Report: Trump Considering WH Lawyers, House Members To Tap For Impeachment Defense Team

Report: Trump Considering WH Lawyers, House Members To Tap For Impeachment Defense Team


According to new reports, President Trump is considering his top picks for his dream team to defend him during a Senate impeachment trial.

Trump reportedly wants to put together a combination of both lawyers and Republican Congress members to act as his impeachment defense team, should the full House vote send impeachment to the Senate.

Names being floated are Rep. Jim Jordan, Rep. John Ratcliffe, Rep. Mark Meadows, Rep. Doug Collins, and Rep. Elise Stefanik.

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ABC News has more details:

President Donald Trump is considering a mix of White House lawyers and some of the president’s most aggressive defenders serving in the House of Representatives to play a larger role in his defense, multiple sources familiar with the internal discussions told ABC News.

The debate over who could best represent the president in the Senate comes as the president’s advisers have squabbled about what his impeachment defense before the Senate should look like, and who should be responsible for making the case for acquittal, the sources said.

GOP Reps. Jim Jordan, John Ratcliffe and Mark Meadows are under consideration by the White House, along with Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee Doug Collins and Rep. Elise Stefanik. The members could be used in what once source described as a “support role” to counter the arguments made by the House impeachment managers – those members presenting the House case for his removal during the Senate trial. The House impeachment members have yet to be named by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Having House members go against House members, whether it be in public or in the media, is seen as a competitive strategy,” one GOP lawmaker told ABC News.

On the White House front, despite no formal team being named to represent Trump in a Senate trial, the president dispatched White House counsel Pat Cipollone to Capitol Hill last week for a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to plot the next phase.

The Hill also said:

A number of House GOP lawmakers are quietly expressing interest in being selected to join President Trump’s impeachment defense team as Republicans brace for proceedings to move to the upper chamber. 

The president wants a combination of lawyers and three to four vocal defenders in the House GOP to be on his legal team, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) recently said on the House Freedom Caucus's podcast. 

The GOP members most often mentioned as potential candidates include Reps. John Ratcliffe (Texas), Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Doug Collins (Ga.).

“I don't know the extent of the lobby from Capitol Hill. I think there's a general consensus that there's a small group of members that would be, certainly, in the first tier, and another group would be in the second tier,” one GOP lawmaker told The Hill. “Those people in the first tier, obviously, have been the ones who have been more engaged in this process from the beginning. Certainly, Jim Jordan is one of those.” 

The jockeying on the GOP side comes as Democrats compete for jobs as impeachment managers, who will essentially serve as prosecutors during the Senate trial. 

Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the minority party has not traditionally played a large role during impeachment trials. 

“The president actually picks his personal attorneys, and typically, historically, it's not members, but that’s up to him to decide,” he told The Hill.

Trump has not announced any decisions, but many Republicans think he’d benefit from having members on his team who have been at the forefront of the House fight.

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