Former US President Donald Trump appointed a new legal defense team shortly before the start of his second impeachment trial.
Trump faces an unprecedented second trial to be impeached over the storming of the Capitol building on January 6.
Reuters quoted Trump’s office as saying that attorneys David Schwen and Bruce Castor will lead the defense team in his trial before the Senate, which begins on the ninth of this month, with the impeachment rule approved by the House of Representatives.
The announcement from Trump’s office said Schwen and Castor agreed that Trump’s trial was unconstitutional. The vast majority of Republicans in the Senate have also recently adopted this view.
Reuters quoted an informed source as saying, “The principal attorneys, Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbary have withdrawn from Trump’s defense team.”
Another source indicated that 3 other lawyers associated with the team also withdrew from the defense of Trump. He attributed the move to differences between Trump and Bowers over the trial.
The sources explained that Trump wanted the lawyers to pursue unfounded allegations of electoral fraud, instead of questioning the legality of the impeachment measures against a president who has already left office.
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, also announced that he would not represent the former president after appearing at the same gathering that preceded the storming of the Capitol.
The storming process was preceded by a rally of Trump supporters who asked them to go to the Capitol, and repeatedly said that they should fight for it. Hours later, the “Trumpians” stormed the Congress during a session of both chambers to ratify the victory of Joe Biden in the presidential elections.
In a related context, Republican Senator Rob Portman said, “Trump’s comments were wrong. They caused what happened during the events of the congressional storming.”
Portman emphasized that the presidential election did not witness “widespread” fraud that could alter its final result.
But he wondered – in an interview with “CNN” – about the constitutionality of Trump’s trial in the Senate after his term expires.
Lawmakers accused Trump of inciting the revolt after a violent mob of his supporters attacked the Congress building following a rally he organized, killing 5 people.
The former president’s prosecution, similar to court procedures in which senators serve as jurors, is set to begin during the week beginning February 8.
A two-thirds majority would be required to convict Trump in the Senate, and then prevent him from running again.