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Trump announces legal team for Senate impeachment trial

Former president Donald Trump on Sunday announced the legal team that will handle his second impeachment trial in the Senate.

The announcement that lawyers David Schoen and Bruce Castor will lead Trump’s defense team came after a “mutual decision” to part ways with two South Carolina lawyers, Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, who were expected to represent him.

A third lawyer, Joshua Howard, also left the defense team.

Castor is the former Pennsylvania district attorney who declined to prosecute Bill Cosby in 2005 over an encounter with Andrea Constand the year before. Cosby was convicted of sexually assaulting Constand in 2018 after a different prosecutor pursued the case.

Schoen is a civil and criminal defense lawyer with offices in Alabama and New York.

The House delivered its article of impeachment to the Senate last week, charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The impeachment trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 9.

In a statement, Trump’s office said Schoen had already been preparing with other advisers for the trial, and that both lawyers believe the impeachment of the former president is unconstitutional.

The statement noted that 45 Republican senators voted Tuesday to back that assertion. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has said the former president must be held accountable for encouraging the riot, calling it “the most despicable thing any president has ever done.”

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