Lawyers who had been preparing President Donald Trump’s defense for his Senate impeachment trial have reportedly quit over his insistence that they present a defense that involves claims of election fraud in several states in the 2020 election.
Politico reported Saturday evening that “Trump’s top impeachment lawyer has left his team”:
Former President Donald Trump has lost his top impeachment lawyer just days before his trial is to begin, a person familiar with his legal strategy and two attorneys close to the team confirmed on Saturday night.
Butch Bowers, a South Carolina lawyer who was reportedly set to play a major role in the Senate’s trial of the former president, is now no longer with the team. Deborah Barbier, another South Carolina lawyer, won’t be either. The person described it as a “mutual decision” and said new names will be announced shortly.
In addition, CNN reported on Saturday night that a third member of Trump’s prospective legal team, Josh Howard, was also leaving.
Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris, from South Carolina, are no longer involved with the case, either.
A person familiar with the departures told CNN that Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud and that the election was stolen from him rather than focus on the legality of convicting a president after he’s left office. Trump was not receptive to the discussions about how they should proceed in that regard.
The first legal filing in the trial is due on Tuesday, and the trial is expected to begin in earnest the week of February 8.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.