Gaetz offers to represent Trump in 2nd impeachment trial, will resign House seat 'if the law requires it'

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz on Wednesday offered to represent former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, telling Fox News he would be willing to resign from his seat in the House of Representatives if asked to join the Trump legal team.

Gaetz, R-Fla., told Fox News on Wednesday that he has not been asked to join the former president’s defense, but offered to do so.

"I only regret that I have but one political career to give to my president," Gaetz told Fox News.

Gaetz told Fox News that he offered to represent Trump through Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows "weeks ago."

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"When ethics advised that sitting House members couldn’t do it, the conversations ceased," Gaetz explained.

Gaetz, though, told Fox News that, if Trump asked him to join his defense, he would accept.

When asked whether he would resign from the House to do so, Gaetz told Fox News: "If the law requires it, yes."

Gaetz first floated the idea on the podcast, War Room Pandemic, saying: "I would leave my House seat, I would leave my home."

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"I view this cancellation of the Trump presidency and the Trump movement as one of the biggest threats," Gaetz said on the podcast. "I’m here to win, to win so much I get tired of it because that’s what was promised."Gaetz comments come after the former president announced a new legal defense team, after he parted ways with five of his impeachment lawyers just a week before his Senate trial is set to begin.

South Carolina lawyers Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier and former federal prosecutors Greg Harris, Johnny Gasser and Josh Howard had left the defense team by Saturday, a source said, calling it a mutual decision. 

The source said the lawyers left over a difference of opinion on the direction of the defense's argument.  

Another anonymous source told the Associated Press Bowers and Barbier left because Trump wanted them to make election fraud allegations during the trial. 

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Trump will now be represented by trial lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr. 

The changes come with little time before the former president faces charges that he incited the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, leaving the exact members of his defense team and their approach up in the air at a crucial moment. 

Trump was all but certain to be acquitted, however, because 45 out of 50 Republicans in the Senate voted earlier this month to dismiss the trial on a point of order brought forward by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. 

The remaining five Republicans voted with Democrats to end debate on Paul's motion that argued Trump's impeachment trial is unconstitutional because he's no longer in office. 

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