The legal team representing President Trump in his Senate impeachment trial will reportedly include some familiar faces, especially for regular viewers of Fox News: Ken Starr, the former independent counsel who led the Whitewater investigation into President Bill Clinton, and Alan Dershowitz, a retired Harvard Law School professor who has represented many controversial defendants.
Starr is a Fox News contributor. Dershowitz is a frequent guest on Trump’s favorite cable news network.
“Professor Dershowitz will present oral arguments at the Senate trial to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal,” a spokesman for Trump’s legal team said in a statement. “While Professor Dershowitz is nonpartisan when it comes to the Constitution — he opposed the impeachment of President Bill Clinton and voted for Hillary Clinton — he believes the issues at stake go to the heart of our enduring Constitution. He is participating in this impeachment trial to defend the integrity of the Constitution and to prevent the creation of a dangerous constitutional precedent.”
Robert Ray, Starr’s successor as the special Whitewater prosecutor and another Fox News regular, is also joining the president’s defense team.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow, Trump’s outside attorney, will serve as the lead lawyers during the Senate trial, which begins Tuesday.
The team will also include former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Jane Raskin, Trump’s longtime personal counsel.
Dershowitz and Starr were part of the legal defense team for Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who was accused of sex trafficking and abusing “hundreds” of underage girls. Epstein died, in what has been ruled a suicide, in a federal jail in New York last year. Dershowitz and Starr helped negotiate a widely criticized plea deal for Epstein when he faced sex-trafficking charges in Florida in 2007. The prosecutor in that case was Alexander Acosta, who served as Trump’s labor secretary until he was pressured to step down following Epstein’s arrest last year.
Dershowitz has admitted to receiving a massage at Epstein’s Palm Beach home but said the woman who provided it was of legal age. According to the Miami Herald, that home was where Epstein was “assembling a large, cult-like network of underage girls — with the help of young female recruiters — to coerce into having sex acts behind the walls of his opulent waterfront mansion as often as three times a day, the Town of Palm Beach police found.”
Dershowitz is also involved in an ongoing legal battle with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a woman who claims to have been pressured into having sex with Epstein when she was 17. She and Dershowitz are suing each other, each claiming the other is lying.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named seven impeachment managers who will act as prosecutors in the Senate trial: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.; House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.; Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.; Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo.; Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.; Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla.; and Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas.
Schiff and Nadler will take the lead.
On Thursday, those managers formally delivered two articles of impeachment to the Senate: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — stemming from Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the impeachment trial, was sworn in by Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Grassley, then swore in all 100 sitting senators, who will act as jurors.
The trial is expected to last until mid-February and will end with Trump either acquitted or convicted and removed from office.
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