Trump's defense team in his Senate impeachment trial will include Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr
- President Donald Trump has put the final touches on his legal defense team before oral arguments in his Senate impeachment trial kick off on Tuesday.
- Trump's defense will include the attorneys Alan Dershowitz, Ken Starr, and Robert Ray. Starr and Ray both investigated President Bill Clinton during his impeachment in the 1990s.
- The team will be led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump's personal defense attorney, Jay Sekulow. It also includes former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi.
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President Donald Trump has put together his legal defense team before oral arguments in his Senate impeachment trial kick off on Tuesday.The upper chamber officially opened its trial on Thursday and senators were sworn in even as new evidence against the president continued spilling out into the public.Advertisement
Here's who's representing Trump:
- Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard emeritus law professor and constitutional and criminal law scholar. Dershowitz has consistently defended Trump in appearances on Fox News throughout his presidency. He confirmed his involvement in the impeachment trial Friday, tweeting that he was "participating in this impeachment trial to defend the integrity of the Constitution and to prevent the creation of a dangerous constitutional precedent."
- Dershowitz said the crux of his argument against removing Trump from office is that abuse of power and obstruction of Congress - the two charges against the president - do not constitute "high crimes" and therefore do not warrant impeachment.
- Dershowitz has represented controversial figures in the past. He represented OJ Simpson in the 1990s, and he also defended the billionaire and sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein. Last year, Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein's accusers sued Dershowitz alleging that she was forced to have sex with him when she was underage and recruited to work in Epstein's sex trafficking ring (Dershowitz has repeatedly denied the allegation).
- The judge in the lawsuit he's defending from Giuffre ordered him to submit an extensive response to the allegations by February 7.
- Ken Starr, who served as independent counsel in the Whitewater investigation during Bill Clinton's presidency. Starr wrote the so-called Starr Report in 1998 that led to Clinton's impeachment. The document listed 11 possible impeachable offenses, including abuse of power, perjury, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.
- Starr has been accused of going on a fishing expedition during the investigation, which began as a probe of the Clinton family's real-estate dealings and expanded to include lurid details of the president's sex life.
- He also drew some criticism for explicitly detailing the sexual encounters Clinton had with Monica Lewinsky, who at the time was a young White House intern. Lewinsky has said the negative publicity and bullying she endured during and after Clinton's impeachment made her feel like a "poster child for public humiliation."
- Robert Ray, who succeeded Starr as independent counsel during the Whitewater investigation. Ray issued the final reports in the investigation, as well as the White House travel office controversy and the White House FBI files controversy.
- Ray also investigated Mike Espy, who served as Secretary of Agriculture under Clinton. Before that, he was an assistant US attorney for the Southern District of New York.
- Pat Cipollone, who is Trump's current White House counsel and will be leading the president's defense in the impeachment trial.
- Jay Sekulow, Trump's longtime personal defense attorney who also represented him in the former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
- Pam Bondi, the former attorney general of Florida.
Trump's main defense attorney, Rudy Giuliani, also lobbied hard to get on the president's impeachment defense team but was denied the role.
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