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4 SC attorneys to lead Trump’s impeachment defense

Updated: Jan. 29, 2021 at 8:06 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Four South Carolina attorneys will be representing former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial.

Prominent Republican attorney Butch Bowers will lead the team, according to reports. He has experience representing the South Carolina Republican Party and former Govs. Nikki Haley and Mark Sanford.

He also has brought on former acting U.S. Attorney General Johnny Gasser, criminal defense attorney Greg Harris, and former assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Barbier.

Other South Carolina lawyers and political officials who have worked with and fought against these four in court all agree they some of the best people for the job.

“You know that they’re all solid, ethical, [and] by the book. These are not political hacks. These are real lawyers, and they going to go out there and do a good job,” said Pete Strom, a South Carolina attorney and former U.S. Attorney under President Bill Clinton.

He said despite disagreeing with them on some legal issues, the team Bowers has assembled is highly respected among the state’s legal community.

“We can fight like hell in the court right and then you’ll get a beer afterwards,” Strom said.

Strom said it’s “no secret” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) recommended Bowers to the former president. It’s a point Graham’s team confirmed.

But he said he was initially surprised the former president didn’t select a prominent D.C. or New York lawyer for the position.

“I think the fear of the big firms getting involved in this case and the impact on their business has kept a lot of people would away. This is a unique pick, but I think a good pick. I also think all four of these lawyers are strong enough that, if someone tries to force them to do something they don’t believe in, they’ll withdraw,” Strom said.

Former Deputy Chief of Staff for Nikki Haley Rob Godfrey said this is a perfect team to represent Trump in this historic trial.

“The stakes have never been higher, the stage has never been bigger, and the lights have never been brighter than an impeachment trial. And while they may not have explicit experience with a presidential impeachment trial, they have similar experience representing public officials,” Godfrey said. “Each of these lawyers is highly accomplished, highly experienced, and tough as nails.”

Godfrey said he isn’t surprised this was the team Graham recommended for Trump.

“I have no doubt that if the former president or if anyone asked Senator Graham for the best lawyer in the state of South Carolina to represent him in such a manner, he would have been at the top of this list,” Godfrey said.

He also said seeing four lawyers from South Carolina representing the former president should make all South Carolinians feel good about the power their state holds.

“I think that every South Carolinians should have a sense of pride whenever people from our state have a seat at a table where decisions are made,” Godfrey said. “And I think that goes for people working for a president in the White House, Democrat or Republican, or it’s having been asked to participate in a trial of such a historical significance, like this one.”

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