Former President Trump is still working to assemble a full legal team for his Senate impeachment trial, people familiar with the matter told CNN on Monday, even as he has begun to craft a defense strategy with Butch Bowers, the South Carolina lawyer who has agreed to represent Trump in the historic proceedings.
Bowers, a respected lawyer from Columbia, South Carolina who once worked in the Justice Department under President George W. Bush, has been in conversation with Trump in recent days, according to two people familiar with the matter. Bowers was connected to Trump by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is also helping to add new lawyers to the team.
Charlie Condon, a former South Carolina attorney general who now works in private practice in Charleston, has been approached about joining the legal team, two people familiar with the matter said. In a brief statement to CNN on Monday evening, Condon wrote: “I am not representing former President Trump. Thanks.”
But two weeks before the impeachment is set to begin, Trump is still struggling to find other lawyers to join his team, people familiar with the matter say, as some law firms have raised questions about whether they would be paid and other lawyers have expressed a reluctance to associate themselves with the deadly insurrection of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Asked if he thinks Trump’s defense team will want to call witnesses, Graham, a close ally of Trump, said he did not know, adding, “I can’t imagine who you’d call” and noting that the House did not have anyone testify in their impeachment proceedings.
The South Carolina Republican argued for dismissing the trial based on a “constitutional lack of jurisdiction.”
Graham said he talked to Trump yesterday, while the former president was golfing in Florida.
Asked about Trump’s mindset and preparations ahead of his second impeachment trial, Graham said, “Well, I think he’d like to get it over with.” He said he “wouldn’t think” Trump would come back from Florida for his trial, again emphasizing the desire for a quick trial.