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September 22, 2021

These lawyers will now lead Trump’s impeachment defense team

Former President Donald Trump on November 26, 2020 in Washington, DC.  Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump’s office announced that David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr. will now head the legal team for his second impeachment trial, a day after CNN first reported that five members of his defense left and his team effectively collapsed.

One point of friction with his previous team was Trump wanted the attorneys to focus on his election fraud claims rather than the constitutionality of convicting a former president.

Trump has struggled to find lawyers willing to take his case as he refuses to budge from his claims of election fraud which has been a serious sticking point.

Trump’s advisers have been talking to him about his legal strategy and he keeps bringing up election fraud for his defense, while they have repeatedly tried to steer him away from that, according to a source familiar with those discussions.

It’s unclear if Schoen and Castor will go along with what Trump wants.

“Schoen has already been working with the 45th President and other advisors to prepare for the upcoming trial, and both Schoen and Castor agree that this impeachment is unconstitutional – a fact 45 Senators voted in agreement with last week,” the release says.

Some background: According to people familiar with the case, amid a disagreement over his legal strategy, Trump’s five impeachment defense attorneys have left.

Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, who were expected to be two of the lead attorneys, are no longer on the team. A source familiar with the changes said it was a mutual decision for both to leave the legal team. As the lead attorney, Bowers assembled the team.

Josh Howard, a North Carolina attorney who was recently added to the team, has also left, according to another source familiar with the changes. Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris, from South Carolina, are no longer involved with the case, either.