GOP lawmakers like Reps. Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan and John Ratcliffe aren’t expected to serve on Trump’s official impeachment defense team, according to three people familiar with the situation, despite having played a key role defending the president during the House’s public impeachment hearings.
“They’re not needed,” said a friend of the president who spoke to him recently. And on a scale of 1 to 10, one GOP lawmaker pegged the likelihood of House allies joining the defense team at a 2.
Instead, Trump’s top defenders are more likely to help out in a public relations capacity — including the media appearances that the TV-obsessed president covets — though the White House has made no final decision as it waits for lawmakers to set the timing and parameters of the trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he’s ready to move ahead with the trial rules without Democratic support, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi could transmit the impeachment articles as early as this week.