Former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr., will lead former President Donald Trump’s legal defense team in his upcoming impeachment trial.
A spokesperson for Trump announced Sunday that Castor along with David Schoen will head the team.
“I consider it a privilege to represent the 45th President,” Castor wrote. “The strength of our Constitution is about to be tested like never before in our history. It is strong and resilient. A document written for the ages, and it will triumph over partisanship yet again, and always.”
Castor served as the District Attorney in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, from 2000 to 2008. He was also elected twice as the Commissioner of Montgomery County and served as Solicitor General and acting Attorney General of Pennsylvania as well.
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Castor also gained notoriety during the sex assault trial for Bill Cosby. Castor declined to arrest Cosby in 2005 after a lawsuit was filed against him by Andrea Constand.
The news comes a day after it was announced that South Carolina lawyers Butch Bowers and Deborah Darbier would no longer be part of Trump’s defense team. One of the people described the parting as a “mutual decision” that reflected a difference of opinion on the direction of the case. Both insisted on anonymity to discuss private conversations.
Greg Harris and Johnny Gasser, two former federal prosecutors from South Carolina, are also off the team, one of the people said.
The upheaval injected fresh uncertainty into the makeup and strategy of Trump's defense team as he prepares to face charges that he incited the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
However, all but five Senate Republicans this week voted in favor of an effort to dismiss the trial before it even started, making clear a conviction of the former president is unlikely regardless of his defense team.
According to a different person with knowledge of the legal hires, Bowers and Barbier left the team because Trump wanted them to use a defense that relied on allegations of election fraud, and the lawyers were not willing to do so. The person was not authorized to speak publicly about the situation and requested anonymity.
Trump had struggled to find attorneys willing to defend him after becoming the first president in history to be impeached twice. He is set to stand trial the week of Feb. 8 on a charge that he incited his supporters to storm Congress before President Joe Biden’s inauguration in an attempt to halt the peaceful transition of power.
After numerous attorneys who defended him previously declined to take on the case, Trump was introduced to Bowers by one of his closest allies in the Senate, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Bowers, a familiar figure in Republican legal circles, had years of experience representing elected officials and political candidates, including then-South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford against a failed impeachment effort that morphed into an ethics probe.
Bowers and Barbier did not immediately return messages seeking comment Saturday evening.
Republicans and Trump aides have made clear that they intend to make a simple argument in the trial: Trump's trial is unconstitutional because he is no longer in office.
While Republicans in Washington had seemed eager to part ways with Trump after the deadly events of Jan. 6, they have since eased off of their criticism, weary of angering the former president's loyal voter base.