Donald Trump announces legal defence team for Senate impeachment trial
Washington, Feb 01: Former US president Donald Trump has announced his legal defence team for his Senate impeachment trial which is scheduled to begin on February 8.
Trump became the first president in the US history to be impeached twice when 10 of his fellow Republican Congressmen joined Democrats in the House of Representatives on January 13 to charge him with inciting an unprecedented insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6.
The Democrats need two-thirds of the vote for the Senate impeachment. If convicted, he could face being barred from ever holding office again.
Trump is the first US president facing an impeachment trial after he left the presidency. This is for the second time in about a year that he is likely to be acquitted by the Senate, as the Democrats do not have enough votes.
Currently, both the Democrats and the Republicans have 50 members each in the 100-seat Senate. The Democrats need the support of at least 17 Republican Senators to reach the two-thirds majority mark.
Trial lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L Castor Jr will head Trump's impeachment defence legal team, bringing national profiles and significant trial experience in high-profile cases to the effort, according to a statement issued by the office of former president Trump.
Notably, Schoen has already been working with Trump 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 last week, the statement said.
"It is an honour to represent the 45th President, Donald J Trump, and the United States Constitution," said Schoen.
Castor said: "I consider it a privilege to represent the 45th President. The strength of our Constitution is about to be tested like never before in our history. It is strong and resilient. A document written for the ages, and it will triumph over partisanship yet again, and always."
Last month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the United States Senate would begin the impeachment trial of former president Trump on February 8.
In a bipartisan vote on January 13, the Democratic-controlled House impeached 74-year-old Trump for "incitement of insurrection" for his actions on January 6, when he delivered a speech inciting his supporters to storm the US Capitol.
The violence temporarily halted the counting of Electoral College votes and resulted in the deaths of five individuals, including a police officer.