SC attorney Butch Bowers to represent Trump

By Maayan Schechter and Emily Bohatch
The State/TNS

COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina attorney Butch Bowers will represent former President Donald Trump in his second Senate impeachment trial over his alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots when thousands of pro-Trump supporters breached the federal building.

The news was first reported by Washington-based news outlet Punchbowl News, tweeting that U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham made the announcement on a call with Republican senators.

A few hours later, Trump adviser Jason Miller tweeted confirmed news that Bowers joined Trump’s legal team.

“Butch is well respected by both Republicans and Democrats and will do an excellent job defending President Trump,” he said.

Bowers and Graham’s office did not immediately respond to repeated requests for comment.

Bowers - a member of the North Carolina-based law firm Miller Law Group, licensed to practice in South Carolina and Washington, D.C. - is no stranger to Republican politics, particularly in the Palmetto State.

He has represented a handful of current and former governors, including across the state’s border in North Carolina.

And he has represented the state party on other Republican interests, including a case in 2019, when the party was sued for canceling the Republican presidential primary.

“Butch Bowers is an excellent attorney who’s well versed in all the ins and outs of election law,” South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick said in a statement to The State. “The state party has used him for years, and with his services we think the president is in great hands.”

Trump was impeached for the second time Jan. 13, with just seven days left in office.

The single article of impeachment, adopted in the U.S. House with the support of 10 Republican members, accused Trump of “incitement of an insurrection.”

The article was filed in response to Trump’s rhetoric about the 2020 election and his efforts to convince his supporters that massive voter fraud swayed the results to his opponent, now-President Joe Biden. Trump repeated those claims again on Jan. 6, when he told supporters at a rally near the White House that he would “never concede” and encouraged them to march to the Capitol building.

Inside the Capitol building, both the House and the Senate were meeting to certify the Electoral College results. Rioters stormed inside as the chambers debated objections to the results of the Arizona election, causing Congress members and Vice President Mike Pence to be evacuated to a safe location.

Just days later, the article of impeachment was filed in the House.

It is still unclear when Trump’s trial will take place in the Senate.

As of Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had yet to send the article of impeachment to the upper chamber. During a news conference, she said the House was ready for the trial but wanted to wait until the Senate was more prepared.

Senate Republicans walk into the new year with a changed chamber.

Hours after Biden was sworn in, two new Democratic senators from Georgia were sworn in and Vice President Kamala Harris took her place as the leader of the chamber. The changes mean Democrats how have 50 senators - the same number as Republicans - and Harris would cast the tie-breaking vote.

Democrats are also trying to juggle the start of a new administration and the business that follows, including confirming the president’s picks for cabinet positions and his national security team.

When the articles are sent to the Senate, Trump’s trial will begin the next day. Bowers and his fellow attorneys would get a chance to defend Trump’s actions, while a team of House members would work as prosecutors. Senators would act as a jury.

One of the more important moves that can come out of the trial, since Trump has already left office, would be a vote that could disqualify him from ever seeking federal office again.

“Smart, capable, competent attorney who’s served well in South Carolina and understands election laws about as good as anyone that I know,” U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., told Capitol Hill reporters Thursday. “So it’ll be interesting to watch it all unfold.”

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's attorney Butch Bowers addresses the state House Ethics committee during day one, of their investigation into Haley at the Solomon Blatt Building in Columbia, SC, on June 28, 2012.