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Trump adds Starr, Dershowitz to impeachment team

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 17, 2020 - Duration: 02:05s

Trump adds Starr, Dershowitz to impeachment team

President Donald Trump turned to some legal heavyweights to help defend him in his Senate impeachment trial.

Jonah Green reports.

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Trump adds Starr, Dershowitz to impeachment team

On Friday, the president added former independent counsel Ken Starr to his defense team β€” yes, the very same Ken Starr who paved the way for Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

It was Starr’s investigation into Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky that lead to his eventual impeachment in the House.

That the same man is now defending a president accused of coercing a foreign government to open an investigation into his political rival while withholding congressionally approved military aid, struck some as unbelievable.

That included Lewinsky herself, who tweeted Friday, "this is definitely an β€œare you f***ing kidding me?" kinda day." Also on board for Trump's defense β€” Alan Dershowitz, a prominent lawyer and Harvard Law School professor.

Dershowitz has been a well-known figure in U.S. legal circles for decades.

He was part of the so-called "Dream Team" of lawyers who won a 1995 acquittal of O.J.

Simpson on charges of murdering his wife and a friend of hers.

Both Starr and Dershowitz also served as lawyers for financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Trump's legal team issued a statement saying Dershowitz will present oral arguments at the trial to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal from office.

The team will be led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump private attorney Jay Sekulow.

A source tells Reuters Trump adviser Pam Bondi and former independent counsel Robert Ray will also be on the team.

Trump has denied wrongdoing.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on two charges arising from his dealings with Ukraine - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The Republican-led Senate is expected to acquit Trump, given that - so far - none of its 53 Republicans have voiced support for removing him, a step that under the U.S. Constitution would require a two-thirds majority.

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