Donald Trump has fired and replaced his impeachment defense team, according to reports, with just days to go before he faces an unprecedented Senate trial as a private citizen.
The former president took on two new lawyers after splitting with five others, the Associated Press reported Sunday.
Trump shakes up legal team
According to Fox News, South Carolina lawyers Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier left Team Trump over disagreements about defense strategy, along with former prosecutors Greg Harris, Johnny Gasser, and Josh Howard. The decision was mutual, a source said.
Trump has now hired attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen to represent him, the AP reports. The shake-up comes days before Democrats in Congress will begin arguing before the Senate that Trump “incited insurrection” when some of his supporters stormed the Capitol in January.
Castor and Schoen are in agreement with Trump that it is unconstitutional to impeach a former president.
Schoen, for his part, called it an “honor to represent the 45th President, Donald J. Trump, and the United States Constitution,” according to Fox, while Castor vowed to “triumph over partisanship.”
“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,” Castor added, according to the AP.
Impeachment trial re-do?
The trial is set to play out roughly a year after Trump was acquitted in a previous impeachment over claims of wrongdoing during a phone call with Ukraine, and the same result is very much likely — so the shake-up will likely make little difference in the end.
While it was never a sure-shot that Republicans would convict Trump, the chances seemed a little higher weeks ago after an initial backlash. But Republicans have since rejected the impeachment effort, with all but five GOP senators agreeing that it is unconstitutional to try a private citizen, as The New York Times reports.
Trump’s enemies have argued that it is necessary to bar him from seeking office again, and his likely Senate acquittal has Democrats honing in on other ways to hold him “accountable,” including censure and an esoteric section of the 14th Amendment, reports note.
In the meantime, Democrats are moving ahead with what critics have called a predetermined partisan spectacle.
“No one will be able to avert their gaze from what Mr. Trump said and did and the consequences of his actions,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) vowed last week, according to CBS News.