09:22 GMT25 February 2021
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    Over the weekend, it was reported that five lawyers from North and South Carolina had exited the legal defense team of the former US president, Donald Trump, who was impeached a second time on 13 January for "incitement of insurrection" for encouraging the deadly 6 January Capitol riot.

    The office of former US President Donald Trump on Sunday introduced new attorneys to head his legal defense team that will represent the former president in the upcoming impeachment trial.

    "Highly respected" trial lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L.Castor, who will join the team, both agree, according to the statement, that Trump's second impeachment is unconstitutional.

    "It is an honor to represent the 45th president, Donald J. Trump, and the United States Constitution", said Schoen, with Castor adding "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."

    Castor is described by the Trump team as a prominent Pennsylvania lawyer who on two occasions received state-wide Pennsylvania General Assembly recognition for his work, and is "recognised as among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers" in the US, from 2012 to present, and was included in the Pennsylvania Police Hall of Fame in 2007.

    Schoen, according to the Trump office, is a "seasoned trial attorney who has served as lead counsel in several high-profile matters", also representing victims of terrorism under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

    A report by The Daily Mail notes that, among his cases, there is one related to the late American paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who asked Schoen to lead his legal team shortly before his death in a prison cell in 2019. Castor was a district attorney for Montgomery County in Pennsylvania when actor Bill Cosby was accused multiple times of sexual assault. Castor declined to prosecute the actor, but his successor nevertheless saw Cosby convicted, guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

    Before the Trump announcement welcoming the two lawyers, it was reported that five attorneys had left the former president's employ, exiting his legal defense team. According to CNN, attorneys Josh Howard, Johnny Gasser, and Greg Harris decided to part ways with Trump, following similar "mutual" resignations from Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier.

    The impeachment trial is due to begin in two weeks, with the former president facing the accusation of "incitement of insurrection" for his encouragement of supporters leading up to the deadly 6 January Capitol attack that saw five killed, including a police officer, as pro-Trump supporters stormed the building.

    Trump denied responsibility for the insurrection, insisting that he never wanted violence on US streets and calling the unprecedented second impeachment "a hoax" and a "continuation of witch hunt".


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    Attorney, impeachment, Donald Trump, US
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