Trump selects former defender of Jeffery Epstein to join legal team
18 January 2020, 18:45
US President Donald Trump has assembled a legal team for his Senate trial on Tuesday – the next step in the impeachment process.
Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz will be assisting the president. The two have taken part in high profile US legal cases and make regular appearances on Fox News – the president’s preferred TV network.
Dershowitz is a constitutional expert and has an expansive view of presidential powers. He’s defended clients like Jeffery Epstein, Harvey Weinstein and OJ Simpson.
The longtime Harvard Law School professor was on the team who won an acquittal of actor OJ Simpson on charges of murdering his wife and one of her friends.
Although the lawyer played down his involvement in the upcoming Senate trial saying he isn’t a “full-fledged” member of the team.
Ken Starr is a seasoned partisan investigator. He led the investigation into former president Bill Clinton which resulted in his impeachment – although Clinton was acquitted at the Senate trial. The same outcome is expected in Trump’s trial.
Both Dershowitz and Starr served as lawyers for financier and convicted sex offender Jeffery Epstein who was found dead in his jail cell last year where he was held for sex trafficking charges.
Other members of Trump’s legal team include Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general; Jane Raskin, who worked with the president during Robert Mueller’s investigation; and Robert Ray, who was part of the Whitewater investigation of the Clintons.
A two-thirds majority of 67 out of the Senate’s 100 seats is required to convict the president. In this case, Trump would be made to step down. But because there are only 47 Democratic senators many expect a ruling of not guilty.
The Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has said he was coordinating with the White House counsel – indicating his party would vote to defend the president.
This is only the third impeachment trial to ever take place in the history of the US.
President Trump faces two charges after the House of Representatives voted to impeach him last month.
The first is that he abused his presidential power by putting pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival, Joe Biden, withholding military aid as leverage.
The second is that he obstructed justice during the probe.