US: Trump hires new lawyers to fight impeachment

Former US President Donald Trump hired two new lawyers to head his defence team for his historic second impeachment trial set to begin next week.

Trump’s announcement on Sunday follows reports he abruptly parted ways with several of his impeachment lawyers.

Lawyers David Schoen and Bruce Castor will head the defence effort in the trial set to begin in the US Senate on February 9, Trump’s office said in a statement. Schoen had already been helping Trump and advisers prepare for the proceedings, according to the former president’s office.

Both attorneys issued statements through Trump’s office saying they were honoured to take the job.

“The strength of our Constitution is about to be tested like never before in our history. It is strong and resilient. A document written for the ages, and it will triumph over partisanship yet again, and always,” said Castor.

Butch Bowers and Deborah Barberi, two South Carolina lawyers, are no longer on Trump’s team,  sources familiar with the situation told news agencies on Saturday, describing their departure as a “mutual decision”.