Rudy Giuliani now says he won’t be part of the legal team defending Donald Trump in the president’s second impeachment trial, according to multiple reports.
What You Need To Know
- Rudy Giuliani told ABC News on Sunday night that he cannot represent President Trump in his impeachment trial because he was a “witness” in the case
- Giuliani and Trump both spoke at the Jan. 6 rally that preceeded the assault on the U.S. Capitol
- Giuliani’s disclosure that he won’t be part of Trump’s defense team came a day after he told ABC that he was preparing to argue before the Senate that Trump did not incite the crowd
- A few hours later, a Trump spokesman said the president had not yet made any decisions about which lawyer or law firm will represent him
The former New York City mayor, who has been leading Trump’s unsuccessful legal challenges to the presidential election, told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl on Sunday night that he cannot represent Trump because he also spoke at the Jan. 6 rally just before a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, which makes him a “witness” in the case.
In that speech, Giuliani called for “trial by combat.” He later claimed he was making a “Game of Thrones” reference, not calling for violence.
On Monday, a New York Times report also said that Giuliani will not be part of Trump's impeachment defense.
Five deaths have been linked to the Capitol riot. Dozens more people were hospitalized, property was damaged, and lawmakers, who were voting on certifying Joe Biden’s win in the Electoral College, had to be rushed to a secure location.
The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach Trump, who has pushed false claims of election fraud since losing to Joe Biden and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, for inciting an insurrection. The president also told the crowd, “You will never take back our country with weakness” and, “If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore.”
The Senate could begin its trial late this week, although Trump will leave office Wednesday.
Giuliani’s disclosure that he won’t be part of Trump’s defense team came a day after he told ABC that he was preparing to argue before the Senate that the president’s debunked fraud allegations did not amount to incitement because they are true.
A few hours later, Trump spokesman Hogan Gidley tweeted: “President Trump has not yet made a determination as to which lawyer or law firm will represent him for the disgraceful attack on our Constitution and democracy, known as the ‘impeachment hoax.’ We will keep you informed.”
Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz had also reportedly been on the short list of lawyers being considered to defend Trump. However, Dershowitz, who was on the president’s first impeachment defense team, told the Boston Herald he will not be involved in the trial but will “be defending him in the court of public opinion.”