LEE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Two members of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard's legal team withdrew from the case Friday.
Judge Jacob Walker allowed attorneys Mark White and Augusta Dowd to be dismissed.
Walker heard White and Dowd in his chamber and granted the withdrawal.
White cited a conflict of interest as the reason for his withdrawal and said they had no other choice.
White dodged questions related to the withdrawal.
"We were in a position, through no one's fault, where this situation came up," White said.
The state put up a fight to know more, but Hubbard's defense said any further comment would breach attorney-client privilege.
The state argued White and Dowd leaving the case would be a stall tactic, which turned into a tense moment from Prosecutor Matt Hart, who has been scrutinized by the defense for alleged threats made about Hubbard.
"I don't think Mark White can make that difference," White said of his legal experience. "I don't think the problem here and the trial date are connected in any way."
White all but admitted he wanted to stay on the case, saying as an attorney the trial is the "big show."
"This has been absolute angst with this decision," White said as he chocked back tears. "I don't think you can have a better friend than Mike Hubbard. I don't think there's been a person in my 42 years of practice that's been treated more cruelly and unfairly by the Attorney General's Office."
Shorty after, the judge issued a gag order, closing the door for the legal counsel to make any comments to the media.
Hubbard was indicted on 23 felony ethics charges by the Attorney General's Office. His legal team now consists of three attorneys, who have all been on the case since day one.
The trial is still set for March. With dozens of pending motions before the court, it will be tough to meet that deadline. The next hearing is set for Jan. 26.