Donald Trump's entire legal team quits week before impeachment trial: Sources



All five of the impeachment lawyers who were expected to represent former President Donald Trump have called it quits, sources told ABC News.

The team, led by South Carolina lawyer Butch Bowers, resigned in part because of disagreements over how to mount Trump’s defense, the sources said. The lawyers had planned to argue the constitutionality of holding a trial given Trump is now a former president.

MORE: To achieve unity, we need the Trump impeachment trial: OPINION

The disagreements over strategy varied, sources told ABC News, but Trump wanted his team to argue there was election fraud, while the lawyers and some top advisers to the former president wanted the focus to remain on the constitutionality of a trial with the president no longer in office.

A source close to the former president described the change as a “mutual decision” between the parties.

Trump was impeached by the House on Jan. 13 on a single article for “incitement of insurrection” following the violent siege at the U.S. Capitol that left one police officer and four others dead and left members of Congress and their staffs fearing for their lives. The insurrection, which took place Jan. 6, was preceded by a Trump rally when he told his followers to head to the Capitol and repeatedly said they should fight for him.

Mary Ann Chastain/AP, FILEMary Ann Chastain/AP, FILE

In this Sept. 10, 2009, file photo, attorney Butch Bowers speaks during a news conference at the S…Read More

"The Democrats’ efforts to impeach a president who has already left office is totally unconstitutional and so bad for our country. In fact, 45 Senators have already voted that it is unconstitutional. We have done much work, but have not made a final decision on our legal team, which will be made shortly,” Jason Miller, a spokesperson for Trump, told ABC News Saturday.

The Senate trial is scheduled to begin on the week of Feb. 8. Two-thirds of the Senate – or 67 senators – would need to vote to convict Trump to be successful. That means 17 GOP senators would need to come to the Democrats’ side.

MORE: Pelosi claims the ‘enemy is within the House of Representatives’

Sources believe there will be another round of additions to the team in the coming days though the process is nowhere near finalized with just over a week to go. Many attorneys who worked with or represented Trump during the last impeachment trial are declining to defend him in the Senate.

Trump’s former top lawyer, Jay Sekulow, who represented him at his first impeachment trial, will not be taking part in this trial. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, also said he will not be representing the former president after appearing at the same rally that preceded the siege on the Capitol on Jan. 6.

He isn’t president anymore. Who cares about impeachment trials

This impeachment trial is a total waste of time and totally divisive for the country. As long as the Democrats keep doing stuff like this, Biden’s claim that he is “a uniter” is as phony as a three dollar bill issued by the U.S. Government. (Private banks did issue them before the Civil War.)


More American citizens died in the domestic terrorist attack on Jan 6 than Benghazi. I remember quite a few prominent right wingers frothing at the mouth of that incident for years and years. What occurred was a direct result of Trump and his enablers spreading lies about the election for months and essentially exacerbating a volatile situation. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ensure steps are made so the capital of the United States isn’t ground zero for a terrorist attack like what occurred.

The people who died were mainly Trump supporters: one murdered by a policemen, two others of natural causes. One policeman was killed by a Trump supporter, who will no doubt be prosecuted for it and rightly so.

If Trump had said, ‘Storm the Capitol’, then impeachment would be trivial – he should be tried for something far more serious. But to try someone because speeches he made, while not direct incitements, could be construed as causing people to commit felonies, is a terrible idea.

And note that Nancy Pelosi, ten years earlier, praised demonstrators who stormed and occupied the Wisconsin Capitol building.

Under that proposal. the vile Al Sharpton, loved by Democrats, should be tried for inciting the lynching of a Jew: From the Wikipedia article on this piece of human garbage:

The Crown Heights riot began on August 19, 1991, after a car driven by a Jewish man, and part of a procession led by an unmarked police car, went through an intersection and was struck by another vehicle causing it to veer onto the sidewalk where it accidentally struck and killed a seven-year-old and severely injured his cousin Angela. Witnesses could not agree upon the speed and could not agree whether the light was yellow or red. One of the factors that sparked the riot was the arrival of a private ambulance, which was later discovered to be on the orders of a police officer who was worried for the Jewish driver’s safety, removed him from the scene while Cato lay pinned under his car After being removed from under the car, Cato and his cousin were treated soon after by a city ambulance. and African-American residents of the neighborhood rioted for four consecutive days fueled by rumors that the private ambulance had refused to treat Cato. During the riot black youths looted stores, beat Jews in the street, and clashed with groups of Jews, hurling rocks and bottles at one another after Yankel Rosenbaum, a visiting student from Australia, was stabbed and killed by a member of a mob while some chanted “Kill the Jew”, and “get the Jews out”.

Sharpton marched through Crown Heights and in front of the [headquarters] of the Chabad Hasidic movement , shortly after the riot, with about 400 protesters (who chanted “Whose streets? Our streets!” and " No justice, no peace , in spite of Mayor David Dinkins attempts to keep the march from happening. Some commentators felt Sharpton inflamed tensions by making remarks that included “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmakas back and come over to my house.” ) In the decades since, Sharpton has conceded that his language and tone “sometimes exacerbated tensions” though he insisted that his marches were peaceful. In a 2019 speech to a Reform Jewish gathering, Sharpton said that he could have “done more to heal rather than harm”. He recalled receiving a call from at the time, during which she told him “sometimes you are tempted to speak to the applause of the crowd rather than the heights of the cause, and you will say cheap things to get cheap applause rather than do high things to raise the nation higher”

In 1995 a black Church, the United House of Prayer, which owned a retail property on [125th Street] asked Fred Harari, a [Jewish]( tenant who operated Freddie’s Fashion Mart, to evict his longtime subtenant, a black-owned record store called The Record Shack. Sharpton led a protest in against the planned eviction of The Record Shack, in which he told the protesters, "We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.

On December 8, 1995, Roland J. Smith Jr., one of the protesters, entered Harari’s store with a gun and flammable liquid, shot several customers and set the store on fire. The gunman fatally shot himself, and seven store employees died of smoke inhalation Fire Department officials discovered that the store’s sprinkler had been shut down, in violation of the local fire code. Sharpton claimed that the perpetrator was an open critic of himself and his nonviolent tactics. In 2002, Sharpton expressed regret for making the racial remark “white interloper” but denied responsibility for inflaming or provoking the violence "


I admit it was an off the cuff remark on my part, and didn’t really contribute much to the conversation. What is baffling to be is how dismissive certain elected officials are about the incident when it could have gotten real wrong real quick. Keep in mind, panic buttons were removed prior to the riot, which would have left officials isolated in front of an angry mob. Not a good scenario. The other thing I’m not too impressed with is the profligate amount of whataboutism that is being raised to somehow legitimise what happened. The obvious and prominent comparison is to BLM protests. I would say vandalism should result in criminal proceedings no matter what the context. I would also point out that law enforcement response to BLM was vastly, VASTLY different in proportion or restraint used on January 6th. I would also argue that there is a plethora of documented evidence of Police using excessive force throughout recent historical events (just recently some cops thought it would be a good idea to pepper spray a nine year old child WHO WAS IN HANDCUFFS and the Police Union’s first instinct was to defend the police involved) and the January 6 riot was about election fraud that doesn’t exist. The motives, justification and responses in comparing BLM protests to January 6 are so diametrically opposed there can be no reasonable comparison between the two.

I believe Al Sharpton played a part in Yankel Rosenbaum’s death. I don’t think he is criminally culpable, any more than I think Trump is criminally culpable for what happened Jan 6. There is an important difference between being accountable and criminally accountable.
I’d also point out, Al Sharpton didn’t spend months before and after Gavin Cato’s death promoting anti-semitism. Trump started his election fraud BS as far back as June and was still spouting debunked crap months after the election - over six months of setup. That is a deliberate choice on Trump’s part.
Personally, I believe that whilst there are differences between the incident you outlined and what Trump did, I think Sharpton should have been disqualified for running any political office, chair any lobby group, head any charity or be part of any PAC (though I suspect PACs didn’t exist in the 90’s, maybe someone can clarify). But I don’t think he should be criminally charged with anything. I believe the same thing should happen to Trump with the exception of being disqualified of running a charity because Trump doesn’t claim to be a religious leader unlike Sharpton.

Hope that clears my point of view.

We don’t basically disagree.

Look … Trump is a millstone around our necks. There is a saying – more an aspiration than a generalized truth, unfortunately – “Cometh the hour, cometh the man.” Well … Americans were incredibly lucky with the people they had on hand when it came time to break free from Britain.

JFK once had a dinner, or some such event, for a couple of dozen of the top brains in America. He joked that never had the White House had such an assembly of intellectual talent, with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. And Jefferson was just one of many. You read what these men wrote – as they argued about what sort of constitution a nation should have – and compare it to current political discourse … and you feel a mixture of awe and depression.

History blessed us. She did it again with Abraham Lincoln. And again, she blessed all of us, the whole world, with Winston Churchill. The individual plays a huge role in history. I think we were also lucky with FDR, although he’s not in the same league as the other men I’ve mentioned.

Now the US – which, like it or not, is critical for the whole free world – has entered another crisis. Perhaps ‘crisis’ is not quite the word, since this one is slower to develop. But we need a Jefferson, a Lincoln, a Churchill … hell, I’ll settle for an FDR or JFK.

And history gave us … Mr Trump. She decided to tease us.

There is a saying that people get the government they deserve. I’ve never believed this. As Trotsky pointed out, the Russian people got three distinctly different governments in the couse of ten months in 1917.

But there is a kernel of truth there.

A lot of decent people – and maybe some indecent people – in the US, who are upset about what is happening to their country, are … let’s be blunt … not terribly bright and not very informed about politics and society. And some of them are paranoid. These are different sets, although they intersect.

It’s just where we are. The American working class is being hollowed out, and its latest generation is starting to match the irresponsible behavior of young ghetto Black males. (Disproving, incidentally, the “It’s all their genes” theory. Social conditions are the key factor.)

America will soon be Number Two in the world, economically and militarily. This is a hugely dangerous situation … World War III could be the result.

Trump responded to a real situation, one requring a Lincoln-esque figure. He didn’t solve it, and his failure was not mainly his fault. It’s the ‘fault’ of the leadership of the conservative/patriotic base, mainly. They don’t understand what’s happening, and want to carry on business as usual.

So we await our Jefferson, our Lincoln, our Churchill.

Maybe we’ll get lucky. Maybe history will relent, and decide that the arrogant Yankees, sitting on top of the world for seventy years as the result of a war that they had to be dragged into and which was mainly won by Russian blood, have been punished enough.

And I shouldn’t have to say that the outcome is going to affect the entire world, including those free nations, like your own, who are within the Greater East (and West and beyond) Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. (If I were an Aussie, I’d be pressing my government to acquire nuclear weapons.)

So there are some cheerful thoughts!

  1. The four rioters who died at the capital took their fate into their own hands. The four who died at Benghazi were more like the guard; people who died defending something that mattered.

  2. While the attack went on, Obama went to sleep then got up the next day to go to a fundraiser. He acted as if it didn’t concern him.

Then… when the backlash hit, proceeded to lie about why the attack happened. Blaming a video, and arresting the person who made it. A person who did nothing wrong.

Did we arrest the wrong people here and try to use them as a scapegoat?

Trump ultimately took responsibility by admitting his loss. What responsibility did Obama or Clinton take for Benghazi? Ever?


The storming of the Capitol was an unorganized mob; the Benghazi attack was part of a large organized movement. And as I noted elsewhere, I believe the Dems have culpability in both (the Capitol attack, because the Speaker of the House is in ultimate authority over Capitol security).

Then why support impeachment, since impeachment is for “high crimes and misdemeanors?”

Well, crap. Alaska Slim is making me agree with him again…

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Well, this is interesting.

Donald Trump refuses to testify at impeachment trial over US Capitol riot, adviser and lawyers say

The fact that Trump is a spineless coward isn’t up for debate. That ship has sailed. The shameless hypocrisy of someone who called anyone who pleads the fifth guilty not having the balls to stand by their convictions is pretty telling.

To the people who still support this man, why?

? You’re saying it’s fear that must be motivating him, when it could be obstinance.

This is beneath me, and impeaching after-the-fact is a sham”.

How is that any less likely? Given that it’s Trump, I think that’s more like him.

I don’t support him, but I don’t hold him responsible for the riots.

The pipe bombs were planted before he gave that speech. Someone was attacking, it didn’t matter what he did. At worst, telling people to shout at the capital building gave the conspirators cover.

This also riffs on Benghazi; that too wasn’t spontaneous, the attacks were planned.

That’s right. I am saying that. Obstinance implies pride and Trump has no shame. He is a spineless coward.

I think I agree, so I’ll clarify. Donald Trump did not twirl a moustache and then concoct an evil plan that culminated into the Jan6 riot. That did not happen.

I am saying that Donald Trump has a following, he is very much aware that he has a following, there is evidence of him antagonizing such following, he is aware of this, he has done this for years, he did this on Jan6 and didn’t care about the repercussions.

Such a person should not be in charge of anything and that is what I hope this impeachment brings forth. If there were a more eloquent procedure in US government that could handle this other than impeachment, I would support that instead. Work with what you’ve got, I suppose.

And just to clarify, Trump’s actions before during and prior to Jan6 are very different to Hillary Clinton RE Benghazi. At no time did Clinton try to empathize with the Benghazi terrorists. “We love you” was not in her vocabulary.

I voted for him in 2016 because Hillary Clinton was simply one of the worst presidential candidates in history. She was totally dishonest because she wanted the office for the power, money and aggrandizement. She had no agenda beyond self-promotion.

During his first three years, Trump was a pleasant surprise. He lowered taxes, supported entrepreneurship and represented the interests of the American worker. He also made great strides for peace in the Middle East by getting Arab nations to recognize Israel.

Covid wrecked his presidency, in part because he did not handle the public relations aspect of it well. He had rambling, unfocused press conferences where he talked for too long which resulted in embarrassing mistakes. He should have not blown off the disease as a minor, temporary problem. He should have sent the message that it was a major problem and that we were all in the fight to stop it together. He was spot-on with his work to get a vaccine out in record time.

I don’t know if we will ever know the true results in Michigan and Pennsylvania, but after it became evident that he had lost the election, he should have done the best he could with the vaccine roll-out. Instead he wasted political capital on a futile attempt to reverse the reported results. Had he acted more presidential, he might have retained leadership in the party and had a shot in 2024. As it is I’d say he’s finished.

Nah, pride comes from a literal different circuit in the brain than fear, that’s mixing emotions.

It’s not like it couldn’t be both, but “That’s beneath me” seems more like the mindset, given that was answer in previous cases where he was asked to give testimony (anything to do with Russia or Flynn). But, I’m just speculating.

I agree, except, he’s an organic to response to what people are suffering when that suffering is ignored.

You’re not going to stop people like him by going after him; he’s just the coalesced figurehead of a feeling that’s broadly shared. Others can slip into his mold, and continue doing the same thing.

You have to go after why people feel compelled to put him in power to begin with. Why they think he represents a tradeoff they can accept.

We know this wasn’t a corporate or rich-billionaire conspiracy, those interests were mostly against him. They don’t like protectionism, they don’t antagonizing our trade partners.

Rather, this was mostly poor, blue collar folks, who felt so desperate as to break traditional Democrat Firewalls and usher him into office. So why do they feel desperate?

Can we not hope for a constructive answer to that, rather than playing turf wars or blame games?
Which will likely just continue the cycle of brinkmanship we’re all sick of?

Not quite, Trump decried the attacks, said that anyone attacking the guards were against America.

Clinton scapegoated an innocent person, ruined his life, and set back free speech protections by about 20 years.

I’m not seeing what’s better about that, especially not systemically. An elite punching down unlawfully and getting away with it doesn’t inspire confidence in the system. Especially when the entire action was just meant to cover not a belief, not a policy she hoped for, but simply a mistake she refused to admit to.

It was her call not to equip Benghazi with more protection, even after the Ambassador requested it.

It was her call to deny AFRICOM’s offer to leave spec ops forces in the area as said protection when they noticed Sate Departments assets were vulnerable.

She made that call, she had reasons for it I’m sure, but she didn’t explain herself, and she didn’t own it when it turned out to be a mistake. Instead, she scapegoated someone else and set a precedent people after her will take advantage of to deflect blame the same way. At the cost of our own Freedom of Speech.

Well, crap. I agree with you again.

So why should I care about impeaching a man who was president when a bunch of ANTIFA idiots show up to the capitol to burn sh-- down under the guise of conservatives going insane?

And where is the outrage for the cities that burned to the ground while BLM went nuts for months? Do I really care about some broken windows on a government building when people had their lives destroyed? For months? While the lefty media tried to pretend like it was the greatest thing ever?

I remember it wasn’t long ago when people were saying the only cure for the coof is rioting. Because when you’re burning sh-- down, no need to enforce mask laws.

I’m sorry.

Thinking about all this gets me heated.


Let me know when anything like that happens. In case you missed the point, I’m saying you can’t even point to a single member of antifa who was at the Capitol on Jan 6. And to continue to assert that antifa was to blame given the plethora of Trump supporters who have been arrested is simply arguing in bad faith on your part.

Which city burned to the ground? I missed that. I remember occasional shops being burned and windows being smashed. I also remember no one endorsing it and key political leaders condemning it so I’m not sure what your point is here.

You appear to like hyperbolic exaggerations. Fair enough, just don’t expect to be taken seriously.

How’s this for a revolutionary idea - the media, ALL MEDIA, is lazy. And rioting at the Capitol with a gallows for the Vice President and the President’s personal lawyer demanding trial by combat makes great television. That is very different to what you are asserting. Now, if you were to ask me what I think I would say the fact the capital of the country that claims to be the world’s best democracy can be easily overrun by an astroturfed mob is a worry. But certainly not the greatest thing ever. That honour goes to barbeque glaze for pork ribs.

Literally nobody said that also:

Mate, it took me five seconds to find these pictures. Along with the masks and the distancing, you might notice a distinct absence of burning.

Being passionate is great. If you’re not standing for something you don’t have the right to complain in my opinion. I would suggest that you make sure the things you’re raging against are real however. Cities burning to the ground and antifa being some cabal of Bond villains carrying out false flag operations isn’t even close to reality.

Do a search on recent BLM protests, and you’ll find plenty of pics where they’re not wearing masks and maintaining distance (or a mixed bag).

And the media has an annoying tendency to look the other way when the burning is going on.


The classic scene was when a progressive newsman standing with a burning building describing the demonstration as “mostly peaceful.” It’s straight out of Orwell.

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It took me 5 seconds to find this.

Utah Man with a History of Organizing Violent Antifa, BLM Protests, Was Inside the Capitol

Utah Man with a History of Organizing Violent Antifa, BLM Protests, Was Inside the Capitol

We’re beginning to learn more about the individuals who were inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

A young man named John Sullivan was there. He’s from Utah and the founder of “Insurgence USA,” which is a group dedicated to “racial justice and police reform.” According to numerous news reports, he has a history of organizing leftist protests and identifies with Black Lives Matter.