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Lead Lawyers Leave Trump’s Impeachment Defense Team


Donald Trump speaking to a crowd before boarding Air Force One on Jan. 20.



Photo:

Luis M. Alvarez/Associated Press

Two lawyers leading former President

Donald Trump’s

defense in his Senate impeachment trial have left the legal team a little over a week before the trial is scheduled to begin, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Butch Bowers

and

Deborah Barbier,

two attorneys from South Carolina, no longer plan to represent Mr. Trump, the person said Saturday. The decision was mutual, the person said, declining to give a reason for the departures.

The departures leave Mr. Trump in a difficult position with the trial set to open on Feb. 8.

CNN earlier reported the departures.

The Democrat-led House in January voted to impeach Mr. Trump for the second time, alleging he encouraged a mob to storm Congress to prevent lawmakers from certifying President Biden’s election victory. While 10 Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach Mr. Trump in the House, Democrats in the Senate face steeper odds in persuading 17 Republicans to join them in voting to convict.

Mr. Trump has accepted no responsibility for the Capitol riot and has denied wrongdoing.

Mr. Trump faces a more complicated path to building a defense team than he did in his first impeachment trial, when he had the White House Counsel’s Office and a robust personal legal team behind him. His personal lawyers, Jay Sekulow, Jane Raskin and Marty Raskin, privately made clear they didn’t plan to defend him a second time, according to people familiar with the matter, as did former White House counsel

Pat Cipollone

and his deputy, Pat Philbin.

Write to Rebecca Ballhaus at [email protected]

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