With just over a week until the start of his second impeachment trial, former President Donald Trump is having difficulties keeping legal representation.
"Five of former President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team attorneys have stepped aside a little more than a week before his Senate trial is set to begin, according to people familiar with the case, amid a disagreement over his legal strategy. It was a dramatic development in the second impeachment trial for Trump, who has struggled to find lawyers willing to take his case. And now, with legal briefs due next week and a trial set to begin only days later, Trump is clinging to his election fraud charade and suddenly finds himself without legal representation," CNN reported Saturday night.
"A person familiar with the departures told CNN that Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud and that the election was stolen from him rather than focus on the legality of convicting a president after he's left office. Trump was not receptive to the discussions about how they should proceed in that regard," CNN reported.
Legal experts were shocked by the development.
"There are few things that can lead experienced defense counsel to quit on the eve of trial. It's against our code! But a big one is if the client forces you to lie," former DOJ attorney Norm Eisen tweeted.
"Trump must have been demanding craziness - and then not paying," former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne suggested. "Perhaps Gym Jordan will represent?"
Prominent conservative lawyer George Conway visually summed up Trump's last-minute search for legal representation.
"I NEED YOU TO BE MY LAWYER" https://t.co/0rrO9p8Uys— George Conway (@George Conway)1612062947.0
Others wondered if Trump even needed a lawyer.
"Trump can always choose to rep himself at impeachment," former federal prosecutor Elie Honig noted.
Former SDNY U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara also noted that was an option.
"Self-representation would be great for ratings," he predicted.