WASHINGTON—Sunday Donald Trump hired two new lawyers to be his impeachment defense team after he got rid of his prior group of legal defenders.
The two lawyers representing him will be David Schoen, a criminal defense lawyer who works out of Alabama and New York, and Bruce Castor, a former county prosecutor in Pennsylvania.
Both issued statements yesterday saying they were “honored” to take the job of defending the indefensible.
They immediately confirmed that the main defense of the former president will not focus on proving that he did not actually provoke the deadly coup attempt on Jan. 6 but that it will instead make the absurd claim that a president no longer in office cannot be impeached. The Trump lawyers can be expected to grandstand as defenders of a Constitution under assault by Democrats bent on a partisan bashing of the sacred document that has guided the country for centuries.
“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,” said Castor, who served as district attorney for Montgomery County, outside of Philadelphia, from 2000 to 2008.
No announcement was made about why Trump got rid of the previous lawyers who were supposed to represent him. It is believed that the reasons range from the incompetence of the lawyers in the group to disagreements with their planned strategy—a strategy that focused more on disproving the connection between Trump’s provocative speech and the actual right-wing insurrection that directly followed it. Some think Trump started to worry that the lawyers, most of them coming from South Carolina, may have been too closely tied to GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is thought to have fallen out of favor with Trump.
Trump has difficulty in both procuring and keeping the services of lawyers because of his reputation for not baying his legal bills. He has instructed staff, for example, not to pay any of the enormous bills he has gotten from Rudy Giuliani. He is reported to be angry with the former New York mayor for not having succeeded in his attempts to overturn the election results in the courts.
Hopefully, for their sakes, the new lawyers now “honored” to work for Trump will be satisfied with those honors since it is unlikely that they too will ever be fully paid.
Trump, the first president in American history to be impeached twice, is set to stand trial in the Senate on a charge that he incited his supporters to storm Congress on Jan. 6 as lawmakers met to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
The Trump argument and the argument on which the majority of Republicans have settled will be simple: Trump’s trial is unconstitutional, they will say because he is no longer in office.
It should be noted, however, that the overwhelming majority of legal scholars say it is perfectly legal and constitutional to impeach a president who is out of office.
They note that if that were not the case the officeholder could commit egregious crimes and avoid any consequences by resigning before he or she is held accountable.
In addition to the argument about constitutionality, the Trump lawyers are expected to throw in a sob story about how the process of impeachment is “bad for the country.”
“The Democrats’ efforts to impeach a president who has already left office is totally unconstitutional and so bad for our country,” Trump adviser Jason Miller said.
He did not address how bad for the country it would be to allow a president who staged an attempted coup to get away with paying absolutely no consequences for endangering the nation that way. In this case that attempted coup resulted in five deaths and destruction to the U.S. Capitol.
John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People’s World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union’s campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and ’80s he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper’s predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.