US President Donald Trump is reportedly considering appointing Rudy Giuliani and Alan Dershowitz as his defense lawyers if he faces an impeachment trial over his role last week’s deadly riot at the US Capitol by a violent mob of Trump supporters.
According to CNN, Trump’s personal attorney Giuliani, who called for the 2020 presidential election to be settled as a “trial by combat” while speaking at the rally before storming of the Capitol, is set to be on the team, while legal scholar Dershowitz, who has frequently backed Trump, is also being considered.
“It would be my honor and privilege to defend the Constitution of the United States and the First Amendment against partisan efforts to weaponize the Constitution,” Dershowitz told CNN.
Giuliani declined to comment on the report.
Democrats’ momentum for a fresh drive to quickly impeach Trump gained support Saturday with a top Republican saying the president’s role in the deadly riot was worthy of rebuke.
Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey said he believed Trump had committed “impeachable offenses.” But he stopped short of saying whether he would vote to remove the president from office at the conclusion of a Senate trial if the House sent over articles of impeachment.
“I don’t know what they are going to send over and one of the things that I’m concerned about, frankly, is whether the House would completely politicize something,” Toomey said Saturday on Fox News Channel, speaking of the Democratic-controlled House.
“I do think the president committed impeachable offenses, but I don’t know what is going to land on the Senate floor, if anything,” Toomey said.
With Toomey, Rep. David Cicilline, a leader of the House effort to draft impeachment articles — or charges — accusing Trump of inciting insurrection, said his group had grown to include 185 co-sponsors.
Lawmakers plan to formally introduce the proposal on Monday in the House, where articles of impeachment must originate. A vote could be possible by Wednesday — exactly one week before Democrat Joe Biden becomes president at noon on Jan. 20.
The articles, if passed by the House, would then be transmitted to the Senate for a trial, with senators acting as jurors who would ultimately vote on whether to acquit or convict Trump. If convicted, Trump would be removed from office and succeeded by the vice president.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, shared no details about her party’s plans as she addressed her hometown San Francisco constituents during an online video conference on Saturday.
“Justice will be done. Democracy will prevail. And America will be healed,” she said. “But it is a decision that we have to make.”
A violent mob of Trump supporters overpowered police, broke through security lines and rampaged through the Capitol on Wednesday, forcing lawmakers to scatter as they were putting the final, formal touches on Biden’s victory over Trump in the Electoral College.
The crowd surged to the domed symbol of American democracy following a rally near the White House, where Trump repeated his bogus claims that the election was stolen from him and urged his supporters to march in force toward the Capitol.
Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died as a result of the siege.
Outrage over the attack and Trump’s role in egging it on capped a divisive, chaotic presidency like few others in the nation’s history. There is less than two weeks until Trump is out of office but Democrats have made clear they don’t want to wait that long.
Trump, meanwhile, has few fellow Republicans speaking out in his defense. He’s become increasingly isolated, holed up in the White House as he has been abandoned in the aftermath of the riot by many aides, leading Republicans and, so far, two Cabinet members — both women.
Biden, meanwhile, reiterated that he has long viewed Trump as unfit for office. But on Friday he sidestepped a question about impeachment, saying what Congress does “is for them to decide.”
After spending many weeks refusing to concede defeat in the November election, Trump promised — after the Capitol riot — to oversee a smooth transfer of power to Biden. He called for reconciliation and healing, but then announced he will not attend the inauguration — the first such presidential snub since just after the Civil War.