US President Donald Trump defense team will include Ken Starr, whose investigation led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, whose clients have included notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and O.J. Simpson.
Ken Starr was the independent counsel whose investigation spurred Clinton’s impeachment for lying about an affair with a White House intern. He was also a prosecutor in the Senate trial that ended with the acquittal of the then-President, reports Efe news.
The former Harvard Law School professor is known for defending clients such as O.J. Simpson, accused of murdering his former wife, and late American businessman Jeffrey Epstein, who was facing federal sex trafficking charges when he was found dead in his jail cell last year.
Dershowitz took to Twitter, saying that he planned to “present oral arguments at the Senate trial to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal”.
Starr, who was first appointed special counsel to investigate potential misconduct by Bill and Hillary Clinton in connection with a failed real estate venture in Arkansas during Bill’s tenure as governor, ended up charging the Democratic president with perjury for his denial under oath about having an affair with Monica Lewinsky.
The former White House intern appears to react Friday to the news that Starr was joining Trump’s legal team.
On Thursday, Trump predicted that his impeachment trial in the US Senate will be over quickly and again dismissed abuse of power charges against him as “a hoax.”
On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress which were delivered to the Senate.
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell announced that the articles would be formally read to the chamber Thursday at noon (1700 GMT), after which Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts will be sworn in to preside over the trial. Senators will then be sworn in as jurors on Thursday, and preparations will get underway for an impeachment trial that will open on Tuesday, January 21.
The two articles of impeachment, one for abuse of power and the other for obstructing the House investigation, were delivered in blue folders in a solemn procession by the newly appointed House managers, seven Democrats who will prosecute the case against the president.
On December 18, Trump was formally impeached in a historic vote in the House of Representatives.
Earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the Democrats will begin drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump.
While impeachment is expected to pass in the Democratic-led House, the Senate is held by a Republican majority and would likely acquit the US president as his 2020 reelection campaign gathers pace.
Pelosi argued that the president’s conduct when it came to Ukraine left Democrats with “no choice but to act,” charging that Trump abused the powers of the presidency and leaving little doubt that the House will hold a vote to impeach him as early as before Christmas.
On Friday, President Trump unexpectedly brought up the impeachment during a reception at the White House for the Louisiana State University football team four days after they were crowned national champions.
At the end of the event in the East Room, he invited the players and coaching staff to the Oval Office for photographs with him next to the Resolute Desk.
The desk has “been there a long time,” Trump said.
(With inputs from agency)