Bowers, Barbier and Howard’s decision not to join the team raised immediate questions about both what forced them to break up and who will actually play the role of attorney for Trump when the impeachment process begins in early February.
Trump struggled to find legal help for his second impeachment trial. Some of the lawyers who worked on his first trial said that they would not.
The hiring of Bowers was first announced by Trump Ally and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. As a longtime Republican attorney, Bowers represented the former South Carolina Govs. Mark Sanford and Nikki Haley and had experience in suffrage.
News Agencies in South Carolina also named Litigators Greg Harris and Johnny Gasser as part of Trump’s impeachment team, though Trump’s advisors never officially confirmed who would represent the former president.
In a statement, Trump spokesman Jason Miller did not address the uncertainty in the legal department but railed against the impeachment itself, noting that the vast majority of Senate Republicans voted that convicting a former president is an unconstitutional act – one Conclusion by which legal scholars disagree.
“The Democrats’ efforts to indict a president who has resigned are totally unconstitutional and so bad for our country,” Miller said. “In fact, 45 senators have already voted for it to be unconstitutional. We have done a lot of work, but done we haven’t made a final decision on our legal team, which will be made shortly.”
Trump had been charged by the House of Representatives for shedding light on the Capitol uprising on January 6. It would take two-thirds of the Senate to convict him, but a threshold that is unlikely to be reached.
“I’m really shocked by this,” said Dick Harpootlian, a well-known South Carolina attorney and longtime Democratic official in the state who has argued several cases against Bowers and knows him well. “These are honorable ethical attorneys that I have dealt with for many, many years.”
“To expect something to go without controversy and chaos would be too much to expect from this guy,” Harpootlian said of Trump.