Trump could hire lawyer who spoke at Capitol riots day rally for his impeachment defence

Donald Trump may turn to the lawyer who spoke at his now-infamous rally hours before the violence at the US Capitol to defend him in the impeachment trial.

Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters that John Eastman, who stood alongside Mr Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on 6 January, maybe hired for the outgoing president’s defence team.

The controversial conservative lawyer echoed Mr Trump’s baseless allegations of voters’ fraud at the rally, the event which is being held responsible for inciting violence at US Capitol as Mr Giuliani called for “trial by combat” in the same rally.

Speculations swirled after Mr Eastman resigned from Chapman University’s law school which had denounced his stance at the rally.

The lawyer said he would “consider helping” the president if asked.

“If the President of the United States asked me to consider helping him, I would certainly give it consideration” Mr Eastman said.

Mr Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on Wednesday on charges of inciting an insurrection that left five people dead and several injured. He became the first president to be impeached twice.

The ratified impeachment article now awaits transmission to a Senate, controlled for the next couple of weeks by Republican majority leader Mitch McConnell.

However, Mr McConnel has suggested that the trial could not take place before 19 January, a day before Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, and he will reportedly not agree to a proposal to reconvene the chamber for an emergency session next week.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has asked his staff to put his lawyer Mr Giuliani’s legal fee on hold, reported CNN, as the president is irritated after being impeached again.

Mr Trump was reportedly unhappy as Mr Giuliani had asked for $20,000 a day in fees and “had privately expressed concern” with his lawyer’s decisions. Mr Giuliani denied this claim.

On Thursday, the president released a video condemning the Capitol riot “unequivocally” but did not talk about impeachment.

“Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and our movement,” he said.  “Making America Great Again has always been about defending the rule of law, supporting the men and women of law enforcement and upholding our nation’s most sacred traditions and values,” Mr Trump said.

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