Washington – Two weeks before his second impeachment trial, former President Donald Trump has partnered with two key members of his legal team. South Carolina AttorneyTrump spokesman Jason Miller said Saturday night that he was expected to be the chief counsel and that Deborah Barbier would not be part of his team.
“Democrats’ attempt to step down as president, who has already stepped down, is completely unconstitutional and so bad for our country. In fact, 45 senators have already voted that it is unconstitutional. We did a lot of work.” But has not taken a final decision. On our legal team, that will be made soon, “said Miller.
An advisor to Trump told CBS News that the decision was mutual. CBS News has reached out to Bowers and Barbier for comment.
CNN, which was first reported, has also said that three other lawyers have left the legal team.
Mr. Trump’s second impeachment trial begins on February 9. The House impeached Mr Trump on 13 January for “inciting rebellion”. A week ago, Mr. Trump encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell” to prevent Congressional Electoral College’s votes from counting, the final step in confirming President Biden’s victory. A crowd of his supporters stormed the US Capitol, causing lawmakers to flee and delay for nearly six hours. Five people died in the scuffle.
Mr. Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was a public figure in the former president’s fruitless fight to reverse the election results, said he would not be part of Mr. Trump’s impeachment legal team because he was at the rally. Giuliani told CBS News on January 18, “Due to the fact that I can be a witness, the rules of legal ethics will prevent me from representing him as the president’s attorney in the impeachment trial.”
Mr. Trump’s attorneys for his first impeachment trial are not defending him this time, including Mr. Trump’s longtime attorney Jay Sekulow and former White House lawyer Pat Cipollone. Cipollon, in particular, was one of the White House officials who was called by a group of Republican senators to convince Mr. Trump to leave office in the aftermath of the attack, an aide to Senator Mike Lee said on January 7 .
Asked who would represent Mr. Trump, Miller said the team would likely make an announcement in the next few days.
Senator Lindsey Graham announced last week that Columbia’s lawyer, Bowers, a powerhouse with an impressive record defending Republican politicians, would be the “lead anchor” on Mr. Trump’s defense team. Miller confirmed That Bowers will join the team in a tweet on 21 January.
The legislators represented former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford after he admitted to lying about Appalachian’s walking tour when he was actually with his mistress in Argentina. Sanford was eventually fixed instead.
Bowers also represented Trump’s aide Nikki Haley when she faced ethics charges of illegal lobbying while in the South Carolina legislature. Haley was cleared in that inquiry.
Bowers is a member of the South Carolina Bar and Columbia Bar District in good standing, according to their directory. Bowers previously told the South Carolina Post and Courier that he “looks forward to representing the former president.”
According to the South Carolina Post-Courier, Barbier, who runs a small firm in Columbia, joined the legal team earlier this week. In perhaps her most high-profile case, Barbier defended Joey Meeks, a friend of Amen’s AME shooter Daren Roof. According to the posters, Meeks, who pleaded guilty to telling others that authorities did not share that Roof was behind the massacre, was sentenced to 27 months in prison.
As Post-Courier reported, Barbier defended a South Carolina political operative in 2017 with conspiracy and illegal lobbying. That case was eventually dropped.
Catherine Watson contributed to this report.