A House Republican staff lawyer who led President Donald J. Trump’s early defense against his first impeachment in 2019 recommended one of the lawyers who Mr. Trump hired over the weekend to represent him in his second trial, a person familiar with the decision said. The two lawyers know each other well; they are cousins.
Stephen R. Castor, the congressional investigator who battled Democrats over Mr. Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival, urged the former president to consider hiring Bruce L. Castor Jr., a former district attorney in Pennsylvania, according to the person, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations. A second person confirmed the two men are related, a fact first reported by Politico.
Stephen Castor made the recommendation in recent weeks, one of the people said. Mr. Trump announced on Sunday that he had hired Bruce Castor along with David Schoen, a Georgia-based lawyer who had represented Mr. Trump’s longtime adviser, Roger J. Stone Jr. A day earlier, the former president had parted ways with five members of his impeachment defense team.
His new lawyers will need to work quickly. The first filing in the case — Mr. Trump’s formal answer to the House’s “incitement of insurrection” charge for his role in stirring up a mob that attacked the Capitol last month — is due on Tuesday. The trial itself is set to start next week.
It is unclear how close the Castor cousins are. Stephen Castor is a veteran of some of Capitol Hill’s most fiercely partisan oversight disputes in the last decade. He worked on investigations into the Obama administration’s handling of an attack of the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, and a gun trafficking program known as Operation Fast and Furious.
In 2019, working under Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, he took on an unusually public role blunting Democrats’ impeachment investigation into Mr. Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine to smear then-possible Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden Jr. The unassuming Mr. Castor questioned witnesses behind closed doors and during open hearings broadcast live across the country.
Bruce Castor is best known for declining to prosecute Bill Cosby for sexual assault when he was the Montgomery County, Pa., district attorney. He also served a brief stint as the state’s acting attorney general.
An earlier version of this item incorrectly stated that Stephen Castor was portrayed on Saturday Night Live. In fact, he was not.
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