Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz clarified Friday afternoon that he is not a “full-fledged member” of President Donald Trump’s legal team for the Senate’s upcoming impeachment trial, stating that he will only present a brief argument against the president’s removal.
“I think it overstates it to say I’m a member of the Trump team. I was asked to present the constitutional argument that I would have presented had Hillary Clinton been elected and had she been impeached,” Dershowitz told The Dan Abrams Show on SiriusXM.
“I was asked to present my constitutional argument against impeachment,” he added. “I will be there for one hour, basically, presenting my argument. But I’m not a full-fledged member of the defense team in any realistic sense of that term.”
Dershowitz’s remarks come hours after a spokesperson for the impeachment defense team seemingly said the renowned lawyer would be formally joining its roster.
“Professor Dershowitz will present oral arguments at the Senate trial to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal,” the statement read. “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.”
In addition to Dershowitz, a CNN report said Kenneth Starr, a former appeals court judge who lead up the investigation into the Whitewater the Monica Lewinsky scandals, and Robert Ray, a former federal prosecutor and independent counsel who took over for Starr in the Whitewater probe, would also be joining the team.
White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow, President Trump’s personal lawyer, will head up the legal line-up.
The announcement follows House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) formally transferring two articles of impeachment to the Senate after a near four-week delay, caving the pressure from Republicans and several Democrats in the upper chamber. Additionally, Pelosi also announced the seven House Democrats who will serve as impeachment managers in the trial. Schiff was appointed lead impeachment manager.
Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) confirmed that the trial will likely start next Tuesday.
“We’ll be able to go through some preliminary steps here this week, which could well include the Chief Justice coming over and swearing-in members of the Senate and some other kind of housekeeping measures…which would set us up to begin the actual trial next Tuesday,” McConnell said.
Earlier Friday, President Trump again criticized Democrats over their impeachment effort, quipping that they are trying to remove the “son of a bitch” in the White House.
“You’ve had a lot of presidents behind the Resolute Desk, some good, some not so good,” the president said as he welcomed the Louisiana State University Tigers to the White House. “You’ve got a good one now, even though now they’re trying to impeach the son of a bitch. Can you believe that?”