The new legal team that former President Donald J. Trump has brought in for his impeachment trial next week is unlikely to focus his defense on his baseless claims of widespread election fraud and instead question whether the trial is even constitutional since he is no longer president, people close to the team said on Monday.
Several Trump advisers have told the former president that using his election claims as a defense for his role in the mob attack on the Capitol last month is unwise, according to a person close to the new lawyers, David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor Jr. The person said the former president’s advisers did not expect that it would be part of the arguments they make before the Senate.
In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday, Mr. Schoen confirmed that he would not make that argument. “I’m not in this case for that,” he said.
Mr. Schoen, an Atlanta-based criminal defense lawyer, and Mr. Castor, a former district attorney in Pennsylvania, replaced Butch Bowers and four other lawyers working with him after they parted ways with the former president.
A person close to Mr. Trump said there was disagreement about the approach to strategy, as he pushed to have the legal team focus on election fraud. The person also said that the former president had no “chemistry” with Mr. Bowers, a South Carolina lawyer recommended to him by Senator Lindsey Graham, one of his most loyal supporters.
A second person close to Mr. Trump said that Mr. Bowers had seemed “overwhelmed” by the case and confirmed a report from Axios that the lawyer had sought about $3 million for fees, researchers and other expenses.