The shape and makeup of President Donald Trump‘s upcoming impeachment trial remains to be seen, but there’s a possibility that his allies in the House of Representatives might join his team.
Here’s how The Wall Street Journal construed it in a profile that centered around White House counsel Pat Cipollone:
The White House is also considering adding some of the president’s staunchest defenders on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees to the Senate trial team, according to a person familiar with the deliberations.
Specific House allies weren’t name-checked in the article under this context. Vocal Trump supporters in the House include Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California, 22nd District), the ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, and temporary member of the Intelligence Committee Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio, 4th District).
Trump has reportedly said Cipollone would lead the defense team, but is thinking about adding others who have TV experience. You’re probably familiar with personal attorney Jay Sekulow and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz. Both have gone to bat for the president.
Of course, much of this is up in the air, and these details come from on-background sources discussing an ever-shifting process, but if House allies are recruited to the trial team, it might run into opposition from Dems.
This is how Ross Garber, an impeachment expert who teaches at Tulane Law School, saw it:
Curious that members of the Legislative Branch would formally represent the Executive, esp in a House v POTUS proceeding. I’d expect an objection from managers/Senate Dems. (Informal advice is one thing, but acting as the President’s – or Presidency’s – lawyers is different.) https://t.co/frwuA9aPFU
— Ross Garber (@rossgarber) December 30, 2019
Note: We added a line clarifying that specific House allies weren’t name-checked.
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