Donald Trump names top celebrity lawyers to defend him in Senate trial
Donald Trump has named Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz, two of the country’s top legal celebrities, to his team of lawyers to defend him in the US senate trial.Updated: Jan 18, 2020 22:47 IST
President Donald Trump has named Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz, two of the country’s top legal celebrities, to his team of lawyers to defend him in the US senate trial that starts Tuesday to remove him from office, following his impeachment by the House of Representatives in December.
Starr’s investigations, as independent counsel, led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1999 and Dershowitz, a retired Harvard law professor, has been a part of defense teams in several high-profile cases such as the trial of football star O J Simpson for murder and investor Jeffrey Epstein, who had been accused of have sex with underage girls. He apparently killed himself in custody last year. One of his victims has alleged she had sex with Dershowitz on Epstein’s orders, which the lawyer has strenuously denied.
Former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi and Robert Ray, who had taken over the Clinton investigation from Starr, were the other two names announced Friday, taking up the size of Trump defense team to eight. They will be led by Jay Sekulow and Pat Cipollone. The president, who personally picked the new additions, is expected to ask some Republican lawmakers from the House to advise the team, but they will not take the floor.
Democrats, on the other hand, will be represented by seven lawmakers, called impeachment “managers”. They will be led by Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee that conducted the impeachment inquiry, and include Gerald Nadler, head of the House judiciary panel.
The senate trial will start Tuesday afternoon with Suprmee Court chief justice John Roberts in the chair. The first business before the impeachment court will be the approval of the rules to govern the proceedings, which is expected to be a contentious process. The chamber’s Republican leadership has not released any text on the rules and Democrats have been demanding that new witnesses must be deposed, including current and former aides of the president, such as former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who recently issued a statement saying he is will willing to testify.