December 4, 2021

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Trump Parts Ways With Five Lawyers Handling Impeachment Defense – The New York Times

2 min read

During various investigations while he was in office, Mr. Trump has struggled to find — or retain — lawyers to defend him, and the announcement of Mr. Bowers’s hiring capped weeks of frantic searching.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers from his impeachment trial last year are not expected to be involved this time. They include Jay Sekulow, the former White House counsel Pat A. Cipollone and his deputy, Pat Philbin, and another lawyer who worked in the West Wing, Eric Herschmann.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, who worked as Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer during the special counsel’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign in 2016 had colluded with Russian officials, has made no secret of wanting to defend Mr. Trump in the second impeachment trial.

But Mr. Giuliani is a potential witness because he spoke at a rally of Trump supporters on Jan. 6, hours before hundreds marched to the Capitol and rioted. Almost all of Mr. Trump’s advisers blame Mr. Giuliani, who encouraged Mr. Trump’s desire to find ways to overturn the election results and to call their legitimacy into question, for the latest impeachment.

They also blame him in part for Mr. Trump’s first impeachment, which was driven by the former president’s interest in pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Biden family. Mr. Giuliani repeatedly encouraged Mr. Trump to believe baseless allegations related to Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter, and his business activities in Ukraine.

The second impeachment trial is set to begin on Feb. 9. This week, 45 Republican senators voted in support of a measure brought forward by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky calling the trial unconstitutional because Mr. Trump is no longer in office. That all but five Republican senators voted to challenge the constitutionality of the trial suggested a likely acquittal for Mr. Trump.

Democrats have pushed back, noting that Mr. Trump was impeached by the House while still in office.

Still, the question of constitutionality is likely to be a key part of Mr. Trump’s defense. And his advisers were buoyed by the show of Republican support for the Paul measure, believing it was an indication that Mr. Trump would be spared a conviction.

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