President Donald Trump’s defense team for the Senate trial is expected to include former independent counsel Ken Starr, who investigated President Bill Clinton, and defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, a source familiar with the matter told NBC News.
Dershowitz’s past clients include financier Jeffrey Epstein and O.J. Simpson. Also expected to join the team is Robert Ray, who succeeded Starr as Clinton special counsel, the source said. Another source familiar with the White House’s plans said Pam Bondi, former Florida attorney general, will join the team as well.
The legal team will be led by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump personal lawyer Jay Sekulow.
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Bondi will present during oral arguments, the source said.
Starr was ousted as president of Baylor University and then resigned as chancellor in 2016 amid an investigation into claims he and school officials mishandled allegations of sexual assault by football players.
An independent investigation found that under Starr’s leadership the school actively discouraged “some complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct processes and in one instance constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault.”
The report was especially surprising given Starr’s history. Starr was best known as the special counsel investigating a real estate deal involving the Clintons that morphed into an investigation into whether the president had an affair with a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. Starr unearthed salacious details about the affair, and recommended Clinton be impeached for lying under oath about the relationship.
Both he and Dershowitz represented Epstein as he battled allegations that he’d had sexually abused dozens of teenage girls at his Florida estate.
With their help, Epstein was able to secure a sweetheart deal, pleading guilty to abusing one girl. He served 13 months in a county jail and was allowed to leave for work six days a week.
Bondi was mulling an investigation into Trump’s now shuttered Trump University in 2013. Trump’s foundation donated $25,000 to a political group supporting Bondi’s campaign in the same time period, and the probe never formally opened.