Trump Announces Legal Defense Team for Senate Impeachment Trial

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Posted: Jan 31, 2021 8:00 PM
Trump Announces Legal Defense Team for Senate Impeachment Trial

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

On Sunday, President Trump announced two highly respected lawyers will be heading up his impeachment legal defense team. The former president stands accused of inciting the U.S. Capitol riot earlier this month. 

Two lawyers, David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr. will defend the president in his second impeachment as Democrats lay out what is sure to be a case built heavily on emotions. Schoen has already hit the ground running, working with the former president and his current advisors in preparation for the upcoming trial. 

Both lawyers agree the current impeachment case is unconstitutional.

"I consider it a privilege to represent the 45th President," said Castor. "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."

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

Beth wrote earlier about the resignations of five lawyers from the former president's defense team. The departures come after a reported disagreement over the focus of the president's defense arguments. The departing lawyers wanted to focus on the unconstitutional basis of the latest impeachment drive, whereas the president would like to focus on issues surrounding fraud in the presidential election. 

Given the makeup of the current Senate, it's highly unlikely Trump will be convicted on the lone article of impeachment against him. The trial is scheduled to begin on Feb. 8. 

The Office of Donald J. Trump provided bios for the two attorneys:  

"Mr. David Schoen is a seasoned trial attorney who has served as lead counsel in several high-profile matters. In 1995, the American Bar Association honored his work with its National Pro Bono Publico Award. According to several federal judges interviewed in connection with his nomination for the award, Mr. Schoen’s litigation was responsible for more change in public institutions in the South, including prisons, jails, public education, foster care, indigent defense and others, than the work of any other lawyer in this era. Mr. Schoen is also the recipient of the Hon. David S. Nelson Public Interest Award. More recently, Mr. Schoen represented victims of terrorism under the Anti-Terrorism Act, traveling overseas to take the depositions of some arch terrorists and otherwise seeking to hold accountable those who provide material support for terrorism against Americans. Today, Mr. Schoen practices law all around the country, focusing on civil rights litigation in Alabama and federal criminal defense work, including white collar and other complex cases, in New York. Mr. Schoen is the chair of the ABA's Criminal Justice Subcommittee of the Civil Rights Litigation Committee. Mr. Schoen holds a LL.M. degree from Columbia Law School and has taught as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall Law School."

"Mr. Bruce L. Castor, Jr., is the former District Attorney of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, serving in that role from 2000 to 2008. Mr. Castor was later twice-elected Commissioner of Montgomery County and assumed that office on January 7, 2008, concentrating on Public Safety and related matters building on his career in law enforcement. Mr. Castor also served as Solicitor General and acting Attorney General of Pennsylvania. In 1995, he received the Trial Advocacy Award from the National Association of Government Attorneys for his work investigating and prosecuting homicides. He received state-wide recognition for his efforts by the Pennsylvania General Assembly on two occasions. Mr. Castor has been granted many honors throughout his career, including being named a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer” by Philadelphia Magazine from 2005 to 2008 and 2011 to present. He has also been recognized as among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America from 2012 to present. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Police Hall of Fame in 2007, a rare honor for a prosecutor. In 2009, Mr. Castor was chosen by his peers as a Fellow (later elevated to Senior Fellow) of the Litigation Counsel of America, the national trial lawyer honor society, and eventually appointed a member of Elite American Lawyers, and of the National Academy of Jurisprudence. Mr. Castor is a member of the bar of Pennsylvania, The United States Supreme Court, The Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and the Federal District Courts for the Eastern District and the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Mr. Castor received his undergraduate degree from Lafayette College and his law degree from Washington and Lee University, where he received the only graduation prize awarded for criminal law from the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell. He has received advanced education from the National College of District Attorneys and at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia."