Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

Giuliani claims he can't defend Trump in his 2nd impeachment trial because he's a 'witness'

Rudy Giuliani has been hard at work crafting the defense for President Trump's upcoming Senate impeachment trial. But on Sunday, he told ABC News that he could no longer represent Trump in the trial because of his own involvement in said trial.

The House last week impeached Trump for a second time, charging him for "incitement of insurrection" after his supporters launched a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Before the riot, Trump gave a rally speech in which he repeated unfounded claims of mass voter fraud in the 2020 election, called the election outcome an "assault on our democracy," and urged supporters to "walk down to the Capitol." Giuliani spoke before Trump took the stage, and called for "trial by combat" against the Democrats.

Before abandoning the case, Giuliani told ABC News that his plan was to essentially argue that the president's voter fraud claims were true, prompting some eyebrow raising from Republican strategist Karl Rove:

It's not clear who will represent Trump in the trial now, as "many of the lawyers involved in the president's first impeachment, including White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputies and outside lawyers Jay Sekulow and Jane and Marty Raskin, do not plan to return for the second trial," ABC reports. Giuliani was one of Trump's last remaining "steadfast defenders," The Washington Post says, but Trump recently refused to pay Giuliani's $20,000-per-day legal fees.