President Donald Trump’s legal team on impeachment will feature several new, high-profile legal minds as the White House prepares for a trial in the Senate next week.
Trump’s team will add Ken Starr, Robert Ray, Alan Dershowitz, to litigate the case with Pat Cipollone, Jay Sekulow, Jane Raskin and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, according to sources who spoke with Axios.
Dershowitz, a constitutional scholar, now an emeritus at Harvard Law School, has become a star figure on primetime television, while Starr is best known for his pivotal role investigating former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Ray was Starr’s successor at the Office of Independence Counsel under president Clinton.
Dershowitz is expected to deliver oral arguments on the constitutional grounds of the president’s 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,” Dershowitz said in a statement on Twitter.
STATEMENT REGARDING PROFESSOR DERSHOWITZ’S ROLE IN THE SENATE TRIAL – Professor Dershowitz will present oral arguments at the Senate trial to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal. (1of 2)
— Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) January 17, 2020
Axios reported that some in the White House aren’t happy about the president’s decision to put Dershowitz on the team because of Dershowitz’s ties to billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. They worry the connection could become a distraction.
The Senate impeachment trial began in the Senate on Thursday after Supreme Court Justice John Roberts swore in 99 senators to deliver “impartial justice.” Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe was absent from the swearing in ceremony due to a family medical situation in his home state but will be sworn in on Tuesday when he returns to the capital.
The House impeachment managers chosen by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to present the case for impeachment to the upper chamber will be led by California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff. The prosecuting Democratic House members include a group of Steele Dossier truthers including Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York, Zoe Lofgren of California, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Val Demings of Florida, Jason Crow of Colorado, and Sylvia Garcia of Texas. At least six of the seven managers supported the president’s impeachment even prior to the House inquiry kicked off by an anonymous whistleblower began last fall.