‘Stingy’: Donald Trump’s legal team allegedly quit over payment dispute

When five members of former US president Donald Trump’s legal team quit just days before his impeachment trial, it made global headlines.

At the time, the official reason given for the abrupt departures was differences of opinion regarding legal strategy – but now, US news agency Axios claims there was another major factor at play – money.

According to Axios, insiders claim the “notoriously stingy” former president clashed with head lawyer Butch Bowers over his fees, despite Trump raising US$170 million (NZ$237m) in donations which could be used to pay his legal expenses.

They allegedly agreed Bowers would pocket US$250,000, but that didn’t include other expenses.

Trump was apparently furious when he was told the total cost would be around US$3m, and they eventually negotiated it down to US$1m.

But in the end, the stoush over money, combined with tension over legal strategy, resulted in the mass walkout.

Yesterday, it was revealed two lawyers with ties to Bill Cosby and Jeffrey Epstein had been recruited to the team – David Schoen and Bruce Castor Jr.

In 2005, Castor decided not to prosecute disgraced actor and comedian Bill Cosby for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand.

Schoen met with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein days before his August 2019 death.

Today, Schoen said Democrats were using Trump’s upcoming Senate impeachment trial as a political “weapon” to bar him from seeking office again. He described the case against the former president as “undemocratic” and unconstitutional.

“It’s also the most ill-advised legislative action that I’ve seen in my lifetime,” Schoen said in an interview with Fox News.

Trump is the first president in American history to be impeached twice. He faces trial before the Senate next week on accusations that he incited the deadly siege at the US Capitol on January 6, when a mob of loyalists overran the police and stormed the building.

– With AP

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