The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is set to vote on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, which will finalize the process in the lower chamber. The proceedings will continue in the Senate, where Republicans will either convict or acquit the president.
The GOP-controlled Senate is not expected to convict Trump, but the president is nevertheless assembling a team of lawyers and lawmakers to counter Democratic accusations. According to a new report from The Hill, Trump is creating an impeachment defense team, and Republican lawmakers are lobbying to join it.
Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, John Ratcliffe of Texas, and Doug Collins of Georgia are considered to be the top contenders.
A lawmaker familiar with the process explained to The Hill that there are two groups of potential candidates.
“I don’t know the extent of the lobby from Capitol Hill. I think there’s a general consensus that there’s a small group of members that would be, certainly, in the first tier, and another group would be in the second tier,” they explained.
“Those people in the first tier, obviously, have been the ones who have been more engaged in this process from the beginning,” the lawmaker added.
Trump has not made any decisions yet, but he will likely look to form a team with House Republicans at the forefront, according to House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who said that the president has “a lot of really good people to choose from.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy explained that the decision will be left up to the president, acknowledging that Jordan and Ratcliffe appear to be the prime candidates, having fought for the president during hearings in the lower chamber.
“The Senate is a different body than the House. I think Jim Jordan has done an amazing job here,” McCarthy said, adding that Ratcliffe has a “good understanding” of the situation as well.
Ratcliffe acknowledged that he is being considered for a position on Trump’s defense team, arguing that the president must do what he thinks is best in order to fight off a case “that’s unfair and unjust.”
Dems want another "insurance policy."— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) December 13, 2019
Let the American people decide. pic.twitter.com/Yk9qrOlBJF
In addition to Congressmen, lawyers are expected to play an important role in the process. White House counsel Pat Cipollone will reportedly join the president’s defense team, as will one of the president’s personal attorneys, Jay Sekulow.
According to reports, Trump is also considering adding controversial Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz to his team.
According to House Democrats, Trump is guilty of abuse of power, and obstruction of Congress. The president committed impeachable offenses when he pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate his political rivals, Democrats allege.