President Donald Trump is settling on the team that will represent him at his upcoming impeachment trial. Two key names won’t come as a surprise. They will be White House Counsel Pat A. Cipollone, and Trump personal attorney Jay Sekulow, according to The New York Times.
“The truth is, we’ve been prepared to proceed as soon as the articles were adopted,” Sekulow told the outlet. “We’ve been prepared, we are prepared and we will be prepared for any contingencies.”
Trump was impeached last month along a mostly party-line vote after allegedly making military aid to the Ukraine contingent on the nation investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden. The Times describes Cipollone and Sekulow as “the two constants,” and they are expected to have speaking roles during the proceedings.
Patrick F. Philbin and Michael M. Purpura, both deputy counsels to the president, are reportedly also going to be involved, but it’s worth mentioning their names were supplied on background by two figures “familiar with the plans.” They weren’t allowed to talk about the planning stages of the defense. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, a Trump legal defender who said he voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016, may reportedly play a low-key part in the defense. Other members of the White House counsel’s office will also participate.
The question now is if Trump’s staunch GOP allies will help defend him in some capacity at the trial. Three names were floated: Rep. Doug Collins (R-Georgia, 9th District), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio, 4th district), and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas, 4th District). Sen. Mitch McConnell recommended against it, however, according to sources close the president.
As ever, Trump argued Sunday that the impeachment hearing against him was a partisan smear campaign.
Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, “no pressure” Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
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