Trump Has Both Kenneth Star & Dershowitz On His Team

You’ll all know this already. Below is a report from NBC highlighting their backgrounds and other big hitters he also  has on the team.

We are just publishing for the record as we move into the trial phase.

WASHINGTON — The legal team for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate includes some high-profile names, according to sources familiar with the president’s legal strategy.

Here’s who’s on the team so far, according to the sources:

Image: Alan Dershowitz
Alan Dershowitz speaks at a press conference in Kiev on April 11, 2011.Genya Savilov / AFP – Getty Images file

Alan Dershowitz

Current job: professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and frequent cable news commentator.

Background: Dershowitz, a graduate of Yale Law School, has defended or advised on such high-profile cases as those of O.J. Simpson, Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein.

Analysis note: Dershowitz is expected to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal of the president at the trial. He or someone with access to his Twitter account posted a three-part message on Friday that said, “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. He is participating in this impeachment trial to defend the integrity of the Constitution and to prevent the creation of a dangerous constitutional precedent.”

Dershowitz appeared to try to distance himself late Friday on SiriusXM radio’s “The Dan Abrams Show,” saying “it overstates it to say I’m a member of the Trump team. I was asked to present the constitutional argument that I would have presented had Hillary Clinton been elected and had she been impeached.”

Dershowitz pointed out in the interview that he has been a critic of and written about “the overuse of impeachment” for years and had been critical of the impeachment of Bill Clinton.

“And I was asked to present my constitutional argument against impeachment,” he continued. “I will be there for one hour, basically, presenting my argument. But I’m not a full-fledged member of the defense team in any realistic sense of that term.”

  • Dershowitz often defended Trump on cable news over former special counsel Robert Mueller’s now-concluded investigation. But he also has described himself as a “loyal liberal who has supported every Democratic candidate for president since I campaigned for Adlai Stevenson in 1952”; and he has said he didn’t agree with some of the president’s policies, like the travel ban and ending protections for so-called “dreamers” who entered the country illegally as children.
  • As noted above, Dershowitz’s connections with Epstein could prove problematic. He remained friends with the now-deceased convicted sex offender after he was released from prison in 2009.
  • Dershowitz was sued last year by one of Epstein’s accusers: Virginia Giuffre, previously known as Virginia Roberts, said Dershowitz falsely claimed she had fabricated the accusations. The lawsuit alleges that Dershowitz “was also a participant in sex trafficking, including as one of the men to whom Epstein lent out plaintiff for sex.” Dershowitz has adamantly denied the allegations and told NBC News last spring that he looks forward to proving in court “that this woman made up whole story. I will prove that she committed perjury. I never met her.”
  • Dershowitz attended the Hanukkah reception at the White House last month.
Image: Ken Starr
Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Impeachment Inquiry in Washington on Nov. 19, 1998.Luke Frazza / AFP – Getty Images file

Kenneth Starr

Current job: Until Friday, he was a Fox News contributor.

Background: Ex-Baylor president, ex-Pepperdine law professor, ex-independent counsel, ex-solicitor general.

Analysis note: Starr comes to this role with relevant experience and a reputation for zealotry. As independent counsel, he led the investigation into the Clintons and the Whitewater real estate deal, which led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. The addition of Starr to the legal team will invariably invite comparisons to Clinton’s impeachment trial and Starr’s role in it. (Monica Lewinsky had a snap analysis on Twitter.)

  • Trump’s attitude toward Starr has evolved. On NBC’s “Today” show in 1999, he called Starr, at various points, “terrible,” “a lunatic” and “a disaster.”
  • During his investigation of Clinton, Starr argued that hearing from witnesses was crucial (watch for Democrats to seize on this). “We cannot responsibly determine whether she [Lewinsky] is telling the truth without speaking directly to her,” Starr said. He added: “We have found that there is no substitute for looking a witness in the eye, asking detailed questions, matching the answers against verifiable facts, and if appropriate, giving a polygraph test.”
  • In 2016, Starr was removed as president of Baylor University after an outside investigation found the university mishandled sexual assault charges against members of the men’s football team. After being dismissed as president, he eventually resigned as a professor at the university’s law school. He also apologized to the victims, who he said “were not treated with the care, concern, and support they deserve.”
  • Additionally, Starr told Fox News host Laura Ingraham last year that he was “in the room” when the sweetheart plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein was cut more than a decade ago with Alex Acosta, the prosecutor in the case at the time, who was forced to resign as Trump’s labor secretary last summer for his role in the case.
  • Starr has said political partisanship in America has actually improved since the Clinton era, telling MSNBC host Joe Scarborough in 2018: “I’ll tell you, it was nasty back then, and we were under continual and unrelenting assault by the Clinton White House.“

Find out who else who is on team orange at