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Trump impeachment lawyers leave team: US media

WASHINGTON: Several of former US president Donald Trump's impeachment lawyers have left his team a little over a week before his trial, US media reported Saturday.

CNN cited unnamed sources as saying that five lawyers had parted ways with the Republican billionaire after disagreeing over his legal strategy.

Mr Trump had wanted the lawyers to continue his baseless claims of mass election fraud rather than focus on the legality of convicting a president after he has left office, CNN said, adding that he was "not receptive" to discussion.

The lawyers included Mr Butch Bowers and Ms Deborah Barbier, who were expected to lead Mr Trump's defence, CNN and others reported.

"We have done much work, but have not made a final decision on our legal team, which will be made shortly," tweeted Trump adviser Jason Miller in response to the reports.

The development leaves Mr Trump, who has reportedly been struggling to form a defence ahead of his historic second impeachment trial over the ransacking of the US Capitol this month, facing new hurdles with just days to go.

However, even with his legal team in chaos he looks increasingly likely to dodge conviction. Nearly all senators from his party have signalled opposition to his trial and fuelled efforts to censure him instead. The trial - in which Mr Trump faces a charge of "incitement of insurrection" - will begin on Feb 9. - AFP

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