Trump Legal Team to Add Starr and Dershowitz for Senate Trial

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President Trump plans on adding former independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr and the defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz to his legal team for his trial by the Senate, a person briefed on the plan said Friday.

Mr. Starr, whose investigation into President Bill Clinton’s sexual relationships led to his impeachment, will be joined by Robert Ray, who succeeded Mr. Starr as independent counsel and wrote the final report on Mr. Clinton, the person said.

Mr. Dershowitz, a Harvard Law School professor emeritus who became famous as a defense counsel for high-profile defendants like O.J. Simpson, will have a more limited role than the two former independent counsels, presenting oral arguments at the Senate trial “to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal,” the team said in a statement.

The White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, and Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, will lead the legal team. Others will be added as well, including Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general who has been a spokeswoman for the defense effort, and Jane Raskin, who defended Mr. Trump during the inquiry by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, will also join the team, officials said.

For weeks, Mr. Trump has tried to add what he sees as combative allies to the legal team that will defend him in the Senate. He initially wanted three House Republicans to be on the team, but Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, objected.

The president has been concerned about having media-savvy defenders play the same vocal role that Rudolph W. Giuliani did during the Mueller investigation. Mr. Dershowitz has been a media figure for years and Mr. Starr was a contributor to Fox News until parting ways with it because of his new role with Mr. Trump.

But neither appointment is without controversy, and Republicans on Friday voiced private reservations about both men.

Mr. Dershowitz has faced questions about his representation of Jeffrey Epstein, a financier and convicted sex offender who committed suicide in a New York City jail in August. Mr. Dershowitz helped negotiate Mr. Epstein’s lenient sentence in 2008. He has also been accused of engaging in sex with an underage girl he met through Mr. Epstein; he has denied the claim.

Mr. Starr, who helped Mr. Dershowitz on the Epstein defense in 2007, was forced from his job as president of Baylor University amid accusations he did not respond to allegations of sexual assault made by women against members of the school’s football team.

In 1999, after the Clinton impeachment, Mr. Trump told interviewers that Mr. Starr was a “wacko” and a “lunatic.” But more recently, he is said to have enjoyed watching him on television.

Mr. Starr declined to comment on Friday.

In a brief telephone interview, Mr. Dershowitz said he expected his sole role to be arguing on behalf of Mr. Trump before the Senate next Friday, making points he had made in writing and on television.

He said that he “worried about the precedent” set by the two articles of impeachment, which he described as “too vague and open-ended,” and absent “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The statement announcing his appointment described Mr. Dershowitz as “nonpartisan when it comes to the Constitution,” having opposed the impeachment of Mr. Clinton and voted for Hillary Clinton.

“He is participating in this impeachment trial to defend the integrity of the Constitution and to prevent the creation of a dangerous constitutional precedent,” it said.

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