The team defending the Republican president will be led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump private attorney Jay Sekulow, Trump’s legal team and a source said. Trump adviser Pam Bondi and former independent counsel Robert Ray will also be on the team, according to the source.
The trial formally got underway on Thursday, though it will start in earnest on Tuesday with opening statements.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on two charges arising from his dealings with Ukraine – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – on December 18 after an investigation that centred on his request that Ukraine investigate political rival Joe Biden, the president’s possible Democratic opponent in the November 3 election.
The trial in the Republican-led Senate will determine whether Trump is removed from office.
The Senate is expected to acquit Trump, as none of its 53 Republicans has voiced support for removing him, a step that requires a two-thirds majority. Trump has denied wrongdoing and has called the impeachment process a sham.
Starr’s voluminous investigative report on Clinton’s sexual affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky served as the basis for his impeachment in the House. The Senate acquitted Clinton in 1999.
Dershowitz has been a well-known figure in US legal circles for decades. He is a Harvard Law School professor and was part of the so-called “Dream Team” of lawyers who won a 1995 acquittal of former National Football League star and actor O J Simpson on charges of murdering his wife and a friend of hers.