Senate and former President prepare for trial



The lawyers who signed on to lead former President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team bring a curious history of experience with them as they prepare to defend the former President in his second Senate trial that starts tomorrow.

Trump’s office announced that David Schoen, a seasoned civil and criminal lawyer, and Bruce L. Castor, Jr, a well-known lawyer and the former Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, district attorney, would defend him at the trial.

The lawyers, both of whom have legal careers peppered with curiosities, joined Trump’s team a day after five members of his defense left, effectively collapsing the team.

Trump’s lawyers are tasked with devising a defense strategy for a former President who faces the impeachment charge of inciting a deadly insurrection at the US Capitol, something that if convicted could also result in him being barred from holding federal office ever again.

For Schoen, whose website says he “focuses primarily on the litigation of complex civil and criminal cases before trial and appellate courts,” Trump is just the latest controversial figure his career has brought him to in recent years.

Schoen was on the team of lawyers representing Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime friend and former adviser, in the appeal of his conviction related to issues Stone took with the jury. Stone dropped that appeal after the then-President commuted his prison sentence, but before Stone received a full presidential pardon for convictions, including lying to Congress to protect Trump.

Schoen, who holds a master of laws from Columbia University and a juris doctorate from Boston College, according to his biography, serves as chair of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Subcommittee of the Civil Rights Litigation Committee.

Castor, meanwhile, served as Montgomery County district attorney from 2000 to 2008, before serving two terms as the county commissioner, according to a release from Trump’s office.

He was involved in at least one high-profile case as district attorney, when he declined in 2005 to prosecute Bill Cosby after Andrea Constand reported the actor had touched her inappropriately at his home in Montgomery County, citing “insufficient credible and admissible evidence.”

Cosby was later tried and convicted in 2018 for drugging and sexually assaulting Constand at his home in 2004, despite the fact that Castor argued during a pre-trial hearing that he’d already committed the state to not prosecuting the actor.

Read more about the lawyers here



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