Meet the new lawyers taking over Trump's impeachment defense; 5 others are out
Former President Donald Trump. Photo from Shutterstock.com.
Former President Donald Trump has named two new lawyers to his impeachment defense team after lead lawyer Karl S. “Butch” Bowers Jr. abruptly left, along with four others.
Castor was Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, district attorney from 2000 to 2008, while Schoen is a frequent television legal commentator who helped represent Trump adviser Roger Stone in an appeal of his conviction for obstructing the probe of Russian election influence.
In Castor, “Trump is likely to find a defender who shares his penchant for theatrics,” according to the Philadephia Inquirer. “One who once threatened that reporters who dared show up at his home uninvited would be met by his wife—and her gun. And one who still harbors bitter feelings after his own brush with what he once described as the ‘will of the voters being overturned’ out from under him.”
Castor is a trial lawyer with Philadelphia law firm van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn and Levin, which focuses on personal injury and criminal defense. Besides serving as the Montgomery County district attorney, he was Pennsylvania’s solicitor general and, for a brief period, acting attorney general. He is a graduate of the Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Castor had declined to prosecute Bill Cosby in 2005. He later said the accuser, Andrea Constand, had waited a year before going to police, and he didn’t think there was sufficient evidence for a conviction. Cosby was convicted of sexually assaulting Constand in 2018.
Constand sued Castor for defamation and settled the case. Castor, in turn, sued Constand, claiming that her suit was intended to destroy his political career. The case was dismissed.
Schoen is a civil practitioner who focuses on litigation of complex civil and criminal cases before trial and appellate courts. His practice includes civil rights litigation, white-collar criminal defense and commercial litigation. He only takes a few cases per year, so he can give full attention to every detail, according to his website.
Schoen graduated from the Boston College Law School and received a master of laws from the Columbia University Law School. He has also served on the ABA Section of Litigation’s committees on trial evidence, legal ethics, indigent defense, civil rights and international litigation, according to his website.
Schoen was in the news when he told Fox News that multimillionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein spoke with him about leading his defense team in his sex trafficking case, and he didn’t think Epstein’s prison death was a suicide. He also spoke with the Atlanta Jewish Times about his role in an Epstein docudrama on the Discovery Channel.
He answered questions for the show, and there were no lines to learn.
“There is an upcoming HBO special I’ve been asked to appear in,” Schoen said. “But I’ve had enough. Takes too much time away from legal work.“
Schoen said he has represented accused rapists, capital murderers and international narcotics dealers. He has also represented people suing the police.
“Seen lots of police misconduct,” he said. “I turn down most of these cases, only taking ones in which the misconduct is crystal clear.”
He nonetheless opposes stripping police of resources.
Several publications, including the Washington Post and CNN, had cited anonymous sources who said the prior defense team had clashed with Trump over strategy. Trump reportedly wanted to emphasize election fraud during the impeachment trial. A Trump spokesman said the decision to end the representation was mutual.
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