Jan 17, 2020

Trump impeachment team includes Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Trump's impeachment team for the Senate trial will include Ken Starr, Robert Ray, Alan Dershowitz in addition to lawyers Pat Cipollone, Jay Sekulow and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, per two sources familiar with the matter.

The state of play: Jane Raskin will also be a part of the legal team, per one source familiar, as will Eric Herschmann according to a White House statement. Dershowitz will present oral arguments at the trial to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal, per a statement.The New York Times first reported the details about the president's counsel.

"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."
— Alan Dershowitz tweeted

Behind the scenes: Several White House officials told me they were hoping Trump wouldn’t pick Alan Dershowitz to play a role in the Senate trial.

  • They said it was an unforced error given the team was already strong and he has close, publicly documented ties to Jeffrey Epstein which could become a distraction.
  • But Trump thinks Dershowitz is magnificent on TV, a White House official told me.

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Trump's Fox-friendly Senate trial team

Screengrab: CNN

Four of the team members — Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz, Pam Bondi and Robert Ray — have made at least 365 weekday Fox News appearances since January 2019, according to progressive research center Media Matters for America.

Between the lines: Several White House officials told Jonathan Swan they were hoping President Trump wouldn’t pick Alan Dershowitz, named by the White House Friday as one of the Senate trial counsels, to play a formal role.

Go deeperArrowJan 18, 2020

Dershowitz says he's more correct on impeachment now than in 1998

Alan Dershowitz speaks at an event in New York City last April. Photo: Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Alan Dershowitz, a member of President Trump's impeachment trial legal defense team, told CNN Monday he has a "more sophisticated basis" for his argument on what constitutes an impeachable offense than during the Clinton impeachment.

Why it matters: In 1998, he told CNN crime wasn't a factor in impeachment "if you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty."

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020

Trump impeachment trial recap, day 6: Defense continues case despite Bolton furor

Alan Dershowitz. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

President Trump's legal team continued its opening arguments on the sixth day of his Senate impeachment trial on Monday.

The big picture: Trump's defense team hit hard on historical precedents, the Bidens, Burisma and the House impeachment managers. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ended the day grinning broadly during Alan Dershowitz's remarks that the articles are not crimes, receiving handshakes from several GOP senators after, in addition to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.)

Go deeperArrowJan 28, 2020