US President Donald Trump’s legal team will reportedly include Ken Starr, the former independent counsel who led the Whitewater investigation into president Bill Clinton.
Former Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz is also on the legal team, along with Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general, AP reports.
Mr Dershowitz confirmed his role in a series of tweets, saying, he would “present oral arguments at the Senate trial to address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal”.
“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,” he said in another tweet.
(3of 3) He is participating in this impeachment trial to defend the integrity of the Constitution and to prevent the creation of a dangerous constitutional precedent.— Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) January 17, 2020
White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Mr Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, are expected to have the lead roles on the defence team.
Other members include Jane Raskin, who was part of the president’s legal team during special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and Robert Ray, who was also part of the Whitewater investigation.
Mr Trump was impeached on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress, stemming from his alleged pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democratic rivals.
The US Senate opened the trial on Thursday and senators were sworn in as jurors. The trial resumes on Tuesday.
The president insists he did nothing wrong, and he dismissed the trial anew on Thursday at the White House. He said: “It’s totally partisan. It’s a hoax.”
Eventual acquittal is expected in the Republican-controlled Senate.