President Donald Trump on Sunday named new lawyers for his impeachment defense team, a move that comes one day after five known members left due to friction over the former president’s desire to focus on his election fraud claims rather than the constitutionality of convicting a former president.
Lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr., will now represent Trump.
"Schoen has already been working with the 45th President and other advisors to prepare for the upcoming trial, and both Schoen and Castor agree that this impeachment is unconstitutional - a fact 45 Senators voted in agreement with last week," according to a press release.
"It is an honor to represent the 45th President, Donald J. Trump, and the United States Constitution," said Schoen, according to the release.
"I consider it a privilege to represent the 45th President," Castor said. "The strength of our Constitution is about to be tested like never before in our history. It is strong and resilient. A document written for the ages, and it will triumph over partisanship yet again, and always."
Schoen has served as lead counsel in several high-profile cases, and has been honred for his work in changing public institutions in the South, including prisons, jails, public education, foster care and indigent defense. He also has represented victims of terrorism under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Schoen focuses on civil rights litigation in Alabama and federal criminal defense work
Castor is former district attorney of Montgomery County, Pa., and former solicitor general and acting attorney general of Pennsylvania..
South Carolina lawyers Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier and former federal prosecutors Greg Harris, Johnny Gasser and Josh Howard had left the team by Saturday, according to CNN.
"Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud and it was stolen from him rather than focus on proposed arguments about constitutionality," tweeted CNN's Kaitlan Collins, who first reported the news on Bowers and Barbier.
Trump’s Senate trial is due to begin on Feb. 8.
He was impeached before he left office earlier this month for “incitement of insurrection. Over the U.S. Capitol riots, becoming the only president in U.S. history to have been impeached twice.
Most U.S. senators support an effort to dismiss Trump’s second impeachment trial, making it highly unlikely the upper chamber will vote to convict.
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