Former US President Donald Trump has appointed a new defense team shortly before his second impeachment trial is expected to start. The defense will be led by David Schoen and Bruce Castor. Reports say that Trump’s primary defense team of five lawyers would not be representing the Republican, after all, citing disagreements over his legal strategy.
CNN cited sources as saying Trump wanted the attorneys to attempt false allegations of electoral fraud instead of challenging the legitimacy of impeachment proceedings against a president who has already left office. The attorneys had so far not received any advance payments, and no letter of purpose was ever signed, according to CNN.
The announcement from Trump’s office said that Schoen and Castor, the new attorneys, agree that the trial against Trump is illegal. A large majority of Republicans in the Senate also recently took this view.
Trump is facing an unusual second impeachment trial over the violent storming of the Capitol building on January 6.
Lawmakers have blamed Trump for encouraging an insurrection after a violent mob of his supporters attacked the Congress building following one of his rallies, leading to the deaths of five people. The trial, which is similar to a court proceeding with the senators functioning as jurors, is set to start during the week of February 8.
A two-thirds majority is needed to obtain a conviction in the Senate and consequently bar Trump from running for office again.