Mr Giuliani has repeatedly told his associates that he would be involved in the impeachment defense, despite his status as a potential witness, as he addressed the crowd at the Trump rally on January 6. Mr. Trump ultimately told Mr. Giuliani he would not be involved. .
But Mr. Trump’s advisers have struggled to find a legal team to defend him.
Finally, with the help of an ally, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mr Trump’s advisers announced that he had hired Butch Bowers, a well-known lawyer with experience in representing politicians. of South Carolina facing crises.
But just over a week before the start of the trial, Mr Bowers and the four lawyers linked to him left abruptly, although another lawyer, David I. Schoen, who was to have been part of the team from the start. team, remained on board. .
In another reminder of his ad hoc approach, Mr. Trump asked associates Thursday night if it was too late to add or remove lawyers from the team, as Mr. Schoen briefly told the team that he was leaving after a debate on how to use the video clips that the defense showed on Friday. Mr Trump called Mr Schoen and he agreed to join the team, two people briefed on the events said.
Just hours before Mr. Trump’s team appeared in the Senate well, the group was still determining the order of appearance for its two chief attorneys, Mr. Schoen and Bruce L. Castor Jr. . decided that a third lawyer, Mr van der Veen, would do the first act.
The uncertainty apparently stemmed from Mr Castor’s largely panicked appearance on Tuesday, when he made a rambling and unfocused opening statement that enraged his client. Mr. Trump has told advisers and friends he no longer wants to hear from Mr. Castor, people familiar with the Trump team’s discussions said.
People familiar with the make-up of the legal team said Eric Herschmann, a lawyer and ally to the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who worked in the West Wing during the last year of administration, was a key figure in putting it together.