- The parting between Trump and his lead lawyer was brought on by disagreements over money, according to Axios.
- The former president and his attorney parted ways just days before Trump’s impending impeachment trial.
- The money dispute added to the legal team’s growing frustrations over disagreements about defense strategy.
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The collapse of Donald Trump’s impeachment legal team — a week before his second trial is set to start — was prompted by money disagreements between the former president and his lead lawyer, according to a new Axios report.
The rift between Trump and Butch Bowers, which was thought to be caused by a disagreement over defense strategy, was also reportedly brought on by compensation quarrels between the two.
Trump and Bowers reportedly negotiated fees for the impending impeachment trial during a series of tense phone calls. Trump has raised more than $170 million from the public since Election Day that could be used for legal defenses.
At first, the two agreed Bowers would be paid $250,000, according to Axios. Trump was reportedly “delighted” by the amount. That figure only covered the South Carolina attorney’s individual services. More lawyers, research, and miscellaneous legal fees were not included in the number.
When Bowers presented a total budget of $3 million, Trump was incensed, the outlet reported. He reportedly called the attorney and the two negotiated down to $1 million.
The money dispute added to his legal team’s growing frustrations over disagreements about defense strategy. Trump wanted his lawyers to focus on false claims that the election had been stolen from him, rather than the question of whether it was legal to convict a president no longer in office.
“I think there was some problems getting money for it, but it wasn’t [just] that,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, who helped Trump secure Bowers told Axios. “Just too many cooks in the kitchen.”
Trump announced Sunday that David Schoen and Bruce Castor Jr. had been added to the roster. They’re expected to take the lead when Trump’s impeachment trial begins February 9.
Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Trump told the outlet that Bowers and his team were no longer relevant.
“We have our lawyers in place, we have a solid team, and we’re looking ahead,” he said.
Trump was impeached for the second time on January 13, 2021. He was charged with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the January 6 riot at the Capitol, which interrupted a joint session of Congress that was certifying the November election results. The insurrection left five people dead. Trump will be the first president to face trial in the Senate once out of office.