David Schoen, lawyer who defended Trump during impeachment, to chair Zionist Organization of America

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The Zionist Organization of America elected David Schoen, the Jewish lawyer whose orthodox observance drew media attention as national president as he defended former President Donald Trump in second impeachment trial from Trump.

Schoen, a constitutional attorney who lives in Atlanta, has for years served on ZOA’s board of directors and represented the organization, in a case directing ZOA’s efforts to hold the Palestine Liberation Organization legally accountable for terrorist attacks committed in its name.

He rose to nationwide fame when he represented Trump after the House of Representatives ousted the former president for starting the Jan.6 insurgency in the capital. The Senate acquitted Trump.

Schoen covered his head several times with his hand before drinking a glass of water while speaking during Trump’s Senate trial, leading observers to guess he was saying a blessing. He was also absent from the trial in the run-up to Shabbat.

Schoen, who usually wears a kippah, said he did not wear one when speaking during the trial because he thought it would look “awkward”.

Trump was not the first high-profile case of Schoen. He was scheduled to represent Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges when the financier was found dead, apparently by suicide, in prison.

The ZOA election took place on Sunday. Members re-elected longtime president Morton Klein. Klein is the professional leader of the organization and Schoen is its lay leader.

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