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2 Big Names Join Trump's Impeachment Legal Team

Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr are among the president's defense lawyers
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2020 10:25 AM CST
In this Dec. 2, 2019, file photo, attorney Alan Dershowitz leaves federal court in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(Newser) – We've met the Democratic managers for President Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate. Now it's time to meet the commander in chief's defense team. A source tells the Wall Street Journal that, under the leadership of White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Trump's trial lawyers will include personal attorney Jay Sekulow, former independent counsel Robert Ray, and ex-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. But two new names added to the list are garnering special buzz: retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr, the ex-independent counsel whose probe into Bill Clinton led to his impeachment. A White House official tells the Washington Post that Trump hand-picked Dershowitz (who confirmed his place on the team to the paper) and Bondi because he thinks they'll be effective on television.

"While Professor Dershowitz is nonpartisan 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," said a defense team statement issued Friday. Starr, meanwhile, reportedly appealed to Trump because of his involvement with Clinton's impeachment. Dershowitz's background in constitutional law means the president will be relying on him to lead the argument that this impeachment and any attempt to remove Trump from office is unconstitutional. "My argument is going to be directed at the constitutional criteria and why they haven't been met," Dershowitz says, adding that "obstruction of Congress" and "abuse of power" shouldn't count as "high crimes and misdemeanors." (Read more Trump impeachment stories.)

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