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Trump just picked Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz for his Senate trial — and it’s already humiliating for them all

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President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team will include Kenn Starr and Alan Dershowitz, multiple outlets confirmed on Friday.

On a surface level, the picks make reasonable sense. Dershowitz is known for being a Democratic-leaning and notable constitutional scholar, who has become a repeat defender of Trump since his election. Starr was the prosecutor who brought the impeachment case against President Bill Clinton, so he knows the terrain well.

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But on any further inspection, the reasoning behind the choices falls apart. And as news of their selection spread on Friday, several developments and arguments emerged that reveal the poor optics of Trump using Dershowitz and Starr as his defenders.

Dershowitz, for one, is in an awkward position because throughout his years-long defense of Trump, he has insisted he was not interested in or angling to join the president’s defense team.

“I have no interest in changing my status from being an independent commentator on the current situation. I have no interest in becoming a lawyer in the case,” Dershowitz told the Washingtonian in 2018, when Trump’s legal issues largely surrounded Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. “I’m going to continue to say what I think. Sometimes that will help the President, sometimes it may not help the President. I’m independent, and I’m going to remain that way.”

In August 2017, when MSNBC’s Ari Melber asked Dershowitz if he had “provided any formal counsel to Donald Trump or his aides, or accepted any money, or would you consider providing counsel to them?”

“What an insulting question!” Dershowitz said in response. “Have I accepted money? I’m a liberal Democrat. I supported Hillary Clinton.” Watch the clip below:

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Then there’s the problem of Dershowitz’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein. Dershowitz was Epstein’s lawyer when the financier got what is widely regarded as a phenomenal sweetheart deal as he was facing charges of sex trafficking, events that have failed to be fully explained to this day. And two women say they were directed to have sex with Dershowitz while a part of Epstein’s sex trafficking scheme; he denies the charges. Of course, Trump had his own longtime friendship with Epstein, and he appointed the federal prosecutor who oversaw Epstein’s sweetheart deal to be his Labor secretary, so perhaps the president figures one more tie to Epstein couldn’t hurt.

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When it comes to Ken Starr, the pick is an awkward look because he was such a fierce crusader for Clinton’s impeachment which was, by any reasonable measure, based on much more flimsy grounds than Trump’s.

“He’ll bring a lot of the baggage of the last impeachment to this debate and people will start making comparisons and saying if then this, then that,” said the New York Times’ Peter Baker of the choice. “And it’s an interesting choice to want to import the 21-year old fight into his fight today.”

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And then there’s what Trump said about Starr during the Clinton impeachment.

“I think Ken Starr is a lunatic,” Trump said in a TV interview in 1999. “I really think that Ken Starr is a disaster. … It was a long and terrible process, I really think that Ken Starr was terrible.”

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Maureen Dowd, a New York Times opinion columnist, noted that Trump told her in 1999: “Starr’s a freak. I bet he’s got something in his closet.”

And while Starr often offered favorable commentary for the president during his legal troubles, many noted that there have been times when he seemed less confident about Trump’s innocence. After Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland testified in the House Intelligence Committee hearings, Starr said: “It doesn’t look good for the president, substantively.” He called the testimony a “bombshell” and said it would guarantee impeachment articles.

Since this is the Trump presidency we’re discussing, there’s bound to be more than just embarrassing quotes to dig up about Starr, and indeed there is. He recently left his post at Baylor University after allegations arose that the school mishandled sexual assault cases. And like Starr, he worked for Epstein.

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Monica Lewinsky, who bore the brunt of Starr’s aggression as he went after Clinton, share her thoughts after he was announced as a member of the Trump defense:

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Soledad O’Brien shames 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ hockey team for photo-op with Trump while wearing MAGA hats

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In an early Sunday morning tweet, award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien expressed her dismay with members of the 1980 Gold Medal-winning Olympic hockey team for celebrating their historic win over the then-Soviet Union -- dubbed the "Miracle on Ice" -- with Donald Trump while wearing "Make America Great Again" hats.

According to O'Brien, seeing them hand Trump a photo-op filled her with "disappointment."

Taking to Twitter, she wrote, " Ugh.... so disappointed by the @1980MiracleTeam . I loved watching that game as a kid with my dad. Loved watching the movie with my kids. To see them on a stage, in maga hats—kinda crushing I have to say."

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2020 Election

‘Nice deflection, Mr President’: Adam Schiff busts Trump for trying to blame him for his leaky administration

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) took a shot at President Donald Trump on Sunday morning after the president tried to blame him for the leak describing a classified meeting lawmakers had with an intelligence official who warned the bipartisan group that the Kremlin is trying to help the president get re-elected.

As the president prepared to leave the White House for India, he told reporters that Schiff was to blame for the leaked meeting story, with the president insisting he personally had not been briefed on the report explosive report.

Responding to a 'Meet the Press" clip of the president making his accusation, Schiff tweeted back: "Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You’ve betrayed America. Again."

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George Conway taunts Republican voters for sticking by ‘psycho buffoon’ Trump

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Conservative attorney George Conway launched a mini-tweet storm on Sunday morning just as President Donald Trump was leaving the country for a visit to India, telling Republican voters that they didn't have to settle for him being their candidate in 2016.

Along the way, he described the president as "a psycho and a buffoon."

In the series of tweets, Conway -- the husband of Trump White House adviser Kellyanne Conway -- noted that a more mainstream candidate could have won in 2016, writing, "Some perspective for supporters of @realDonaldTrump: A stable and competent GOP candidate would have won the popular vote in 2016, perhaps even by a few percentage points; a stable and competent GOP president, having inherited such a strong economy and goosed it with massive deficit spending, would have approval ratings of at least 55%."

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