Five of the former US President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team lawyers have left the ex-president's employ, US media reported on Saturday.
According to CNN's report, North Carolina attorney Josh Howard, as well as attorneys Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris, will stop working for Trump. The lawyers had not yet been paid any advance fees.
Earlier on Saturday, Politico reported that South Carolina lawyers Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier were no longer working for the former US president. One source told the outlet that neither of the two lawyers would remain with Trump and added that it was a "mutual decision."
The US House impeached Trump for an unprecedented second time earlier this month, charging him with "incitement of insurrection" for encouraging his supporters in the deadly 6 January riot at the Capitol building that saw five killed. Trump has rejected the accusations, claiming that the speech he delivered before his supporters stormed the Capitol building was "totally appropriate." The attackers were reportedly trying to prevent Congress from certifying US President Joe Biden's election victory. The goal of the riot was not a success.
Following the second House impeachment, Trump’s second impeachment trial in the US Senate is set to start 9 February. Although Trump is no longer president, the Senate can still convict him and vote to ban him from ever again running for office. However, a required two-thirds threshold is unlikely to be hit in the Senate.
Trump's first impeachment by the Democratic-controlled House occurred in December 2019. He was then permitted to keep his office through the process of a Senate acquittal in February 2020 (with one Republican voting in favor of one article of his impeachment).