Early this coming week, opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump are slated to get underway, and as this past week drew to a close, a surprising list of the members of Trump’s impeachment defense team got revealed. Now, newly revealed Trump legal team member Alan Dershowitz — whose past clients have included O.J. Simpson and Jeffrey Epstein, among others — has revealed that allegedly, he’s planning on not pocketing any money that he might be paid because of his work for Trump. Perhaps that’s because his showboating really isn’t worth all that much substance-wise in the first place?
Dershowitz made the proclamation during a Friday night appearance on CNN, where he discussed his work with host Anderson Cooper.
He insisted that — although payment details have supposedly not been discussed yet:
‘If I were to be paid, all the money would go to charity. I will not take a single penny of payment that I would keep based on what I’m doing. I’m doing this because I strongly believe in the Constitution. I strongly oppose the impeachment. I worry about the weaponization of impeachment and it could be used in other cases… I’m there to try to defend the integrity of the constitution – that benefits President Trump in this case.’
His melodramatic self-righteousness is not supported by reality. In the initial statement from Dershowitz’s office confirming his addition to Trump’s legal team, Dershowitz got described as a nonpartisan, but that’s ludicrous. He’s spent years ardently defending Trump at just about every turn. It doesn’t matter if his claimed justifications have been discomfort with scrutiny of the rich and privileged or a wild commitment to attend every single Trump rally imaginable — Dershowitz has issued his many Trump defenses, and the president has noticed. He’s tweeted quotes from Dershowitz numerous times.
In the same CNN appearance, the controversial figure claimed that he’s “not part of the regular team that will be making strategic decisions and participating in questions about whether there should be witnesses or not.”
Those questions will presumably be left to some of the other newly revealed additions to Trump’s impeachment defense team, which includes former independent counsel Ken Starr, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and others. Starr, of course, led the impeachment charge against Bill Clinton in the 90s, while Bondi got a large donation from Trump himself that shortly preceded her suspiciously (at best) timed decision to abandon an investigation into one of the eventual president’s scams, “Trump University.” Talk about a conflict of interest! Considering Starr’s also avid televised defenses of Trump, it seems like Trump quite literally plucked his defense team members from among the talking heads on television.
Taking cues from what Republicans have wheeled out in attempted defense of the president already, Trump’s defense team seems likely to take a chaotic, scorched earth approach during the Senate trial.
The whole case rests on the revelation of Trump’s attempt to bribe Ukraine into investigating his domestic political opponents, which — depending on the day — Republicans have claimed that he didn’t do, but if he did, it’s supposedly actually perfectly fine. Hint: it’s not.