Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz join Trump’s impeachment defense team
Ken Starr, the former independent counsel who led the Whitewater investigation into then-President Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s, and attorney Alan Dershowitz will join President Trump’s impeachment defense team.
The prominent lawyers are among several attorneys added to the team as the president’s impeachment trial gets underway, with proceedings kicking off Thusrday and moving into full swing next Tuesday.
The team will also include former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, former federal prosecutor Robert Ray and Jane Raskin, who was part of the president’s legal team during former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
The inclusion of Starr drew an immediate reaction from Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern whose affair with Clinton eventually led to his impeachment before he was acquitted in a Senate trial. “This is definitely an ‘are you f—-ng kidding me?’ kinda day,” she tweeted.
Fox News reported that White House Counsel Pat Cipollone will take the lead on the president’s defense team in the Senate trial, along with Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow. Cipollone deputies Michael Purpura and Patrick Philbin will also work on the team.
Dershowitz confirmed his role in a series of tweets on Friday, saying he would “present oral arguments at the Senate trial to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal.”
“While Professor Dershowitz is non partisan 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 said in another tweet.
(3of 3) He is participating in this impeachment trial to defend the integrity of the Constitution and to prevent the creation of a dangerous constitutional precedent.
— Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) January 17, 2020
Trump was impeached by the House last month on articles alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. They relate to Trump’s urging Ukraine to launch investigations into the 2016 election and former Vice President Joe Biden’s dealings in the country. Trump has denied the allegations, saying the phone call was “perfect.”
The White House says that it is looking for a fair process that affords Trump the rights it says were denied to him in the House inquiry.
Despite that apparent expectation, the president in recent days has publicly pushed for the case to be outright dismissed, and for the Senate to bypass a trial completely.
“Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, ‘no pressure’ Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have,” Trump tweeted on Sunday. “I agree!”