The impeachment of former US President Donald Trump will begin as early as February 9. US media reported on January 31 that five lawyers have left Trump’s defense team.
Butch Bowles and Deborah Babel were originally scheduled to serve as the chief lawyers of Trump’s defense team, of which Bowles is the founder. CNN reported from sources familiar with the situation, and the two decided to leave the defense team. Another source said three other lawyers from the defense team had also left.
Apart from the five lawyers, no one has previously announced that they will defend Trump’s impeachment.
A source said Trump’s defense thinking is inconsistent with the team of lawyers. Trump believes that we should start from the perspective of widespread fraud in the presidential election process and claim that he is the victim of election fraud. The lawyer team believes that the defense should focus on questioning the legitimacy of impeachment of the outgoing president, while trump is reluctant to discuss this defense idea with the lawyer group.
CNN said trump did not pay the five lawyers in advance or sign a letter of intent with them. It is not clear who will represent trump in the impeachment trial. White House lawyers pat shipolon and Patrick phelpin, who defended trump when he was first impeached, are not expected to join the defense team for the impeachment, Reuters said.
On January 26, 100 U.S. senators took an oath to form a jury to formally take over the impeachment case. The conviction of an impeached person requires the support of at least two-thirds of the senators. At present, the Democratic Party and the Republican party each control 50 seats in the Senate. A Republican senator, citing Trump’s resignation and the unconstitutionality of the Senate’s impeachment trial at this time, proposed a motion to ask the whole house to vote to lift the impeachment case. Although the vote was not passed, a total of 45 Republicans supported the removal of impeachment. According to an article in the US “Capitol Hill”, the result of the vote indicates that the Senate may not have enough votes to convict trump.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted on January 13 to approve an impeachment clause against trump, accusing him of “sedition”. At that time, it was only a week before trump officially stepped down as president of the United States, which made him the first president in American history to be impeached twice by the house of Representatives. Trump was impeached by the house of representatives for the first time in December 2019, accused of abusing power and obstructing Congress. Senate Republicans then voted down the impeachment clause by virtue of their seats, and trump was not convicted and removed. (Guo Qian)