Donald Trump’s legal team for his Senate impeachment trial will include high-profile lawyers Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, two controversial figures brought aboard to defend the president.
Dershowitz, a defender of Trump on cable news, most famously was part of O.J. Simpson’s ‘Dream Team’ in the ’90s, helping the footballer avoid prison for a double murder.
The attorney also defended Jeffrey Epstein in 2008 as part of his legal team when the millionaire businessman first faced federal allegations of sexual assault on teenage girls.
Starr also is a creature of the ’90s, having authored the report that led to Democratic President Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment.
The former independent counsel was also part of the first Epstein defense team in 2008. And Starr was ousted as president of Baylor University and then, in 2016, resigned as chancellor amid an investigation into claims he and other school officials mishandled allegations of sexual assault by football players.
President Trump (left) has reportedly tapped attorney Alan Dershowitz (right) as part of his Senate impeachment trial legal team. Here Dershowitz is shown at the White House last month during the annual Hanukkah reception
Trump has also grabbed Ken Starr. As independent counsel, Starr’s report led to the impeachment of Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1998
Alan Dershowitz (left) and the president’s other lawyers will present a defense after the seven Democratic impeachment managers make their case
Alan Dershowitz (right) was spotted at President Trump’s (left) private Palm Beach resort, Mar-a-Lago, on Christmas Eve. Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 18
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named seven impeachment managers, all Democrats, on Wednesday. The effort will be led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (left)
Additionally Trump has tapped Robert Ray, who succeeded Starr in the Office of Independent Counsel.
Ray wrote the final draft of the report on the charges against Clinton.
Those three attorneys will have speaking roles during the trial. Trump will also be represented by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone ad his private attorney Jay Sekulow along with assists from Cipollone deputies Patrick Philbin and Michael Purpura.
Dershowitz was spotted at Mar-a-Lago on Christmas Eve, where Trump was spending the holidays.
That evening Trump got up from his table, where he was seated next to first lady Melania Trump, to walk over and talk to Dershowitz.
‘I was a guest of friends of mine. Not part of the Trump Christmas party. The president came over to say hello to me and my wife. We wished each other happy holidays,’ Dershowitz told DailyMail.com in a statement at the time.
He told The Washington Post he will present arguments at the Senate trial that the two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – do not reach the constitutional standard to impeach a president for high crimes and misdemeanors.
‘The president asked me to present my independent constitutional arguments in my books and my articles to the Senate. My argument is going to be directed at the constitutional criteria and why they haven’t been met in this place,’ he said.
Trump’s lawyers will make their case after Democratic impeachment managers, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, present their offerings.
The president’s floor team will also include Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general who joined the White House last year, and Jane Raskin, a personal attorney for the president, Politico reported.
Trump wanted Dershowitz and Bondi because he thinks they are good at defending him on TV and believes Starr helps him because of his role in the Clinton impeachment.
Trump’s Senate impeachment trial will begin Tuesday while the president is traveling abroad to Davos, Switzerland to give an address and have meetings at the annual World Economic Forum.
The Senate met Thursday and took the first procedural steps.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was sworn in so he could preside over the trial.
He then quickly turned around and swore in the 100 U.S. senators as jurors.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday afternoon that Democrats had yet to see the resolution from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that will outline how the Senate trial will proceed.
For weeks, Democrats and Republicans have tussled over whether new witnesses and documents should be allowed to be used in the Senate trial.
Schumer had called for four specific witnesses and pointed to three additional troves of documents.
Once the initial resolution is passed, Democrats are likely to force floor votes to get their witness requests.
A number of Republicans have suggested they’d support having new witnesses come before the Senate after House Democrats present their case.