Donald Trump has lost his top lawyers just a week before they were set to defend him in the upcoming Senate impeachment trial. CNN reports that the five attorneys who've parted ways with the former president are Butch Bowers, Deborah Barbier, Josh Howard, Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris. The reason? Spokespersons for the attorneys did not immediately comment, but CNN sources said the president's demands they focus on false claims of election fraud as part of the defense—rather than on the constitutionality of impeaching a former president—were behind the departures.
Trump's team was expected to announce a new legal team within days and the first filing in the trial is due Tuesday, Politico notes. Even with the uncertainty over strategy, a Trump conviction remains unlikely after all but five Republicans in the US Senate voted last week to dismiss the trial over claims it's unconstitutional. In a statement that followed news of the legal shakeup, Trump spokesman Jason Miller affirmed the 45 dissenting Senators and called "Democrats' efforts to impeach... so bad for our country." (Read more Trump impeachment stories.)