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Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz Said to Join Trump Team

President Donald Trump will be defended at his Senate trial by his impeached predecessor’s ex-prosecutor Kenneth Starr and professor Alan Dershowitz.

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WASHINGTON (CN) — President Donald Trump will be defended at his Senate trial by his impeached predecessor’s ex-prosecutor Kenneth Starr and professor Alan Dershowitz.

Though Dershowitz did not respond to a request for comment, he confirmed his role in a series of tweets on Friday.

"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," Dershowitz tweeted.

The White House has not returned a request for comment.

Trump’s lead attorneys will be White House attorneys Pat Cipollone, known for writing Sharpie-signed missives against House Democrats during the impeachment inquiry, and Jay Sekulow, who was tied into the impeachment scandal via a trove of files belonging to Rudy Giuliani’s now-indicted associate Lev Parnas.

In a message dated Oct. 2, 2019, Sekulow allowed Trump’s former attorney John Dowd to represent Parnas and his co-defendant Igor Fruman. Both men were arrested a week later at Dulles International Airport, carrying one-way tickets bound for Vienna.

Also expected to argue the president’s case is Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general who is now a lobbyist with Ballard Partners.

Dubbed “The Most Powerful Lobbyist in Trump’s Washington” by Politico, Ballard made an appearance in the Parnas document dump released by the House Intelligence Committee. Parnas scrawled the firm’s name on stationary from the Ritz Carlton hotel in Vienna, seeking to pay a whopping $100,000 a month to hire a lobbyist for undisclosed reasons. Prosecutors have subpoenaed the firm regarding the fee it paid Parnas for referring a Turkish government client.

Well before the Trump presidency, Bondi was enmeshed in a pay-to-play scandal involving a $25,000 donation she received from the Trump Foundation, just as other state attorneys general had been investigating Trump University. Unlike other attorneys general, Bondi closed her state’s investigation without charges. Bondi denied wrongdoing.

Starr and Dershowitz also have ties to a Trump scandal in Florida: They were both members of the defense team that secured a sweetheart deal for Jeffrey Epstein, allowing him to plead down his serial sexual abuse of underaged girls to a charge of soliciting prostitution of a minor.

Jane Raskin, who was part of the president's legal team during special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, and Robert Ray, who was also part of the Whitewater investigation, are on Trump’s legal team as well.

Trump was impeached in the House last month on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress, following evidence that he pressured Ukraine to investigate Democratic rivals as he was withholding security aid.

The U.S. Senate opened the trial to remove Trump on Thursday. With senators sworn in as jurors, Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court is presiding. The trial resumes Tuesday.

Trump speaking from the White House on Thursday labeled the trial “a hoax."

The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to acquit Trump, even as evidence about his actions toward Ukraine mounts.

The Government Accountability Office said Thursday that the White House violated federal law in withholding the security assistance to Ukraine, which shares a border with hostile Russia.

Categories / Government, Law, Politics

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