Disgraced former Baylor University President Kenneth Starr, best known for his role investigating Bill Clinton, has been added to the Trump legal defense team for the impeachment trial, according to media reports.
Starr’s investigation into Clinton’s sexual misconduct, culminating with the Starr Report, led to Clinton’s impeachment. Starr also previously served as a federal judge for the District of Columbia Circuit in the 1980s. Under President George H.W. Bush, he served as U.S. solicitor general, arguing cases before the Supreme Court.
Starr was named the 14th president of Baylor University in Waco in 2010 and chancellor in 2013. After the mishandling of campus sexual assault allegations, he was ousted as president in 2016 and resigned as chancellor and law professor shortly after, cutting all ties with the university.
The sexual assault scandal began after a Baylor football player, Sam Ukwuachu, was convicted of rape. (In July, an appeals court reversed the decision and ordered a new trial for the second time in two years.) Testimony during the trial revealed that though Baylor investigated the allegations against Ukwuachu, it failed to take any punitive action. Soon after the conviction, a wave of additional sexual assault allegations were made by female students. An investigation by an outside law firm retained by the university found a pervasive mishandling of sexual assault cases.
During one of many resulting Title IX suits against Baylor, lawyers alleged that Starr and other university officials helped a student they knew to be accused of sexual harassment. The university eventually settled with several of the accusers.
Starr will join Robert Wray, who also served as independent counsel during the Clinton impeachment proceedings, and Harvard Law School professor and defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, who is known for his representation of controversial figures like O.J. Simpson and Jeffrey Epstein.
Also added to the team was former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who was hired by the White House to handle impeachment communications in November. In 2013, a political action committee for Bondi’s reelection received a $25,000 donation from the Donald J. Trump Foundation. Shortly after, Bondi announced she wouldn’t pursue the dozens of complaints against Trump University.
The team will be headed by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow.
These appointments come days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Houston will be one of seven Democrats to prosecute the impeachment case in the Senate.
The House voted largely along party lines in December to impeach Trump over allegations he used his office to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate a family member of his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Only the Senate has the power to remove a president with a two-thirds majority vote. It’s considered unlikely the Republican-controlled Senate would join with Democrats to remove Trump from office.
Trump is the third U.S. president to be impeached by the House. No president has ever been removed from office by the Senate.
The Senate impeachment trial began Thursday with the reading of articles of impeachment. House Democrats will begin presenting the case against Trump next Tuesday.
WATCH: Buffalo cops and firefighters cheer officers charged with assault as they leave the courthouse
According to a report from both CNN and MSNBC, the two Buffalo police officers who were charged with second-degree assault after shoving a 75-year-old anti-police brutality protester to the ground where he sustained head injuries were greeted with applause after they were arraigned on Saturday morning.
MSNBC's Alex Witt noted that both officers were released without having to post bail.
According to ABC News, "Officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault during their video arraignments on Saturday and were released on their own recognizance. They both entered no guilty pleas and are expected back in court on July 20."
Lindsey Graham leveled by Jim Clyburn for ‘out of touch’ comments on police brutalizing African-Americans
In response to protests over the police killing of George Floyd, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had this to say: "I've come to believe that young black men rightly or wrongly perceive the police to be a threat when many times they're not, and we've got to deal with that problem."
On Saturday's edition of MSNBC's "AM Joy," Graham's fellow South Carolina lawmaker, Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn, laid into Graham for his comments. "He is from Seneca, South Carolina," said Clyburn. "I know the history of Seneca, South Carolina. Where has he been?"
"You know, I've been really interested, we had some foolishness the other day," said Clyburn. "Drew Brees has gotten himself in some difficulty with his teammates, how his grandfather and father thought about anybody kneeling would be disrespecting the flag as if these, his teammates, did not have parents and grandparents who fought for this country and came back to this country with all kinds of indignities. One of which has just been written about in a great book from South Carolina. Isaac Woodard was in his uniform, coming home from the war, when he was stopped by a sheriff, a law enforcement officer who beat him, punched his eyes out with a night stick. That's the thing that led Harry Truman to sign the executive order to integrate the armed services, because of the in indignities charged to a black man by a law enforcement officer, and that black man was in his uniform coming home from a war we had just won."
Can it happen here? Bill Moyers says it’s happening right before our very eyes
At 98, historian Bernard Weisberger has seen it all. Born in 1922, he grew up watching newsreels of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler as they rose to power in Europe. He vividly remembers Mussolini posturing to crowds from his balcony in Rome, chin outthrust, right arm extended. Nor has he forgotten Der Fuehrer’s raspy voice on radio, interrupted by cheers of “Heil Hitler,” full of menace even without pictures.
Fascist bullies and threats anger Bernie, and when America went to war to confront them, he interrupted his study of history to help make history by joining the army. He yearned to be an aviator but his eyesight was too poor. So he took a special course in Japanese at Columbia University and was sent as a translator to the China-Burma-India theater where Japanese warlords were out to conquer Asia. Bernie remembers them, too.