Earlier this week, after a long period of back-and-forth between the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the GOP-controlled Senate, the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump moved to the upper chamber. Acting as jurors, the lawmakers will decide whether to convict or acquit the president, who has made sure to hire an all-star legal team.
Among those defending Trump in the impeachment trial are well-known national figures: Alan Dershowitz, a scholar of constitutional law and criminal law; and Ken Starr, former Solicitor General of the United States best known for his role in investigations into former President Bill Clinton’s administration. But Trump’s decision to hire a “reality show” legal team could backfire spectacularly, CNN legal analyst Susan Hennessey suggested on Friday, per Raw Story.
According to Hennessey, although an impeachment trial featuring Dershowitz and Hennessey has “all the theatrical elements that the president loves,” his decision to hire the two men “is something that potentially is going to backfire” because both of them have been involved in a number of controversies over the years.
Starr’s credibility, Hennessey suggested, could come into question, given that hundreds of hours of footage of him “making an impassioned case” for holding the president accountable exist. Starr not only spoke about the Congress’ congressional duties when it comes to impeachment, but he also wrote a memoir criticizing Clinton for wanting to stonewall investigations.
“Everything Ken Starr says in defense of the president, there are going to be clips to contrast with that, and I think it’s going to end up doing is just underscoring the hypocrisy here, and the hypocrisy of the Republicans more generally,” the expert said.
According to Hennessey, the same can be said of Dershowitz, who was involved in a significant number of scandals over the years and apparently had ties to individuals like Jeffrey Epstein. Having Dershowitz represent Trump “at a moment when the Senate is trying to decide questions of his character, of his fitness for office,” could also backfire, she said.
The Republican Party’s broader strategy as Democrats seek to manage the case is simple. According to statements from multiple Republican senators, the goal is to wrap up the trial as quickly as possible. By February 4, when he is scheduled to deliver his annual State of the Union address, Trump should be acquitted of all charges, Republicans believe.
According to Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, all Republican senators are expected to vote to acquit Trump. Democrats have made up their mind as well, Paul said in a recent interview, questioning the very purpose of holding a trial.