With a vote on imminent impeachment in the House, Donald Trump is awaiting a possible Senate trial. In a report of The New York Times, a source "involved in planning" the president's defense said Pat A. Cipollone, chief White House lawyer, may not receive the signal to represent the commander in chief. Trump questioned a circle of trusted associates, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, looking for names of other lawyers. Trump's discomfort with Cipollone stems, according to the Times, from his lack of television experience.
Cipollone assumed his role as White House counselor on December 10, 2018, after several months as an informal consultant. The 53-year-old lawyer formerly worked as a litigation lawyer in Washington D.C., although he had previous experience with President George H.W. Bush's Justice Department under Attorney General William Barr. He is also known to be one of the founders of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast.
These credentials may not be sufficient for Trump, 14-star star of The Apprentice.
Trump's concerns were reported by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who grades that the president wants a prolonged process that allows for a "theatrical defense". Although McConnell is resistant to the idea and suggests a "shorter and dignified event," he has been meeting privately with White House officials as they plan their strategy. .
Democratic leader Charles Schumer issued a statement that "every senator will be sworn to" impartial justice, "a likely reference to McConnell's proximity to the defense. Val B. Demings, Florida's Democratic representative, asked McConnell to refuse.