The Senate trial is scheduled to start the week of Feb. 8
Former President Donald Trump on Sunday announced a new legal defense team after he parted ways with five of his impeachment lawyers just over a week before his Senate trial is set to begin, Fox News has confirmed.
South Carolina lawyers Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier and former federal prosecutors Greg Harris, Johnny Gasser and Josh Howard had left the defense team by Saturday, a source said, calling it a mutual decision.
The source said the lawyers left over a difference of opinion on the direction of the defense’s argument.
Another anonymous source told the Associated Press Bowers and Barbier left because Trump wanted them to make election fraud allegations during the trial.
Trump will now be represented by trial lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr.
The changes come with little time before the former president faces charges that he incited the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, leaving the exact members of his defense team and their approach up in the air at a crucial moment.
Trump was all but certain to be acquitted, however, because 45 out of 50 Republicans in the Senate voted earlier this month to dismiss the trial on a point of order brought forward by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.
The remaining five Republicans voted with Democrats to end debate on Paul’s motion that argued Trump’s impeachment trial is unconstitutional because he’s no longer in office.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.