Lawyer David Schoen leaves impeachment trial to do Fox News interview ‘on Trump’s orders’

Lawyer went on cable-news channel to call impeachment managers' argument 'offensive'

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Friday 12 February 2021 10:28 GMT

Donald Trump 'failed to show remorse', House impeachment manager says

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Donald Trump's lawyer took a break from listening to the House impeachment managers while they laid out their case against the former president to instead appear on Fox News, a move that was reportedly at the request of his client.

Lawyer David Schoen was spotted outside the Senate chamber on Thursday afternoon while Representative Ted Lieu, one of the impeachment managers, explained the case to impeach Mr Trump to senators, reporter Philip Crowther with the Associated Press revealed.

Instead of listening, Mr Schoen decided to speak to Fox News in a live interview about the impeachment trial.


When asked why he was giving interviews instead of listening to the impeachment managers' case, Mr Schoen said: "It's very important for the American public to know exactly what's going on here."

He was then pressed why it wouldn't be important for his role as Mr Trump's lawyer to listen to the impeachment managers "at all times".

Mr Schoen said the testimony was being played "on background" the entire time but gave no other information for how he was able to pay attention to the case while giving the interview to Fox News.

When appearing on Fox News, the lawyer called the impeachment managers' argument "offensive" to the nation's "healing process". He also called the arguments "repetitive".

Mr Trump's lawyers will have the opportunity to defend the former president on Friday, and Mr Schoen said they would give senators "a much better picture of what's going on here" during the defence.

"I think you will at least be moved by what you see and get a much better picture of what exactly is going on here and the hypocrisy and some of the positions taken by the House managers in this case," he argued.

The lawyer went on to claim that Mr Trump was "very upbeat" during this trial and did not want to be associated with the violence displayed at the US Capitol.

Reasoning behind why Mr Schoen appeared on TV instead of listening to the impeachment managers' case was because the former president was getting impatient with the lack of voices defending him, sources told Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacobs.

Mr Trump reportedly wanted more efforts from allies to book TV appearances and defend him to the public while the impeachment managers presented their case.

The move comes after Mr Trump's lawyers faced criticism for their opening defence at the start of the impeachment trial.

Brian Castor Jr, who opened the defence, was accused of rambling and appearing unprepared to defend the former president from accusations that he caused the insurrection at the US Capitol. Reports indicated Mr Trump was furious by the performance from his legal team on the first day.

So one of the lawyers choosing to not listen to some of the arguments laid out by the impeachment managers – arguments he would need to challenge on Friday – came as a surprise.

The House impeachment managers were expected to wrap up their case late on Thursday. The floor would then open for Mr Trump's lawyers on Friday to defend their client prior to the senators voting on impeachment.

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