Differences over strategy: Trump goes into impeachment proceedings with new defenders

Differences over strategy
Trump goes into impeachment proceedings with new defense lawyers

Donald Trump joins Marine One on Joe Biden’s inauguration day. Photo: Alex Brandon / AP / dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

At the last minute, Donald Trump introduces new lawyers to represent the former US President in the upcoming impeachment proceedings in the Senate. The previously planned team is said to have thrown – because of differences over the defense strategy.

Shortly before the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump began in the Senate, the former US president reorganized his defense.

Trump’s office announced on Sunday evening (local time) that the new defense team would be led by “highly respected trial lawyers” David Schoen and Bruce Castor. The broadcaster CNN reported on Sunday that the previous team had “practically collapsed” because the five lawyers that had previously been planned would not represent Trump.

The reason for this were differences in defense strategy, reported CNN. Trump demanded that lawyers focus on his unsubstantiated election fraud allegations instead of questioning the legality of impeachment proceedings against an already resigned president. The Senate proceedings are due to begin in the second week of February. Before that, first written statements by the defendant and the House of Representatives are planned.

The announcement from Trump’s office said that Schoen and Castor agreed that the trial against Trump was unconstitutional. A large majority of Republicans in the Senate also recently took this view: 45 of the 50 Republican Senators in the Chamber supported a motion from their own ranks in which the process was described as unconstitutional because Trump has already left office.

The House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Democrats, decided to open impeachment proceedings for “inciting riot” on January 13th. The background was the storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters a week earlier.

After Trump’s conviction, the Democrats are calling for the ex-president to be suspended from office for life at the federal level. This would rule out a possible candidacy of Trump in the presidential election in 2024. The two-thirds majority in the Senate, which is necessary for a conviction, is not emerging. This would require 17 Republicans to vote with the 50 Democrats.

It is also controversial among lawyers whether impeachment proceedings against an ex-president are constitutional. The corresponding constitutional article explicitly names presidents, vice-presidents and government officials against whom such proceedings can be directed. However, the Congressional Scientific Service (CRS) writes: “It appears that most of the scholars who have studied the issue have concluded that Congress has the power to extend impeachment to government officials who are no longer in the Are in office. ”


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