The Trump team choices came to light as the president’s impeachment trial is set to begin in earnest next Tuesday in the Senate, where the Republican president is accused of abusing power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden last summer while withholding military aid to that nation.
In addition to Starr and Dershowitz, the lawyer Robert Ray is expected to be on Trump’s impeachment defense team. Ray had succeeded Starr has independent counsel in the Whitewater investigation of Clinton.
Another lawyer on the team will be former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, CNBC has learned.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow are heading the impeachment defense team.
“The president asked me to do this, and the legal team asked me to do this,” Dershowitz said Friday morning in an interview with CNBC.
Dershowitz said he will be presenting oral arguments in the Senate “to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal.”
He also said that although he opposed Clinton’s impeachment and voted for Hillary Clinton against Trump in 2016, “he is participating in this impeachment trial to defend the integrity of a dangerous constitutional precedent.”
Dershowitz is a renowned appellate lawyer whose high-profile cases have included that of Claus von Bulow, the socialite whose conviction for trying to kill his wife Sunny was overturned through Dershowitz’s efforts, as detailed in the movie “Reversal of Fortune.”
Starr, a former federal appeals court judge, oversaw the wide-ranging Whitewater investigation of Bill Clinton from 1994 through 1998.
Starr’s findings that Clinton had lied under oath in denying a intimate relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky led to Clinton’s impeachment by the Republican-led House in late 1998. Clinton was acquitted after a trial in the Senate. Read more at CNBC