President Trump’s defense team will include Ken Starr, whose investigation led to President Clinton’s impeachment, and Alan Dershowitz, a left-leaning Harvard law professor and Fox News contributor. The two are widely regarded as experts in the legalities of political battles, though neither has spent much time in a courtroom lately.
It may not matter since the other table will feature members of the House of Representatives who, while knowledgeable, have also spent much more time lately obstructing the President than brushing up on their legal skills. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and House Judicial Committee Chair Jerry Nadler lead the impeachment managers.
As some commentators have noted, this will not be a traditional courtroom setting, and not just because it will be held on the Senate floor with 100 jurors. These jurors are also technically empowered like prosecutors and defense attorneys with the ability to act as a body to call witnesses and make motions. This is why it’s important for the legal teams for both sides to be sharp as they interact with Chief Justice John Roberts, who will be presiding.
Joining the defense will be Pam Bondi, who was Florida Attorney General before joining the Trump administration in an advisory role, Robert Ray, who succeeded Starr as special counsel in the Whitewater investigation, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, and Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow. The latter two, who have been involved from the beginning, will lead the defense while Dershowitz is expected to make arguments. Twitter responded as one might expect.
Lets see: Speaker Pelosi sends in Schiff and Nadler and President Trump sends in Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr. That should tell you everything you need to know about the quality of the two cases.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) January 17, 2020
Starr & Dersh v Nadler & Schiff
An epic beat down is about to go down. https://t.co/8CRtXsYlsp
— Russian Asset Stacey (@ScotsFyre) January 17, 2020
Monica Lewinsky weighs in on Ken Starr being added to President Trump's impeachment team… https://t.co/Tnx4ye5mSa
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) January 17, 2020
— Jim Hoft (@gatewaypundit) January 17, 2020
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) January 17, 2020
Dershowitz, a Democrat, is the most interesting of the team members as he is not necessarily a Trump supporter. He voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and opposed impeachment in 1998. But he also opposes this impeachment and has been vocal in his role on Fox News about the direction the Democratic Party is heading.
It’s a legal dream team versus full-time members of Congress. In a regular courtroom, this would be ugly. But the Senate isn’t a normal courtroom and politics are still in play. Nevertheless, it’s good to see the defense stacked with brilliant experts.