Trump reportedly eyeing GOP House members to join impeachment defense in Senate trial

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(File photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump‘s impeachment trial awaits the decision by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to set aside political gamesmanship and send two articles of impeachment against President Trump over to the Senate.

But the partisan articles may not be all that’s making the trek to the upper chamber, as the Wall Street Journal is reporting some of the president’s “staunchest defenders” in the House are being considered as part of the president’s Senate defense team.

“The White House is also considering adding some of the president’s staunchest defenders on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees to the Senate trial team, according to a person familiar with the deliberations,” the WSJ reported.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone will reportedly lead the team, but Trump is said to be considering adding others who have TV experience, according to the article.

The president’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow is one name mentioned, in addition to Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz.

As for potential Republican members of the House, any such list must include Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a vocal President Trump supporter.

Jordan was a temporary addition to the House Intelligence Committee as Democrats moved their partisan impeachment effort from behind closed doors in the basement of Congress to the public realm with their dog and pony show trial.

He was assigned to the panel to complement Rep. Devin Nunes R-Calif., the ranking minority member.

Nunes would also be at the top of any such list. And while she is not an attorney, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., proved to be an effective defender of the president during the House impeachment hearings.

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, is another staunch Trump supporter sure to be on the list. Another possibility from the committee is Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla, as the lawyer may be the president’s most vocal supporter in Congress.

Tulane Law Adjunct Professor Ross Garber, an impeachment law expert and CNN legal analyst, suggested that Senate Democrats may object to such additions.

Garber tweeted: “Curious that members of the Legislative Branch would formally represent the Executive, esp in a House v POTUS proceeding. I’d expect an objection from managers/Senate Dems. (Informal advice is one thing, but acting as the President’s – or Presidency’s – lawyers is different.)”

In a follow up tweet, Garber raised possible ethics questions about House members acting as lawyers in the trial:

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Tom Tillison

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