Criminal Justice

Who will defend Trump in second impeachment trial? ‘He’s not going to get the A team,’ one prof says

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Donald Trump

President Donald Trump in August 2019. Photo by Aaron Schwartz/

As President Donald Trump looks for lawyers to defend him in a second impeachment trial, some suggest that he might be struggling in the effort.

“With less than a week before Trump exits the presidency,” Bloomberg Law reports, “there’s little incentive for lawyers to take on an unpopular client accused of encouraging his supporters to maraud through the Capitol.”

Keith Whittington, a politics professor at Princeton University, said lawyers who step up to defend Trump now could see their reputations tarnished.

“He’s not going to get the A team,” Whittington told Bloomberg Law.

Lawyers have been targeted for representing Trump, and the environment is intimidating, said Jonathan Turley, a professor at the George Washington University Law School.

“The harassment and doxing of lawyers has been unprecedented,” Turley told Bloomberg Law.

Turley said some have raised the idea that he join the defense team. He didn’t elaborate, except to tell Bloomberg Law, “My role has been as a noncombatant, and that’s how I’d prefer it to stay.”

Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, was on Trump’s defense team in the first impeachment trial.

Dershowitz told Bloomberg Law that he’s not planning to represent Trump now, although he thinks Trump’s remarks to supporters on the day of the U.S. Capitol riot are protected by the First Amendment. Dershowitz also thinks the Senate doesn’t have jurisdiction to try the impeachment case after Trump leaves office.

Rudy Giuliani has also been mentioned as a possibility, according to Reuters. Giuliani led the legal team challenging election results for Trump and was at the Jan. 6 rally.

On Thursday, Trump praised Giuliani through the Twitter account of an adviser, the New York Times reports.

“Just spoke with President Trump, and he told me that @RudyGiuliani is a great guy and a Patriot who devoted his services to the country! We all love America’s Mayor!” the tweet said.

Some have suggested that the defense team could include John Eastman, a newly retired professor at Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law who also spoke at the Jan. 6 rally. He didn’t comment when contacted by Bloomberg Law and was noncommittal when he spoke to Reuters.

“If the president of the United States asked me to consider helping him, I would certainly give it consideration,” Eastman told Reuters.

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