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CNN-Politics

Trump stockpiles millions in donations as he faces a second impeachment trial

By Fredreka Schouten, CNN

Donald Trump’s new political committee took in more $30 million in the final weeks of 2020 as he made relentless and baseless claims of voter fraud, new filings show.

And Trump’s Save America political action committee started this year with a substantial $31.1 million in cash reserves, as the former president faces a second impeachment trial in the US Senate and works to cement his standing as an enduring force in Republican politics.

Sunday’s filings offered a snapshot of the continued financial backing from Trump’s loyal supporter base. He formed Save America shortly after losing the election last November. Even as his legal team’s claims of fraud were tossed out in courts around the country, Trump aggressively sought new donations, imploring his contributors to help fund his “election defense.” While his political operation pulled in big sums, the new filings show his campaign spent far more on outreach to his supporters than on court fights.

The first and largest cut of contributions Trump raised after the election went to Save America, a major vehicle for his post-presidential political activity. He can use the leadership PAC to donate to other candidates, as well as fund travel and staffing. Federal rules set few restrictions on leadership PAC spending, which campaign watchdogs warn can become slush funds for politicians.

Save America spent little in the waning weeks of 2020, with a little more than $200,000 going to underwrite merchant fees at the online fundraising platform, WinRed, the filings with the Federal Election Commission show. The filings cover activity between November 24 through December 31.

Trump could face substantial legal expenses in the impeachment trial slated to begin in a little over a week in the Senate. As CNN first reported, Trump suddenly lost his impeachment defense team with the departure of five lawyers over the weekend. By Sunday evening, he had announced two new attorneys, David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr., would oversee his defense.

While Save America spent little in the final weeks of 2020, Trump’s campaign committee racked up millions in expenses. They included more than $4.4 million to roughly two dozen law firms.

But his spending to reach his supporters dwarfed the campaign’s legal payments, the filings show. The Trump campaign’s advertising expenses during the last 39 days of the year included more than $5 million in “placed media,” another $4.5 million for online advertising and $2 million for advertising via text messages — as Trump waged an all-out public relations campaign to claim the election had been stolen.

A CNN tally shows Trump sent more than 600 fundraising emails and more than 220 text messages between Election Night and January 6, the day a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol in an unsuccessful attempt to block congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

Millions more dollars could be available to Trump’s political operation as he works to extend his influence over the Republican Party.

His campaign account started January with $10.7 million in remaining cash and a little more than $2.7 million in debts, filings show. The Trump Make America Great Again Committee — a joint fundraising committee that has included the Republican National Committee, Trump’s campaign and Save America — started the year with more than $59.8 million remaining in its coffers — a chunk of which is destined for Trump’s new PAC. Under the fundraising agreement, Save America receives the first 75% of donations collected through the Trump Make America Great Again Committee.

Save America already has become part of Trump’s political infrastructure.

Following a meeting last week with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Save America issued a statement, declaring “President Trump’s popularity has never been stronger than it is today, and his endorsement means more than perhaps any endorsement at any time.”

The PAC also commissioned and released a poll on Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney’s reelection prospects as part of an effort to pay back the Republican for voting to impeach Trump, and to issue a warning to other Republicans not to run afoul of the former president.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Betsy Klein contributed to this report.

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CNN-National & Wolrd

One person is dead after a mall shooting in Wisconsin

By Hollie Silverman and Alaa Elassar, CNN

One victim is dead and a second suffered minor injuries Sunday after a shooting at the Fox River Mall in Grand Chute, Wisconsin.

The suspect is believed to have left the scene before law enforcement arrived, Grand Chute Police Public Information Officer Travis Waas said during a press briefing Sunday.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the mall around 3:30 p.m. local time to calls of shots fired inside one of the mall’s main corridors, according to Waas.

The department is not identifying the victim at this time.

Law enforcement agents are in the process of completing their secondary search of the mall to locate and escort patrons who sheltered during the incident.

Investigators have identified and are interviewing several witnesses, according to Waas.

Waas emphasized that anyone with information about the shooting or suspect should contact the Grand Chute Police Department.

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CNN-National & Wolrd

Andrew Brooks, who led development of the first FDA-approved Covid-19 saliva test, dies at 51

By Alec Snyder, CNN

Andrew Brooks, a research professor at Rutgers University who led the development of the first FDA-approved Covid-19 saliva test, died suddenly on January 23, according to a Rutgers statement.

His sister, Janet Green, confirmed to CNN on Sunday that the cause of death was a heart attack. She called him “an intellect, an amazing scientist, an amazing father … an amazing family man.”

Brooks, 51, was the chief operating officer and director of technology development at RUCDR Infinite Biologics, the lab that developed the saliva test. The test, which was approved in April 2020, was authorized for at-home use a month later.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy referred to Brooks as “one of our state’s unsung heroes” in a January 25 news conference, saying his work “undoubtedly saved lives.”

“We cannot thank Andy enough for all he did across his career,” Murphy said. “He will be sorely missed by many.”

Last year, Brooks spoke about the impact the saliva test had as an alternative to nasal PCR tests for health care workers.

“It means we no longer have to put health care professionals at risk for infection by performing nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal collections,” he said in a statement at the time. “We can preserve precious personal protective equipment for use in patient care instead of testing. We can significantly increase the number of people tested each and every day as self-collection of saliva is more quick and scalable than swab collections. All of this combined will have a tremendous impact on testing in New Jersey and across the United States.”

Brooks is survived by his mother, sister, wife and three daughters, along with a niece and nephew, Rutgers’ statement said.

CNN’s Heather Law contributed to this report.

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CNN-Politics

Republican campaign committees ask FEC to allow lawmakers to use campaign donations for bodyguards

By Fredreka Schouten, CNN

Amid heightened concern about lawmaker safety, officials with the Republican congressional campaign arms have asked federal election regulators whether lawmakers can use campaign funds to pay for bodyguards.

In a letter recently posted to the Federal Election Commission website, lawyers representing the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee asked the six-member commission to provide guidance on whether lawmakers can use donors’ money “to pay for personal security personnel to protect the Member and the Member’s immediate family from threatened harm.”

The request follows the January 6 siege on Capitol Hill that left five dead and comes amid mounting threats against members of Congress. Last week, a group of more than 30 lawmakers requested more flexibility in using their taxpayer-funded congressional allowances to hire local law enforcement or other security personnel for district offices in their home states. Lawmakers also are to receive beefed-up federal protection while traveling to and from Washington, the US Capitol Police previously has announced.

“In light of current events involving concrete threats of physical violence against Members and their families, Members have been compelled to consider further security measures for themselves and their families,” the campaign committee officials wrote in their January 26 letter to the FEC. “As has been well-documented in the media, Members and their families continue to endure threats and security breaches, which are being timely reported to appropriate law enforcement officials.”

The commission previously has ruled that campaign contributions can be used to install and upgrade lawmakers’ home-security systems without violating the federal prohibition on using political donations for personal expenses.

The letter from the NRCC and the NRSC comes in the form of an advisory opinion request — the vehicle that candidates and others engaged in fundraising use to ask the commission to weigh in on legal matters.

While the Federal Election Commission can take up to 60 days to render an advisory opinion, the campaign committees asked the panel for “expedited consideration … in light of recent developments that have elevated the threat environment facing Members.”

The Committee on House Administration sent a letter to members earlier this month reminding them of various options they had for security-related expenses “in light of the tragic events related to the seditious breach of the Capitol.”

The January 11 letter circulated to members reminded them that in their districts, they can get reimbursed for having security at a district event or outside district offices. The letter instructed members that the House Sergeant at Arms will provide “certain security enhancements” for district offices and that a bullet proof vest and security training are also considered reimbursable expenses.

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CNN-National & Wolrd

Chicago Public Schools will return to in-person learning a day later than expected after district and union fail to reach agreement

By Dakin Andone, CNN

In-person learning for thousands of Chicago students has been pushed back to Tuesday after Chicago officials and the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) failed to reach an agreement on Covid-19 reopening plans.

About 67,000 students — 62,000 who are in grades K-8 — had indicated to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district that they intend to return on February 1. The district, the nation’s 3rd largest, served about 355,000 students during the 2019-2020 school year.

CPS officials, including CEO Janice Jackson, have said the district has plans to mitigate the spread of any coronavirus outbreaks in schools. She and other school officials believe it’s time to get everyone back to the classroom.

However, the CTU has raised concerns that with the ongoing pandemic, teachers and students remain at risk if they return to the classroom too soon.

In a letter sent to families of students on Sunday evening and obtained by CNN, CPS officials said they have met with the union “more than 70 times in an effort to reach an agreement that prevents disruption to student learning and provides families the option to safely return to classrooms.”

School officials said beginning on Monday, “teachers in pre-k through 8 and cluster classrooms who do not report to work in-person — and do not have a valid reason for their absence — will be considered absent without leave. On Tuesday, teachers who are absent without leave will not be authorized to support remote learning until they report in-person as required.”

The CTU had previously told its members to be prepared to strike if the school district retaliated for teachers choosing to continue teaching online.

The union and CPS on Saturday “reached a set of agreements” that were “important steps forward” — but “have made no meaningful progress” since, school officials said in the letter.

“We remain committed to getting a deal done, but CTU leadership’s lack of urgency to find a resolution that meets the needs of our students and staff is deeply disappointing for all of us,” school officials wrote.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot insisted on Sunday that schools could safely reopen, noting that the district had “met or exceeded” the Covid-19 protocols put in place in other school systems to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

“We will stay up all night to get a deal done,” Lightfoot said during a news conference, adding that she wants to see a “renewed sense of urgency” from the union.

CTU President Jesse Sharkey said during a virtual news conference on Sunday that the union is “disappointed” about the way negotiations with Lightfoot and Jackson have gone.

Union, school officials have yet to agree on some issues

On Saturday, the union said it had reached tentative agreements on four “key areas,” including health and safety protocols and contact tracing.

But both sides have yet to agree on issues like access to a vaccine prior to beginning in-person work, as well as a public health metric to guide the reopening.

“What our members are asking for is right in line with what school districts are doing across the country,” CTU said in a tweet on Sunday. “Our union has also successfully been able to reach agreements with our unionized charter schools. We want the same for our educators and students in Chicago Public Schools.”

Negotiations were expected to continue on Sunday, but they never happened, and both sides publicly disagreed over why that was.

Lightfoot’s news conference came after CTU said on Twitter it hadn’t met with negotiators on the other side.

“The CPS bargaining team was instructed not to attend negotiations today unless our teachers, clinicians, PSRPs, nurses, librarians and other rank-and-file educators were prepared to make major concessions,” it said.

Lightfoot denied that, saying negotiators had been at the bargaining table, waiting to begin.

“We’ve been waiting all day today for in-person negotiations to begin,” she said during the news conference Sunday. “We’ve been waiting on the CTU.”

The union said in a statement that its “officers and attorneys” had “waited for hours for CPS to join them in bargaining” on Sunday.

Lightfoot spoke with Sharkey in a “cordial” phone call Sunday afternoon, both CPS and CTU officials said.

Sharkey said that although he was disappointed in the outcome of the meeting, the union will continue to bargain.

“We’re not seeing the compromises at the table we would need in order to get agreement on what we think are just a handful of important issues,” he said during the virtual news conference. “We’re going to stay bargaining and we’re going to stay committed to this process.”

But Sharkey maintained that teachers would not return to in-person learning if their safety was not secured.

“Right now what they’re telling us, and what they’re telling the world, is they’re not going to return back into buildings and agreement that we believe, protects our safety,” Sharkey said.

Stacy Davis Gates, vice president of the CTU, called the outcome of the meeting “disappointing and frustrating,” adding that the safety measures requested by the CTU “are reasonable.”

Gates also denied that CTU would go on strike.

Members of the CTU who were on the virtual news conference also said they hope teachers do not get locked out of Google Suites, the district’s remote learning computer system.

Earlier on Sunday, Jackson had said that could happen. “Teachers and staff that failed to report to school tomorrow will have their access to Google suites cut off at the end of the business day,” she said.

CPS CEO: ‘Schools can safely reopen’

On Sunday morning, Jackson told CNN’s Abby Phillip that “there are still some sticking points we’re trying to negotiate with our partners here in the Chicago Teachers Union,” especially around vaccinations.

Jackson said officials have been advocating for teachers to be prioritized for vaccines but also said “schools can safely reopen if the proper mitigation strategies are implemented.”

She pointed to new research from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in which experts noted the spread seen in crowded offices and long-term care facilities has not been reported in schools.

And while in-school transmission has occurred, researchers said there is little evidence that it contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.

Officials believe the district’s reopening plan “goes above and beyond both state as well as federal mandates for safely reopening schools,” Jackson said.

“We think now is the time to see a return to in-person instruction for those families that wish to have that option,” she told CNN. “But we are also keeping the district open for remote for families who would like to remain in a remote environment as well.”

CNN’s Claudia Dominguez, Hollie Silverman, Omar Jimenez and Jack Hannah contributed to this report.

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CNN-Business

Silver is surging but users on WallStreetBets say they’re not behind the rally

By Matt Egan, CNN Business

The silver market is the latest flashpoint in the Reddit mania that took over Wall Street last week.

Silver futures surged as much as 13% to Monday, touching eight-year highs. That follows a 6% rally last week when some posts on the WallStreetBets group on Reddit called for betting on silver as a way to hurt big banks they believe are artificially suppressing prices.

Meanwhile, retail sites warned customers over the weekend they could not meet skyrocketing demand for silver bars and coins. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said it is monitoring the silver markets and “remains vigilant in surveilling these markets for fraud and manipulation.” And “#silversqueeze” is trending on Twitter.

However, it’s not clear who the Reddit users are — nor whether their market moves match the claims online.

In fact, some posts on WallStreetBets late Sunday and Monday suggested their movement is being co-opted by hedge funds and there is no coordinated effort in the silver market.

“The Silver Squeeze is a hedge-fund coordinated attack so they can keep fighting the $GME fight,” one thread was titled.

The post said that buying silver “would be a tragic, irreversible decision that not only will most likely not make you any money because the squeeze is fake, it will put you on the sidelines from this righteous and glorious war we are in.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren raised this concern Sunday as she called for the SEC to investigate.

“We actually don’t know who all the players are in all this — whether there’s big money on both sides,” Warren told CNN.

In more recent trading, silver futures were up about 9%. Shares of precious metals miner Coeur Mining rallied more than 20%, while Pan Am Silver rose 11%.

The moves provide another example of the power of a group that has captivated Wall Street and Main Street: WallStreetBets. The Reddit forum sent GameStop, AMC and other heavily shorted stocks skyrocketing last week, roiling markets and crushing some hedge funds that had bet against those stocks. Robinhood, the free-trading app, came under fire after restricting trades in GameStop and other stocks.

Last week the group appeared to set its sights on silver.

“SLV will destroy the biggest banks, not just some little hedge funds,” one WallStreetBets user wrote. Another claimed JPMorgan Chase has been “suppressing metals for a long time. This should be epic. LOAD UP.”

Several noted that JPMorgan paid a record $920 million fine last year to settle charges that it engaged in manipulative trades of futures tied to precious metals as well as Treasuries.

The Winklevoss twins, who famously sued Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and were early backers of bitcoin, both tweeted support for the push by WallStreetBets into silver.

“The #silversqueeze is a rage against the machine,” Tyler Winklevoss tweeted.

“If silver market is proven to be fraudulent, you better believe gold market will be next,” Cameron Winklevoss tweeted.

Leading retail sites posted warnings over the weekend that they faced heavy demand.

“Due to unprecedented demand on physical silver products, we are unable to accept any additional orders on a large number of products, until global markets open Sunday evening,” APMEX, which calls itself the world’s largest online retailer of precious metals, wrote in a notice atop its website.

SD Bullion warned that “due to unprecedented silver demand” it would also be unable to accept orders until Sunday evening. Similar notices were posted by Money Metals and other websites.

“It’s not surprising to see the sharp and abrupt uptick in consumer demand overwhelm the physical supply of silver coins held by dealers in the short term,” Ryan Fitzmaurice, a commodities strategist at Rabobank, told CNN Business in an email.

However, unlike GameStop and other unloved stocks targeted by WallStreetBets, silver futures have been strong of late. Hedge funds and other institutional investors had been bullish on silver futures and the precious metal was trading near multi-year highs.

“It is a dramatically different market setup,” Fitzmaurice said. “I am not sure how well this new Reddit trading strategy will fare in futures markets and especially the notoriously volatile commodity markets.”

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CNN-National & Wolrd

Idaho man wins lottery for the sixth time

By Lauren M. Johnson, CNN

An Idaho man can now call himself a lotto winner six times over.

Bryan Moss, from Meridian, won a $250,000 prize from a Crossword scratch game on Thursday, the Idaho Lottery said in a press release, marking his sixth ever lotto win. However, this marks his first top prize and “by far the largest,” Idaho Lottery said.

Moss, who owns Newko Sport and Nutrition health store, told Idaho Lottery that he plays regularly because he knows it benefits Idaho schools.

The Idaho Lottery dividend has gone to Idaho public schools and the Permanent Building Fund, which supports state operated facilities, like Idaho’s colleges and universities, since its founding. In total over the history of the state lottery, $961.5 million has been contributed to these two entities.

“I’m proud to help support Idaho public schools, that’s really why I play,” Moss said in a statement.

He said he plans to put his winnings aside for his daughter’s education.

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CNN-Entertainment

Blake Lively says she felt ‘insecure’ about her body after the birth of her third child and struggled finding clothes that fit

By Chloe Melas, CNN

Blake Lively wants you to know that being a celebrity does not necessarily make her immune to feeling insecure.

In posts to her Instagram story on Friday, the actress shared an image from her television appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in 2020, not long after the birth of her third child.

Though she is smiling in the photo, she said she remembers having a difficult time finding an outfit for the appearance because “no one had samples that fit me after giving birth.”

“I put together a @lavinoffical shirt and dress from @netaporter to make this pretty outfit,” she wrote in the Instagram story, adding that “so many clothes from stores didn’t fit either.”

“It doesn’t send a great message to women when their bodies don’t fit into what brands have to offer. It’s alienating and confusing. I wish I felt as confident then as I do now, a year later looking back. That body gave me a baby. And was producing that baby’s entire food supply. What a beautiful miracle. But instead of feeling proud, I felt insecure. Simply because I didn’t fit into clothes. How silly is that in retrospect.”

Lively, whose husband is actor Ryan Reynolds, went on to praise entrepreneur Katie Sturino, the founder of MegaBabe, who utilizes her platform to call on designers to have more inclusive sizing.

“@katiesturino and others are out there challenging brands to do better, helping women to not feel alone,” Lively wrote. “And she’s making meaningful progress.”

In a recent interview, Sturino told CNN that she was inspired to start the hashtag #makemysize after trying on a DVF skirt in its largest available size (14) and it didn’t fit her.

“It’s never boycott this brand, this brand doesn’t support women with real curves,” she said. “I think that it’s much better to call a designer in, or a brand in, and educate them on the fact that like, ‘hey, you’re missing out on a part of the population, the majority of the population, and you should maybe think about offering larger sizes.'”

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CNN-Business

Global stocks rise as Wall Street braces for more turbulence

By Rob McLean, Laura He and Hanna Ziady, CNN Business

Global stocks and US futures advanced Monday as Wall Street prepared for what could be another week of rocky trading fueled by small investors on Reddit. Silver futures surged as online attention shifted to the precious metal.

Dow futures were last up 177 points, or 0.6%, reversing course from a 0.8% tumble earlier. S&P 500 futures were up 0.8%, while Nasdaq futures climbed nearly 1%. European markets opened with gains, while major Asian indexes advanced.

Some investors are once again turning their attention to vaccine rollouts and a stimulus deal in the United States, chief global markets strategist at Axi, Stephen Innes, wrote in a research note Monday. “Risk is trying to regain its footing but Covid vaccine efficacy concerns and the Reddit Red Raider [are] still on investors’ minds,” he added.

US markets are coming off of their worst week since October. Investors were captivated by stock moves spurred by traders coordinating their buys on a message board called WallStreetBets. The Reddit forum sent GameStop, AMC and other heavily shorted stocks skyrocketing, roiling markets and crushing some hedge funds that had bet against the stocks.

Questions about whether President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package can actually get passed, along with uncertainty over the coronavirus vaccine rollout, also kept investors on edge. “The good thing is that most market forecast anticipates a smaller package that happens sooner,” said Innes.

Global markets moved higher on Monday. London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.6% in early morning trade. Germany’s DAX was 1.1% higher, while France’s CAC 40 was up 0.9%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished 2.2% higher, while South Korea’s Kospi rose 2.7%. Japan’s Nikkei gained 1.6% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8%.

China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.6%. The country’s manufacturing activity expanded in January, a closely watched private survey showed Monday — albeit at the slowest pace in seven months. Recent survey data from the Chinese government showed similar slow growth in manufacturing and services activity. It’s a sign that fresh coronavirus outbreaks in the country may be hampering the recovery of the world’s second largest economy, though not derailing it entirely.

Meanwhile, there were signs of Redditors targeting precious metals. Silver futures surged as much as 8.5% to above $29 late Sunday, touching five-month highs. That follows a 6% rally last week.

Retail sites warned customers over the weekend they could not meet skyrocketing demand for silver bars and coins. And “#silversqueeze” is trending on Twitter.

Silver producers jumped in Asia as futures for the precious metal surged. China Silver Group soared nearly 30% in Hong Kong, for example. Chinese silver futures also jumped nearly 9% in Shanghai.

— Anneken Tappe and Matt Egan contributed to this report.

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CNN-Politics

Trump names two new lawyers for impeachment trial a day after his defense team collapsed

By Jim Acosta, Kaitlan Collins, Pamela Brown and Katelyn Polantz, CNN

Former President Donald Trump’s office announced that David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr. will now head the legal team for his second impeachment trial, a day after CNN first reported that five members of his defense left and his team effectively collapsed.

One point of friction with his previous team was Trump wanted the attorneys to focus on his election fraud claims rather than the constitutionality of convicting a former president.

Trump has struggled to find lawyers willing to take his case as he refuses to budge from his false claims. Trump’s advisers have been talking to him about his legal strategy and he keeps bringing up election fraud for his defense, while they have repeatedly tried to steer him away from that, according to a source familiar with those discussions.

It’s unclear whether Schoen and Castor will go along with what Trump wants.

“Schoen has already been working with the 45th President and other advisors to prepare for the upcoming trial, and both Schoen and Castor agree that this impeachment is unconstitutional – a fact 45 Senators voted in agreement with last week,” the release said.

“It is an honor to represent the 45th President, Donald J. Trump, and the United States Constitution,” Schoen said in a statement.

Castor added, “I consider it a privilege to represent the 45th President. The strength of our Constitution is about to be tested like never before in our history. It is strong and resilient. A document written for the ages, and it will triumph over partisanship yet again, and always.”

Schoen “focuses primarily on the litigation of complex civil and criminal cases before trial and appellate courts,” according to his website. He serves as chair of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Subcommittee of the Civil Rights Litigation Committee.

Schoen was on the team of lawyers representing Roger Stone in the appeal of his conviction related to issues the former Trump adviser took with the jury. He dropped that appeal after then-President Trump commuted Stone’s prison sentence, but before Stone received a full presidential pardon for lying to Congress to protect Trump.

Schoen has also publicly discussed, with outlets including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that he met with accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein in prison days before he died by suicide and that he didn’t believe Epstein killed himself.

“I saw him a few days earlier,” Schoen once told Fox News. “The reason I say I don’t believe it was suicide is for my interaction with him that day. The purpose of asking me to come there that day and over the past previous couple of weeks was to ask me to take over his defense.”

CNN has reached out to Schoen for comment.

Castor, meanwhile, is a well-known attorney in Pennsylvania who previously served as Montgomery County district attorney.

While in that position in 2005, Castor declined to prosecute Bill Cosby after a woman reported the actor had touched her inappropriately at his home in Montgomery County, according to a news release from his office at the time.

Cosby was later tried and convicted in 2018 for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home in 2004.

In order to convict Trump, at least 17 Republicans will need to vote with all Democrats when the trial begins.

CNN previously reported that Senate Republicans who criticized Trump without doing anything about his actions are hoping to put distance between themselves and the former President without casting any votes that could cause a backlash from Trump and his fervent supporters.

Many say something should be done about what Trump did — but just not by them.

The rhetoric showcases the split between House and Senate Republicans as the party struggles to find its voice after the tumultuous Trump era. Many House Republicans remain staunch Trump defenders, saying he did nothing wrong and shouldn’t be blamed for the violence that occurred at the Capitol on January 6.

This story has been updated with additional information.