Top Trump impeachment lawyer Bowers leaves team: reports
Butch Bowers, the lead attorney that was slated to represent former President Trump during his second impeachment trial, has left the legal team along with four others, according to multiple reports.
Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). announced that Bowers, a South Carolina attorney, would act as the Trump legal team’s “anchor” during the trial.
“I think [Trump’s] gonna have a good [legal team],” Graham said. “Butch Bowers I think will be sort of the anchor tenant. I’ve known Butch for a long time, solid guy. And I think, you know, over time, they’ll put the team together.”
Now, with less than two weeks to go before the impeachment trial is set to begin, Bowers is reportedly no longer on the defense team, two attorneys close to the situation told Politico.
Deborah Barbier, another South Carolina lawyer, has also dropped off the Trump legal team, one person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.
Trump spokesperson Jason Miller did not directly address Bower’s exit to Politico.
“The Democrats’ efforts to impeach a president who has already left office is totally unconstitutional and so bad for our country,” Miller told the outlet. “In fact, 45 Senators have already voted that is unconstitutional. We have done much work, but have not made a final decision on our legal team, which will be made shortly.”
Later Saturday night, CNN confirmed that North Carolina attorney Josh Howard, a recent addition to the legal team assembled by Bowers, has also left. Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris, two additional lawyers from South Carolina, have left the team as well.
According to CNN, the exodus is due to disagreements over the defense strategy. The team members wanted to focus on the legality of the impeachment, while Trump insisted on pushing narratives of election fraud.
On Jan. 13, days before he left office, Trump was impeached by the House for the second time in his presidency on the charge of “incitement of insurrection,” for his involvement in the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol that resulted in several deaths.
Trump’s team and Bowers did not immediately respond to The Hill’s requests for comments.
The news about Bowers’ departure from the Trump team injects new uncertainty into an already unprecedented situation as Senate gears up for the second impeachment trial of a U.S. president amid a pandemic and after the former president has been voted out of office.
Trump’s impeachment trial has caused controversy, with many Senate Republicans arguing that the trial is unconstitutional now that Trump is a private citizen.
On Tuesday, 45 GOP senators backed a motion from Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Seventeenth Amendment and the censure of Donald Trump Where is the Republican Party of Barry Goldwater when we need it? Paul says Roberts’s absence ‘crystalized’ argument against Trump impeachment MORE (R-Ky.) to argue that that the chamber’s impending trial was unconstitutional.
It is unlikely once again that Trump will be convicted in the upper chamber as the Democrats would need 17 Republicans to vote for conviction in a 50-50 Senate.
President Biden has indicated to Senate Democratic leadership that he would like them to keep the trial short, according to White House officials and sources close to the president. Biden has a large agenda to push through Congress, starting with a $1.9 trillion stimulus package he hopes to deliver to the public.
Bowers has previously acted as an attorney for key Republicans, including South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, former South Carolina Govs. Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyRNC chair says GOP will be neutral in 2024 presidential primary Pompeo to join conservative think tank Hudson Institute Nikki Haley: If Biden rejoins Human Rights Council ‘it will fly in the face of our fight for human rights’ MORE and Mark SanfordMark SanfordTrump selects South Carolina lawyer for impeachment trial ‘Trumpification’ of the GOP will persist Live updates: Democrats seek to extend House advantage MORE, and former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.
Updated 10:59 p.m.
Published at Sun, 31 Jan 2021 02:37:44 +0000