A disagreement over legal fees combined with disputes over defense strategy led former President Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyers to quit over the weekend, Axios reports.
Trump argued with former lead attorney Butch Bowers over the cost of his legal defense. Trump and his team believe the impeachment defense is straightforward and should be a slam dunk after 45 Republican senators voted to dismiss the case on constitutional grounds.
Trump agreed to pay Bowers a fee of $250,000, a number that “delighted” the former president. But Trump did not realize that number did not include the cost of additional attorneys, researchers, and associated legal fees.
Trump was “livid” when Bowers told him the total budget would be around $3 million.
Trump negotiated the price down to $1 million but the spat added to frustrations the attorneys already had.
"I think there was some problems getting money for it, but it wasn't [just] that," Sen. Lindsey Graham who helped Trump find the lawyers, told Axios. "Just too many cooks in the kitchen."
Trump raised $170 million for legal battles:
The disagreement over the money comes despite Trump raising over $170 million from small donors who were told they were funding his post-election legal battles.
In actuality, Trump spent just $10 million on legal fees between November and December while spending nearly $50 million on ads and fundraising.
Trump is sitting on around $70 million after paying vendors last year.
"These guys are no longer relevant,” Trump adviser Jason Miller told Axios of Trump’s previous team. “We have our lawyers in place, we have a solid team, and we're looking ahead."
Trump announced on Sunday that he hired David Schoen, the former attorney of Roger Stone who has pushed the conspiracy theory that Jeffrey Epstein was murdered, and Bruce Castor, who declined to prosecute Bill Cosby and sued one of his victims.
Though reports previously suggested that Trump pushed his lawyers to argue that there was massive voter fraud without evidence at the trial, Schoen told media outlets that the team plans to argue that trying a former president is unconstitutional.