Trump loses impeachment lawyers days before Senate trial is due to begin – Axios

Former President Trump hasn’t made a final decision on his legal team, days out from his impeachment trial starting, his adviser Jason Miller said Saturday after it emerged he’d lost two lead defense attorneys.

Why it matters: Trump’s Senate trial is due to begin Feb. 8. It’s unclear who’ll take the lead now South Carolina lawyers Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier have left the team. Several other attorneys are also reportedly no longer with the Trump legal team.

Details: Former South Carolina federal prosecutors Greg Harris and Johnny Gasser, who were previously announced for Trump’s impeachment defense, will no longer be a part of the legal team, per AP.

  • North Carolina attorney Josh Howard, “who had been reported as joining the effort but who was never confirmed by Trump advisers publicly, is also not on the team,” notes the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman.
  • “Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud and it was stolen from him rather than focus on proposed arguments about constitutionality,” tweeted CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, who first reported the news on Bowers and Barbier and also reported on Howard.

What they’re saying: The decision on Bowers and Barbier was mutual, a Trump adviser told news outlets.

  • Miller said in a statement Democrats’ efforts to impeach a president who has already left office is “totally unconstitutional” and “so bad for our country.”
  • “In fact, 45 Senators have already voted that is unconstitutional,” he added. “We have done much work, but have not made a final decision on our legal team, which will be made shortly.”

Of note: Trump was impeached before he left office earlier this month for “incitement of insurrection” over the U.S. Capitol riots, becoming the only president in history to have been impeached twice.

Go deeper: Most Senate Republicans join bid to dismiss Trump’s 2nd impeachment trial

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.