House Democrats pushed an effort to impeach and remove President Donald Trump in the final days of his current term in the White House, though it is clear any such Senate trial will not be concluded until well after he has left office.
Among the questions surrounding the process is who might serve as the president’s legal defense team — but it appears his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani will not be leading the charge.
“Unable to participate”
According to the New York Post, the former New York City mayor will not reprise his role as Trump’s impeachment lawyer and cited his own speech prior to the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill as the primary reason.
Giuliani reportedly noted that he could be called as a witness in the trial in removing himself from consideration.
“Because I gave an early speech [at the rally], I am a witness and therefore unable to participate in court or in the Senate chamber,” he said in a statement on Sunday to ABC News.
His earlier remarks on the topic indicated that he was already working on a defense strategy for the president, part of which reportedly included the argument that Trump did not incite the crowd of his supporters to commit violence in staging a breach of the Capitol building to oppose the results of November’s electoral vote tally.
As it turns out, Giuliani could potentially face his own legal jeopardy for his rhetoric at the D.C. rally — specifically his call for “trial by combat” in settling election-related disputes with lawmakers.
“We will keep you informed”
With him apparently out of contention, it remains to be seen who will get the nod to fill out his team of lawyers. As of this writing, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley has confirmed that no official decisions have been finalized.
“President Trump has not yet made a determination as to which lawyer or law firm will represent him for the disgraceful attack on our Constitution ad democracy, known as the ‘impeachment hoax,'” Gidley tweeted. “We will keep you informed.”
In addition to Giulini, another prominent legal ally to the president has also reportedly been dropped from consideration.
According to the Boston Globe, famed attorney and Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz revealed in an interview that he would not be joining Trump’s defense team for his second impeachment, which he deemed “political theater” and declared that he was not “a politician or an actor.”
Dershowitz declared that he does not “see a role for a real lawyer to play in this show trial” but insisted that he would continue defending Trump “in the court of public opinion.”