Before today, I didn’t think it had been possible to feel pitying White House, Counsel Pat Cipollone. Remember he’s quarterbacked the unprecedented stonewalling of the Congressional impeachment process by refusing to show over documents despite legitimate subpoenas. He has enforced the President’s edict to deny Congress witnesses, again despite congressional subpoenas.
But today I do feel a touch pitying Cipollone. to form a mockery of the impeachment process, Trump has successively, made a mockery of his own legal team by announcing the additions of Kenneth Starr, Alan Dershowitz, and Pam Bondi before the Senate impeachment trial is slated to resume next week. Cipollone will now need to stand with a gaggle of discredited lawyers who will contribute to the spectacle which will play out on the Senate floor because the President thinks they are doing an excellent job on Fox News.
Let’s start with Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Clinton for quite four years. Appointed to research a failed land deal in Arkansas, Starr used the facility of his office to create a case for removing the President supported an inappropriate relationship between Clinton and a White House intern. Many folks remember the jury leaks, the driveway press conferences, and Starr’s pretentious preaching.
And, of course, the treatment of Monica Lewinsky, who was held for hours at a Virginia hotel, where she was questioned without a lawyer while FBI agents and members of Starr’s team tried to influence her to cooperate. Starr defended the conduct of his investigators and said there was nothing inappropriate in their interactions with Lewinsky. And who can forget the Starr report that appeared to the enjoyment of detailing the sordid affair? Even Starr’s own ethics advisor, Sam Dash, resigned in protest over how he handled the investigation.
But Starr didn’t just ride into the sunset after the Clinton impeachment. He visited Baylor University, where he was later removed as president after an investigation found that that the university mishandled allegations of sexual abuse against members of the eleven. But that’s not all. Starr’s storied resume includes defending Jeffrey Epstein, perhaps America’s best known and most notorious convict.
Starr was a part of the team that got Epstein a notoriously lenient plea deal in 2008, albeit a federal investigation had identified 36 alleged underage victims. Epstein, who was granted federal immunity as a part of the deal, went on to allegedly sexually abuse and traffic underage girls until as recently as 2018, consistent with a replacement lawsuit filed in the week.
Starr crossed paths with Alan Dershowitz while they were both on Epstein’s defense. Dershowitz, who became known for defending O.J. Simpson, became famous because he appeared to love pontificating on any legal point wherever there was a camera. Two women who have come to the fore as Epstein’s victims said the financier directed them to possess sex with Dershowitz. He has strongly denied the allegations.
Dershowitz, who wont to mention his liberal credentials, has since become a favorite on Fox News, defending Trump and reveling within the attention it brought him. One can only imagine the stories Dershowitz and Starr might share sitting within the Fox News green room. Then there’s former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. In 2013, Bondi announced her office wouldn’t launch an investigation into alleged fraud within the marketing of Trump University after the Trump Foundation contributed $25,000 to a political action committee to support her reelection. She has denied that there’s any connection between the donation and her office’s decision.
I don’t believe Trump began to place a subpar legal team on the ground of the Senate, although that’s what he’s doing. He began to form the impeachment trial the newest episode in his reality show presidency. The President is deliberately creating a circus show bringing back a number of the simplest acts from the last three decades. It seems he hopes to entertain his supporters, instead of defending his conduct. And 40% of the country that also approves of Trump is going to be undoubtedly entertained.
But the remainder of the country will get a true window into the character of our President. instead of mount a defense of his conduct with the simplest legal team, he’s choosing a gaggle mired in controversies including scandal, alleged corruption and misogyny. the bulk of America in my view is going to be repulsed. But they will not be surprised. The President allows us to know who he was when he stepped off that Access Hollywood bus. And now he’s picked a legal team that has no problem in the least with it.