Donald Trump has announced attorneys David Schoen and Bruce Castor will head the legal team in his second impeachment trial.
Schoen, based in Alabama, was readying to defend Jeffrey Epstein when the New York financier was found dead in his cell in August 2019, in what Schoen insists was not suicide.
Castor was district attorney for Montgomery County in Pennsylvania when Bill Cosby was accused of sexual assault by Andrea Constand. He declined to prosecute; his successor secured a conviction in 2018.
The former president released a statement through his office calling the trial lawyers ‘highly-respected’.
He also said that both Schoen and Castor agree that the impeachment is ‘unconstitutional – a fact 45 Senators voted in agreement with last week’.
Trump’s announcement followed reports he parted ways with his lead impeachment lawyers just over a week before the trial is set to begin, after the president insisted they argue that the election was stolen from him.
Donald Trump has announced attorneys David Schoen and Bruce Castor will head the legal team in his second impeachment trial
David Schoen, based in Alabama, was preparing to represent Jeffrey Epstein when he died
Bruce Castor, the former district attorney for Montgomery County, has joined Trump’s team
Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, both South Carolina lawyers who were expected to be among the lead attorneys for the case, are no longer with Trump’s defense team.
Josh Howard, a North Carolina attorney who was recently added to the team, as well as Greg Harris and Johnny Gasser, two former federal prosecutors from South Carolina, have also left, according to CNN.
The parting was reportedly a ‘mutual decision’ that reflected a difference of opinion on the direction of the case.
Trump had wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud, and fell out with the lawyers who wanted to focus on the legality of convicting a president after he’s left office, according to CNN sources.
Castor, 59, is one of Pennsylvania’s most high-profile lawyers.
He served as district attorney for Montgomery County from 2000-2008, during which time he famously decided not to prosecute Cosby.
‘At the time I remember thinking that he probably did do something inappropriate,’ he said, speaking of his 2005 decision.
‘But thinking that and being able to prove it are two different things. I didn’t say that he didn’t commit the crime.’
Castor’s involvement in the case enraged women’s rights activists when Cosby was eventually put on trial by Castor’s successor, Kevin Steele.
‘As much as I wanted to go forward, there wasn’t enough evidence, and prosecutors are bound by the law,’ said Castor.
‘I mean, I’m not a fool. I recognize that had I arrested Bill Cosby it would’ve been front page news at every newspaper in the world and led every broadcast in the world.
‘In my position, that’s something that might be of value to me.’