Let's Meet Donald Trump's All-Star Impeachment Defense Team Of ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME?
Donald Trump just announced his all-star squadron of lawyers who'll defend him during his Senate impeachment trial. We can confirm that they've all attended law school at some point. You're stuck with hearing about these guys for the next few weeks, so let's quickly bring you up to speed.
Sekulow is Trump's personal lawyer. Wonkette has described him as a "talking hairpiece," which is an insult to decent Tribbles everywhere. He normally runs around spreading conspiracy theories or scamming poor people with shady charities. He's not fit to tie Johnny Cochran's shoes and Trump could really use a Johnny Cochran right now. Sekulow will lead Trump's legal team with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.
This poor sucker replaced Don McGahn in October 2018. He's not like Oliver Babish on "The West Wing," who agreed to stay on as White House counsel if President Bartlet agreed to cooperate fully with an investigation. There was no "Bring it on!" pep talk. The Democrats were set to take back the House, and Cipollone might've believed for a moment that Trump would stop criming. No such luck. He not only continued criming, he involved Cipollone in the criming.
This is where things get silly. Bondi, a former Florida attorney general, conveniently forgot to investigate Trump's scam university around the time her re-election campaign received a convenient (and illegal) $25,000 donation from Trump's scam charity amid a whole bunch of hinky shit. Bondi might also have some other personal experience (allegedly) helping Trump cover up crimes. Bondi received her law degree from Stetson University, which is ranked 104 out of what we hope is more than 105 law schools nationally.
This is not a shock. Dershowitz has defended Trump consistently for the past few years. It even cost him the friendship of the "elite" on Martha's Vineyard who don't want enablers of fascism at their cocktail parties. Dershowitz has a resume that would appeal to Trump. He's twice gotten a rich guy off for possibly, maybe, ALLEGEDLY killing his wife. Trump hasn't murdered any of his wives. Where's his Nobel Prize? That's how you know this whole impeachment is a partisan witch hunt. Barack Obama was never impeached and he only had to not kill one wife.
Dershowitz's statement from ABC News
Professor Dershowitz will 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 is participating in this impeachment trial to defend the integrity of the Constitution and to prevent the creation of a dangerous constitutional precedent.
Yeah, we know, Alan, everyone gets a defense!
We're not sure what Dershowitz means by a "dangerous constitutional precedent." Is he worried that impeachment will become some nakedly partisan exercise, with one side fully removed from any fact or evidence more significant than the accused president's political party? Would we see players committed to Bill Clinton's political destruction openly switch sides and defend Donald Trump? He's probably overreacting.
this is definitely an “are you fucking kidding me?” kinda day.— Monica Lewinsky (@Monica Lewinsky)1579274789.0
This is just peak Trump. Starr was the special prosecutor who helped impeach Bill Clinton for lying about a blow job. The Starr Report also described in eerie detail a "perfect phone call" Clinton had with Monica Lewinsky. Maybe Trump thinks Starr can just impeach Clinton again and everyone will forget about him. At least Dershowitz has a reputation as the guy who thinks no one (with enough money) should go to jail. Starr's defense of Donald Trump is a true shark jump moment. Does he only care about presidential blow job offenses? "How can the Democrats send these impeachment articles to the Senate? There's no evidence of blow jobs! They haven't even produced a jizz-stained dress. This is a farce!"
Baylor University "cut ties" with Starr over how he as university president failed to handle sexual assault charges against the football team. That makes him a good choice to defend Trump against his other alleged crimes, but we don't see how he's a good fit here.
"I think that Ken Starr is a lunatic, I really think that Ken Starr is a disaster... I really think that Ken Starr… https://t.co/IDbZArvVGC— Scott Dworkin (@Scott Dworkin)1579286411.0
Last week, Trump's loony tunes lawyer Rudy Giuliani suggested that Trump appeal his impeachment to the Supreme Court. It's a stupid idea, but even if Trump's team tried, it would prove awkward for Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He boofed with Starr from 1994 to 1997 and again in 1998. Kavanaugh personally chased conspiracy theories about Vince Foster's suicide, which should've disqualified him for the Supreme Court even without the (alleged) attempted rape.
[Kavanaugh] meticulously examined the White House carpets, old and new. (By now, Mr. Foster had been dead four years.) He sent investigators in search of follicle specimens from Mr. Foster's bereft, blond, teenage daughter. ("We have Foster's hair," one agent working for Mr. Kavanaugh reported in triumph.)
Kavanaugh also asked lots of people on the record if Hillary Clinton and Foster were fucking and how freaky did it get. During his screaming fit at his confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh claimed the accusations against him and overall opposition to his nomination was "revenge on behalf of the Clintons." Seems like a bad idea to go to the trouble of putting a ringer on the Supreme Court and then create so many obvious conflicts of interest.
Yes, this is the same Robert Ray who replaced Starr as independent (ha!) counsel in the Whitewater investigation. (They investigated the Clintons for seven years!) He's also the same guy who was charged with stalking a woman in 2006. We need a moment to process Trump's team including two men who devoted years of their lives to investigating the Clintons for the legal equivalent of jaywalking compared to what Trump's repeated hit and runs.
Peter Baker at the New York Times came close to the point but fell into a bottomless pit of "both sides-ism."
.@peterbakernyt: "One thing striking about seeing Ken Starr re-emerge as a player is reminding us how everyone has… https://t.co/C3WZKN011N— Andrea Mitchell (@Andrea Mitchell)1579283479.0
Look, it's intellectually consistent to believe that the charges against Clinton were bullshit and not worthy of removal from office while also believing that Trump is a cancer on democracy who abused his office for personal gain. However, if you believe the reverse, you are a hypocrite and a partisan hack. We don't know what else to tell you. It's especially rich that Starr and Ray will argue on Trump's half that we've "weaponized" impeachment as a political tool when they're the ones who loaded Chekhov's gun. They lowered the bar -- not Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, or Chuck Schumer. If Starr hadn't subpoenaed Lewinsky's dress and Kavanaugh hadn't gossiped about Clinton's sex life, Trump would rightly stand with Richard Nixon and Andrew Johnson. That's not a "constitutional crisis." That's a constitutional remedy.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."