Washington: The attorney leading former US President Donald Trump’s upcoming Senate impeachment trial has left the latter’s legal team, according to a media report.
An informed source and two attorneys close to the team confirmed to the Politico news outlet on Saturday that Butch Bowers, a South Carolina lawyer, “was reportedly set to play a major role” in the trial which is set to begin on February 8.
The source told Politico that another lawyer Deborah Barbier was also no longer with the team.
The source added that the exits were a “mutual decision” and new names will be announced soon.
Also, on Saturday night, a CNN reports said that a three other lawyers, Josh Howard, Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris, have left the team as well.
According to the CNN report, the exits were due to disagreements over the defence strategy.
“The team members wanted to focus on the legality of the impeachment, while Trump insisted on pushing narratives of election fraud,” the report said.
On January 13, the House of Representatives impeached Trump for a second time following the January 6 riots at the Capitol in Washington D.C. which took place after he addressed thousands of his supporters outside the building during which called for “patriots” to take a stand against the 2020 election results.
The House has charged Trump with inciting an insurrection and threatening democracy.
Under the impeachment process, the Senate will hold a judicial-style trial of Trump with the senators acting as jurors.
It is unlikely once again that Trump will be convicted in the upper chamber as the Democrats would need 17 Republicans to vote in a 50-50 Senate.
Saturday’s development comes after Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, confirmed earlier this month that he will not be a part of the impeachment trial.
In a statement to The Hill news website on January 18, Giuliani, also a former New York City Mayor, said: “Due to the fact that I may be a witness, the rules of legal ethics would prohibit me from representing the President as trial counsel in the impeachment trial.”
Along with Trump, Giuliani had also addressed the supporters and called for “trial by combat”.