Impeachment news roundup: Jan. 17

Dershowitz, Starr on Trump’s defense team

House impeachment managers, from left,  Reps. Adam B. Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, Zoe Lofgren and Hakeem Jeffries walk to the Senate on Thursday to read the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House impeachment managers are working through the weekend, reviewing trial materials and their legal brief.

The House brief, due Saturday at 5 p.m., has already been drafted by staff over the last month, but managers are continuing to refine it, according to a Democratic aide working on the impeachment trial.

Managers will return to Washington on Sunday to meet that day and Monday in the Capitol with counsel to prepare for their opening arguments, the aide said. There are dozens of staffers across the Intelligence, Judiciary and Oversight committees, in addition to House general counsel’s office, working on the trial, the aide said.

The weekend will feature a variety of TV appearances from lawmakers making their case in the court of public opinion before the Senate trial starts Tuesday. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi will appear on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern time to discuss “the next steps on impeachment, House Democrats’ achievements For The People and other news of the day,” according to a statement from the California Democrat’s office.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff will be on ABC’s “This Week,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler is expected to appear on “Face the Nation,” and South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is scheduled for “Fox News Sunday.” Schiff and Nadler are impeachment managers. Graham served as an impeachment manager during the Clinton trial in 1999.

Here’s the latest on impeachment:

Defense team: President Donald Trump’s legal team will include former Bill Clinton prosecutors Kenneth Starr and Robert Ray and retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, multiple media outlets reported Friday.

Starr investigated the sexual misconduct allegations that led to Clinton’s impeachment, before he resigned as special counsel, saying “intense politicization of the independent counsel process” had diminished public confidence in the justice system. Ray, who was a prosecutor in Starr’s office, wrote the final report on the investigation after succeeding his boss.

Dershowitz has advised Trump on the Mueller investigation and has served as a Fox News contributor. He has defended Trump and criticized the investigations into him. He also previously represented Jeffrey Epstein and O.J. Simpson.

They join White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump personal lawyer Jay Sekulow on the president’s defense team.

The White House would not confirm the news, but Dershowitz tweeted a statement that said he would make oral arguments to “address the constitutional arguments against impeachment and removal.”

The statement also pointed out that Dershowitz was nonpartisan, given that he opposed Clinton’s impeachment and voted for Hillary Clinton in her run against Trump.

Good and bad: “You’ve got a good one now — even though they’re trying to impeach the son of a bitch,” Trump told the college football champions the LSU Tigers about himself during a celebration event in the East Room.

The president had just invited the team to the Oval Office, noting that “some good and some bad” presidents had sat inside behind the Resolute Desk he uses.

Fact check: The House has already impeached Trump on two counts; the Senate trial will determine whether he is removed from office.

Impeachment effect: Calling the House-approved impeachment articles “no charge-charges,” chief White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the House inquiry and pending Senate trial has had no impact on the U.S. economy. 

Timeline: Here’s what is expected to happen between now and when the Senate begins its trial on Tuesday.

5 p.m. Saturday: House’s deadline to file its trial brief.

6 p.m. Saturday: Deadline for Trump to respond to the House summons for his impeachment trial.

Noon Monday: Trump’s deadline to file a trial brief.

Noon Tuesday: Deadline for House to file a rebuttal to Trump’s trial brief.

1 p.m. Tuesday: Senate trial begins.

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