COLOMBIA – A second lawyer from Colombia joins former President Donald Trump’s impeachment team.
Like Trump’s senior attorney Butch Bowers announced last week, Deborah Barbier runs her own small law firm. Trump has problems hiring legal aid because larger law firms refuse to participate in the impeachment, national reports said.
Barbier’s appointment was announced on Monday in an email sent to dozens of attorneys for Greenville attorney Wallace Lightsey, chairman of the American College of Trial Lawyers in South Carolina committee. The email was received from The Post and Courier.
“Regardless of your personal opinion of Mr. Trump, it says a lot about Debbie’s ability and reputation as a litigator that she was selected for this role, and I’m very proud to be her colleague,” wrote Lightsey. “We know you’ll be good to acquit yourself (although some of us may hope your client doesn’t).”
Lightsey said in an email to The Post and Courier that he was unaware of any other lawyers in South Carolina joining the Trump team except Barbier and Bowers. Barbier did not return calls and texts on Monday.
Former SC Attorney General Charlie Condon, who runs his own law firm in Mount Pleasant, told CNN that he had been approached about helping Trump but does not represent the former president.
Bowers and Barbier have two weeks to prepare a defense for Trump in the U.S. Senate against charges he helped spark the Jan. 6 uprising in the U.S. Capitol that killed four people and one Capitol officer. The House sent the impeachment article to the Senate Monday night.
The impeachment trial, Trump’s second, begins February 9. He could be expelled from public office if convicted.
Barbier has defended Joey Meek, a friend of Emanuel AME shooter Dylann Roof, who pleaded guilty to telling others not to share with authorities that Roof was behind the massacre. He was sentenced to 27 months in prison in 2017.
She also defended Richard Quinn, the state’s most influential political agent, when he was charged with conspiracy and illegal lobbying in the SC Statehouse corruption investigation. The charges against Quinn were dropped in 2017 when his son, Rep. Rick Quinn, agreed to plead guilty of misconduct on the prosecution and to resign as part of the investigation.
Santee Cooper, the state-owned electricity company, hired them when a federal grand jury began investigating the failed $ 9 billion expansion of the Fairfield County’s nuclear power plant. And she was brought in as an attorney for the SC House Legislative Ethics Committee.
Barbier served in the US Attorney’s Office in the Criminal Investigation Department from 1996 to 2011, where she was deputy director of general crimes and head of asset collapse. She was also the head of the civil department that oversaw healthcare fraud, defense contract fraud, procurement fraud, and whistleblower cases.
The University of South Carolina law graduate went into private practice in 2012, specializing in white collar crime cases.
Barbier will join Bowers, long considered a Republican attorney in South Carolina who ran into ethical and political problems. Bowers has represented the last three South Carolina governors, a North Carolina governor, and the SC GOP party.
Bowers shared office space with Henry McMaster, an ally of Trump’s before he became governor of South Carolina. Bowers joined the Trump legal team on the recommendation of U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, another Trump ally from South Carolina.
Bowers and Barbier have a reputation for serious attorney, and come at a time when Trump’s most recent legal representative, including Rudy Giuliani, stirred up unsubstantiated allegations about electoral irregularities in the 2020 presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden.