President Trump’s impeachment defense team will include former independent counsel Ken Starr, whose investigation led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.
“The president asked me to do this, and the legal team asked me to do this,” Mr. Dershowitz said Friday in an interview with CNBC.
Mr. Dershowitz said he will be presenting oral arguments in the Senate trial “to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal.”
He said he is “participating in this impeachment trial to defend the integrity of a dangerous constitutional precedent.”
Mr. Dershowitz said later on SiriusXM that his participation will be limited to delivering an opening argument in the trial, and that he shouldn’t be considered a permanent part of the president’s team.
The White House received a summons Thursday night notifying the president of the Senate trial and the charges against him, NBC News reported.
The legal team will be led by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who will also be joined by former independent counsel Robert Ray and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Included on the president’s legal team are Jay Sekulow, his longest-serving private attorney, White House deputy counsels Patrick Philbin and Michael Purpura, and Florida attorney Jane Raskin, who was a member of Mr. Trump’s defense team working on the Mueller probe.
Mr. Ray was the successor to Mr. Starr as the independent counsel from 1999 to 2002, issuing final reports on the Whitewater scandal, the Clinton White House travel office controversy and a probe of White House FBI files.
The Starr report found that Mr. Clinton lied under oath in denying a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, leading to Mr. Clinton‘s impeachment in 1998. The Senate acquitted him in a trial.
Ms. Lewinsky, apparently referring to Mr. Starr‘s new role, tweeted Friday, “this is definitely an ‘are you f—-ing kidding me?’ kinda day.”
Mr. Dershowitz was once part of O.J. Simpson’s legal “dream team.” He has come under fire lately for his association with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in his jail cell last year.
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