Sources have told CNN that President Trump has added Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, Clinton Impeachment lawyer Ken Starr and Starr’s successor at the Office of Independent Counsel during the Clinton administration, Robert Ray, to his legal team.
Trump’s defense will be led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and the President’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow. Both are set to deliver statements when the Senate trial begins next Tuesday.
CNN’s sources also say that “Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Trump’s longtime personal counsel Jane Raskin will also supplement the President’s impeachment legal team.”
Amusingly, the CNN article says, “The White House did not mount a formal defense during the House’s investigation as it refused to cooperate with the Democratic-led probe.” It’s unfortunate that most of their readers will actually believe this.
According to CNN:
A spokesman for Trump’s legal team said Dershowitz will present oral arguments at the Senate trial. “He is participating in this impeachment trial to defend the integrity of the Constitution and to prevent the creation of a dangerous constitutional precedent.”
Starr and Ray are expected to play a constitutional and historic role during the proceedings to support Cipollone and Sekulow.
Bondi has been working at the White House as an adviser during the impeachment proceedings. Raskin is a white-collar defense lawyer who, along with her husband, worked for Trump during the Mueller investigation.
A decision on allowing House GOP allies to participate in the defense is still fluid, people with the matter said.
Although Dershowitz is a Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, he has been a staunch defender of President Trump. (He also opposed President Clinton’s impeachment.)
He sees the impeachment as unconstitutional and days after the House’s impeachment vote, Dershowitz appeared on “Hannity” to explain how a Supreme Court decision that day had just “crippled the second House charge” against the President.
The Supreme Court had agreed to review three cases related to subpoenas issued by the House Oversight and Financial committees and New York State prosecutors for the President’s financial records. The subpoenas were served upon two banks as well as Trump’s accounting firm. Lower courts have upheld these subpoenas.
The President’s attorneys, who rightly consider this an unnecessary intrusion into his privacy and yet another partisan attempt to search for a crime, are trying to block access to this information. Arguments will be heard by the court in March and a ruling is expected by June.
The second article charges that Trump “has directed the unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives.” Stripping out the matter of Trump’s financial records weakens what was a rather pathetic case against the President to begin with. The article is left with the refusal of White House officials (claiming executive privilege) to appear before the House impeachment inquiry committees. House Democrats, who are in a hurry to get this done, elected not to fight those claims in court and chose instead, to add it to their articles of impeachment.
Dershowitz does a much better job of explaining this than I do.
On the night of the decision, Dershowitz appeared on “Hannity” and explained why he saw this as a huge win for the President.
Look, the most important development happened today. The Supreme Court of the United States absolutely pulled the rug out of part two of the impeachment referral by granting certiorari, by granting review in a case where Trump challenged a congressional subpoena. And the Supreme Court said we’re going to hear this case.…Think of what that message is – It’s Trump was right.
You don’t have to comply with a subpoena of Congress unless a court tells you you have to comply. Now, we don’t know how the Supreme Court is going to come out, but they made it clear that’s a viable issue. So that charge, that ground of impeachment, should be immediately removed by the House and not sent to the Senate. There’s nothing to it anymore after the Supreme Court today said you’re entitled to a review on an issue when the President challenges the subpoena power of Congress. It’s all done. It’s over.
Although an acquittal is all but insured because it’s highly unlikely that 20 Republican Senators would vote against the President, it’s great to know he will be in such capable hands.
There is one person who is a little less enthusiastic about the additions to the President’s Dream Team.
this is definitely an “are you fucking kidding me?” kinda day.
— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) January 17, 2020
I completely understand.