said, moving the conversation with Taylor toward the company that hired Hunter Biden. “Do you think it’s possible that he was tapped for the board because his dad Republicans also grilled her and her attorney about how her opening statement ended up in The Post.

At its heart, the GOP argument was that the impeachment effort was unfair and sparked because "unelected and They get 45 minutes each, or can designate staff attorneys to do so. Fox News is told on the GOP side, Steve Castor , whom Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan brought over from the Oversight

Issa said Castor avoided political conversations during their decade-long working relationship, despite the explosive fights over policy and strategy between conservative and establishment Republicans on Capitol Hill that took place during that time.

A review of Federal Election Commission records by The Washington Post showed that Castor has never donated to a political campaign.

“I don’t know his politics,” Issa said. “I know he’s a good family man. I know he loves his dog. . . . If he has an ideology or a political bent, we haven’t seen it.”

Castor, 46, will be permitted to question witnesses on Wednesday because he is a staffer shared between the Oversight and Intelligence committees.

The Republican strategy, according to people familiar with GOP preparations for the hearing, will be to highlight ambiguities in the transcript of the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and to point out where certain witnesses who learned about events secondhand may have jumped to conclusions about what took place during the broader saga. The people asked spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

William B. Taylor Jr., the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, will testify Wednesday alongside George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasian affairs. Taylor’s predecessor, Marie Yovanovitch, is scheduled to testify at a separate hearing on Friday.

Nunes questions Schiff about 'magical 15 minutes' during lengthy impeachment hearing

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Who 's getting hauled to the stand. Democrats plan to hold two weeks of hearings in the Intelligence That ’s because the rules adopted by House Democrats empower committee staff to lead the questioning Here’s a look at the six figures who will play the most critical roles in the impeachment hearings . Steve Castor In moving Rep. Jim Jordan to the Intelligence Committee, Republicans

The GOP ’s Impeachment Strategy Is Self-Refuting. But their proposed list of witnesses for the impeachment hearings , delivered on Saturday in a letter to House Intelligence Help us cover the central question: “ Who counts?” Your Slate Plus membership will fund our work on voting, immigration

Castor described last year what he viewed as “one of the best tools” to use as the minority party on the Oversight panel — “to just demonstrate that the [majority] investigator is not fair-minded and is not willing to keep an open mind.”

“Once an investigator is revealed to be biased, it’s hard to trust the integrity of the process,” he said in December 2018 during an event hosted by the Federalist Society on Capitol Hill that was recorded for a podcast.

Transcripts of closed-door depositions with impeachment witnesses reveal Castor to be a methodical and persistent questioner who sometimes tried to steer witnesses into more controversial territory, such as allegations about former vice president Joe Biden’s family and Ukrainian influence on the 2016 election.

His approach sometimes led to tension or conflict.

During the Oct. 14 deposition of Fiona Hill, the former senior director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council, Hill said that she was targeted by right-wing media figures who falsely accused her of being part of a conspiracy involving George Soros, the liberal billionaire philanthropist.

Hill’s lawyer, Lee Wolosky, interrupted her to say for the record that “Mr. Castor laughed in response to that question.”

“That is an outrageous — that is outrageous to say that I laughed at that,” Castor said.

“You did laugh, and I want the record to reflect it because this is a very serious matter where people’s lives potentially are in danger,” Wolosky said.

After some additional back-and-forth, Castor said, “Well, that is, you know, an absolutely ridiculous characterization.”

Castor, a Philadelphia-area native, has rarely spoken in public about Trump or his work.

But last year, during a speech to a conference held by Wayne State University Law School, he called Trump a “very different kind of president.”

“Somebody of the president’s personality being president and just — operating on Twitter is just — nobody could have expected that,” he said in the March 2018 speech, which was recorded and posted to YouTube. Calling the size of the 2018 Women’s March in Washington “unbelievable,” he said it was “at a scale that was, you know, equal to or greater than some inaugurations.” As some in the audience laughed, he smiled and said with emphasis, “Inaugurations plural.”

Castor also made a light, indirect joke about the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration while speaking about the “intensity” of the political moment.

In addition, Castor took issue with a May 2013 Bloomberg Businessweek headline that described him as a “hidden hand” behind the Oversight Committee. The article stated that “no one in the White House looks forward” to his calls.

“The Obama people — they really didn’t care if I called them or not,” he said. “I very much don’t like making phone calls. . . . I really enjoy not working the phones myself.”

elise.viebeck@washpost.com

Ivanka Trump Tweets Out Fake de Tocqueville Quote to Bash Impeachment as a ‘Decline of Public Morals’ .
“A decline of public morals in the United States will probably be marked by the abuse of the power of impeachment as a means of crushing political adversaries or ejecting them from office.” Those words, Ivanka Trump claimed, were spoken by Alexis de Tocqueville in 1835. In a Thursday evening tweet, the first daughter used the quotation to bash the impeachment hearings against her father, President Donald Trump.

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