Trump parts ways with impeachment lawyers

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Former President Donald Trump has parted ways with his lead impeachment lawyers little more than a week before his trial, two people familiar with the situation said Saturday.

The lawyers included Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, expected to lead Trump's defense, CNN and other outlets reported, saying it had been a "mutual decision".

The upheaval injects fresh uncertainty into the make-up and strategy of Mr Trump's defence team as he prepares to face charges that he incited the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6.

Following the second House impeachment, Trump's second impeachment trial in the US Senate is set to start 9 February. Many attorneys who worked with or represented Trump during the last impeachment trial are declining to defend him in the Senate.

Republicans and Trump aides have made clear they intend to make a simple argument in the trial: Trump's trial is unconstitutional because he is no longer office.

Arizona's Jacob Chansley - who famously took part in the January 6 insurrection while sporting face paint, no shirt and a furry hat with horns - was "horrendously smitten" with Trump, said Chansley's lawyer, Albert Watkins.

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"The Democrats' efforts to impeach a president who has already left office is totally unconstitutional and so bad for our country".

Chansley, who calls himself the "QAnon Shaman" and has always been a fixture at Trump rallies, told investigators he came to the Capitol "at the request of the president that all "patriots" come to D.C. on January 6", according to court records. A police officer and four others died in the melee. Two-thirds of the Senate - or 67 senators - would need to vote to convict Trump to be successful.

Some Republicans have criticised Trump's false claims of voting fraud and his failed efforts to overturn Biden's Novmeber 3 election victory.

Chansley, who calls himself the "QAnon Shaman" and has always been a fixture at Trump rallies, told investigators he came to the Capitol "at the request of the president that all "patriots" come to D.C. on January 6", according to court records.

Winning back the House of Representatives from Democrats next year was the primary topic of the Thursday meeting at Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, according to a readout provided by Save America, a political action committee linked to Mr Trump.

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