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Alan Dershowitz to Join Trump’s Legal Defense Team

Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz, pictured here in 2013.
Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz, pictured here in 2013. By Katherine M Kulik
By Michelle G. Kurilla, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz will join President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment team, helping with his legal defense during the forthcoming United States Senate trial.

Dershowitz confirmed he will be a part of the impeachment team on Twitter, writing in a three tweet-series that he will present oral arguments at the Senate trial to address constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal. He wrote that he is non-partisan when it comes to the Constitution.

“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,” Dershowitz wrote.

A renowned civil liberties lawyer, Dershowitz is known for representing high-profile and controversial clients. In the past, his clients have included wealthy Harvard donor and convicted offender Jeffrey E. Epstein; football star O.J. Simpson, who was accused of murdering his wife; and billionaire socialite and convicted murderer Claus von Bülow.

Dershowitz will defend Trump as he faces trial in the Republican-held Senate against charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Senate trial began Thursday after the House of Representatives voted to impeach the president last month.

Prior to the full-House vote, Dershowitz declined to say whether he had been contacted by Trump’s legal team or asked to help with aspects of the president’s impeachment defense.

“I can’t confirm or deny,” he wrote in an email to The Crimson in December.

Leading up to the House vote, Dershowitz’s attendance at a White House meeting led to speculation over whether or not he would join Trump’s legal team. In December, Dershowitz confirmed to Reuters that he met with Trump at the White House earlier that week, though he would not disclose what the two discussed.

“I feel very strongly that the proposed articles of impeachment endanger the Constitution and endanger the separation of powers,” Dershowitz told Reuters. “But I can’t comment on any particular role I might play.”

He is also the author of a 2018 book “The Case Against Impeaching Trump.”

Other members of Trump’s legal team for the impeachment trial include former independent counsels Kenneth W. Starr and Robert Ray, both of whom were involved in former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial. White House Counsel Pat A. Cipollone and Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal lawyer since 2017, will lead the team.

Aside from Trump’s legal representation, much else about the Senate trial remains in question, including whether witnesses will bring new evidence.

—Staff Writer Michelle G. Kurilla can be reached at michelle.kurilla@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @MichelleKurilla.

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