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Thomas Gallatin / February 1, 2021

Trump Shakes Up His Impeachment Defense Team

A disagreement over strategy led to ousting the old and installing the new.

Mere days away from the Democrat-initiated second impeachment charade, er, trial of Donald Trump, the former president pulled a rather surprising move — he canned his entire defense team. Peter Heck reports, “Butch Bowers, Deborah Barbier, Josh Howard, Johnny Gasser, and Greg Harris had all been members of the Trump defense team before the abrupt announcement Saturday that all were out.” The decision was said to be mutual, but it seems to be clear that Trump instigated it.

The apparent reason behind the sudden exodus had to do with a sharp disagreement over the direction of the defense. Trump evidently wants to continue to litigate the “stolen election” claim, while the now-former defense team wanted to focus on challenging the constitutionality of impeaching a president who is out of office. The former defense team did not want to touch any of the controversy surrounding the election itself, as it would only distract from the issue of the dubious legality of post-office impeachment.

For Trump, however, since 45 Senate Republicans have already voted against proceeding with an impeachment trial, the question was moot, as there simply aren’t enough votes for the Democrats to get a conviction. As GOP strategist Janet Mullins Grissom observed on social media, “If you’re Trump this is rather a no brainer. With Senate [Republicans] aka the jury on record that impeaching former president is unconstitutional why spend money on lawyers?”

However, sensing the political opportunity, Trump acted quickly and by Sunday had assembled a new legal team that will follow his desire to focus legal strategy on alleging massive election fraud. At its best, this may present an opportunity for Republicans to push forward on confronting the Democrats’ efforts to further weaken protections against election fraud, i.e. massive mail-in voting.

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