It was reported last night that five of Donald Trump’s lawyers for his upcoming impeachment trial had left his legal team, including two “lead” lawyers, reportedly over a disagreement on legal strategy. These included Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, both of South Carolina.
This indicates a major shift in legal strategy. As attorney Robert Barnes had explained on a show earlier that day, the departing lawyers had been brought in by closet never-Trumper Lindsey Graham:
[The way] the president could challenge [the impeachment] is that he’s been denied due process already and would be on a continuous basis. So the bill of attainder violation, first amendment violation, fifth amendment violation, and this not fitting the constitutional definition of impeachment, are all grounds he could challenge in the courts. So he could have challenged in the courts; he still can challenge in the courts, however it appears he won’t.
He may move to dismiss before the Senate, but what’s happening is — this is a constant refrain in Trump world [heeding bad counsel from those who don’t have his interests in mind-A.D.] — he decided to hire someone at the recommendation of Lindsey Graham. And so the defense is almost being structured by Lindsey Graham as much as it is by Trump.
Lindsey Graham’s pitch is “don’t challenge the Senate’s power, don’t go to court, don’t contest it in that way,” also telling him “don’t use it as an opportunity to document issues related to the election and whether the election was on the up-and-up in 2020, don’t be in any way dismissive of the proceedings, on whether it’s a violation of constitutional provisions to even hold them. Just hold a limited trial presentation that still argues the Senate may not have the authority to do so, but more so, argue that — he didn’t do anything that’s in fact impeachable as a high crime or misdemeanor, he did no illicit incitement, and so forth.”
Now that Lindsey Graham’s picks are out, it appears Trump may indeed bring legal challenges against the impeachment to the courts.
Which means the President may actually get a fair hearing after all. Should a court–the U.S. Supreme Court, in all likelihood–take up this matter, it will be the House and Senate Democrats on trial. Given the flagrant unconstitutionality of the whole affair and the obvious malice with which this impeachment was brought forth, it’s hard to imagine the court would not throw the article of impeachment in the garbage and put an end to this sham proceeding.
Even more encouraging is that the President finally seems to have made a smart move, and turned down the advice of his enemies.