High-profile civil rights attorney David Schoen, who before Jeffrey Epstein’s death was in discussions to join his legal team, will be one of the two top members of former President Donald Trump’s legal team for his impeachment trial, which is set to start in earnest in the Senate next week.
Schoen’s inclusion on Trump’s team was announced on Sunday along with former Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney Bruce Castor. The move followed the departure of Trump’s previous legal team for the impeachment trial, which was assembled by South Carolina GOP attorney Butch Bowers.
A source told Fox News that Bowers and his team quit working for Trump after the president asked them to make a case repeating the former president’s false claims of widespread election fraud.
“It is an honor to represent the 45th President, Donald J. Trump, and the United States Constitution,” Schoen said in a statement released by Trump’s post-presidential office Sunday.
The statement said Schoen had already been consulting with Trump on his impeachment trial and both he and Castor agreed that the effort to convict Trump in the impeachment trial is unconstitutional now that he’s left office.
Last week, 45 Republican senators voted that the Senate did not have the authority to hold a trial for a former president. But 50 Democrats and five Republicans voted that it can — allowing the trial to move forward and virtually assuring that senators will eventually be forced to vote on whether or not to convict Trump. It’s highly unlikely that any court would step in to tell the Senate how to run its internal affairs.
Schoen also has other ties to Trump through his past representation of Trump associate Roger Stone. Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison for witness tampering and other charges in early 2020, a sentence Trump later commuted. Then, later last year, Trump pardoned Stone.
Schoen previously made headlines after meeting with Epstein days before the convicted sex offender died on Aug. 10. Schoen previously told Fox News he does not believe Epstein’s death was a suicide and confirmed to Fox News over the weekend that he still holds that opinion.
“I saw him a few days earlier,” said Schoen on Fox Nation’s “Deep Dive” last year. “The reason I say I don’t believe it was suicide is for my interaction with him that day. The purpose of asking me to come there that day and over the past previous couple of weeks was to ask me to take over his defense.”
“We came to an agreement during the course of that discussion… He was upbeat and excited about going forward,” Schoen continued. “The following day, I got a phone call from one of his lawyers saying he just met with him after I met with him. How excited he is about going forward with this. If I could get in that night and start giving orders to the team, it would be a great help.”
Schoen, according to the Trump team statement, is also the chairman of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Criminal Justice Subcommittee, which falls under its broader Civil Rights Litigation Committee.
Schoen was in 1995 honored for his pro bono work by the ABA. It said he was “Recognized for his enormous contribution to bringing about change in schools, prisons, jails, foster care, police departments, and election ballot access in the South.”
In 2015, Schoen was honored by his alma mater, Boston College Law School, with the Honorable David S. Nelson Public Interest Law Award.
Schoen is a solo law practitioner who is based in Montgomery, Ala.
Fox News’ Jacqui Heinrich, Matt London and Kathleen Reuschle contributed to this report.