Monica Lewinsky was among those expressing shock Friday morning after it was announced that Ken Starr and Robert Ray—both of whom served as special prosecutors in the investigation that led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in the 1990s—were appointed by President Donald Trump to be part of his legal defense team during the U.S. Senate’s impeachment trial.
this is definitely an “are you fucking kidding me?” kinda day.
— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) January 17, 2020
As Politico reports, Starr and Ray, along with Harvard Law School’s Alan Dershowitz and former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, will “serve as clean-up hitters behind White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow” for Trump’s six-person team of lawyers.
Trump’s legal “dream team” left other critics also unimpressed:
Pretty sure the last time Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr were on the same legal team was when they were working to keep Jeffery Epstein out of prison in Florida https://t.co/g1ibM1VCqM
— Rob Cohen (@Rob_Coh) January 17, 2020
I get why Trump thinks this is a clever legal dream team. But I'd bet this is going to backfire in a big way. For everything Starr says to defend Trump, there will be clips of him taking the opposite position against Clinton. It will only underscore the Republican hypocrisy. https://t.co/Q2w4kZyqwH
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) January 17, 2020
“Of all the lawyers in the country, Trump chose Ken Starr—who was fired from Baylor University over a rape scandal—and Alan Dershowitz—who helped pedophile rapist Jeffrey Epstein stay out of prison,” tweeted Keith Boykin, a political commentator for CNN. “That’s the message Trump wants to send for his impeachment?”
Walkouts as Roman Polanski wins best director at French Oscars
Roman Polanski won best director for "An Officer and a Spy" at a fractious ceremony for the French Oscars, the Cesars, that ended in walkouts and recrimination in Paris early Saturday.
The entire French academy had been forced to resign earlier this month amid fury that the veteran -- wanted in the US for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977 -- had topped the list of nominations.
Protesters chanting "Lock up Polanski!" tried to storm the theatre where the ceremony was being held before being pushed back by police firing tear gas.
And France's Culture Minister Franck Riester had warned that giving the maker of "Rosemary's Baby" a Cesar would be "symbolically bad given the stance we must take against sexual and sexist violence".
Trump accuses Democrats of coronavirus ‘hoax’ as confirmed cases in US gather pace
President Donald Trump accused Democrats of a new “hoax” over criticism of his handling of the coronavirus threat, as US health officials reported Friday a fourth case of novel coronavirus of unknown origin, indicating the disease was spreading in the country.
The latest case is a boy under 18 in Washington State who tested "presumptive positive" and is currently in home isolation in Snohomish County. The high school he attends will be shut until March 3 while it is deep cleaned, the Washington State Department of Health said.
A positive test is treated as "presumptive" until the results have been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Regulators move to fine telecoms for selling location data
US regulators moved to impose fines Friday against the nation's four major wireless carriers for selling location data of customers without their consent.
The Federal Communications Commission proposed fining T-Mobile more than $91 million; AT&T some $57 million; Verizon $48 million, and Sprint $12 million.
The wireless firms were accused of having disclosed mobile network user location data to a third party without authorization from customers, the FCC said.
The FCC began an investigation after a report that a sheriff in Missouri used a "location-finding service" operated by a prison communications services company called Securus to track whereabouts of people including a judge and law enforcement officers.