Though the details of Donald Trump's upcoming Senate impeachment trial are still unclear, the Democratic-led House appears ready for the proceedings. Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced a nine-member team of impeachment "managers," led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a former constitutional lawyer, to prosecute the case.
As for the defendant, the defense team remains ... unresolved.
As recently as Saturday, Rudy Giuliani told ABC News that he was "working on" Trump's legal defense in the impeachment matter. This was at least somewhat surprising: there were multiple reports last week that Trump had soured on the former New York City mayor and had even instructed aides not to pay the attorney's legal fees.
This morning, Giuliani reversed course, telling ABC News that because he spoke at the pre-riot rally, he is "a witness and therefore unable to participate in court or in the Senate chamber."
So, what happened in the 48 hours in between? The New York Times reported:
Mr. Trump met with Mr. Giuliani on Saturday night at the White House, and the next day the president began telling people that Mr. Giuliani was not going to be part of the team. It is unclear who will be a defense lawyer for Mr. Trump, given that many attorneys have privately said they won't represent him.
This is all getting a little weird. Giuliani says he's working on impeachment, then says the opposite. Trump tells him he won't be on the team, except it's not at all clear who is on the team.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg Law reported last week that the Republican is "having trouble" finding lawyers willing to represent him -- a recurring problem for Trump. The reporting added, "Allies of the outgoing president have been canvassing Washington's legal landscape looking for representation but so far are coming up short."
What happens if, as the trial date nears, Trump has no one to defend him? Would he try to defend himself? Would he give Giuliani a second look? Would he call Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to see if he's busy?
A Wall Street Journal reporter added this morning that some of Trump's allies have told him he'll "need to take some responsibility for inciting the riot if he wants a serious lawyer to defend him, which he has indicated he doesn't want to do."
Watch this space.