As long as Senate Republicans stay with Trump as expected, House Democrats who are suing the case will not be able to collect the two-thirds of the votes needed for sentencing. As important as the president, however, he is framing the debate in a way that he can take to the campaign while fighting Democrats for the second term.
This team may not provide the kind of defense that the president's most combative supporters think he needs. Stephen K. Bannon, former chief strategist for the president who hosts a daily radio program and podcast on impeachment with a group that often coordinates the White House, said the addition of Dershowitz and Starr brought impressive legal power to Mr The Trump team.
But Bannon expressed concern that "there are no fire breathers", as he put it. "It is very conventional in its composition and approach. But this is not touching the C-Span. The senators are not the jury; the American people are the jury. I firmly believe that you need some of the house's respirators, like Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows and Lee Zeldin. ”
Trump wanted some of these congressmen, among his most Republican allies to the House, to be on the defense team, but Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican and majority leader, rejected the idea. Members of the House, who are familiar with the testimony provided by witnesses during the impeachment investigation, should help behind the scenes and help defend the president on television, said people familiar with the president's legal defense plan.
The Trump team is also gearing up for the possibility that witnesses will be called to trial, despite McConnell's hope of avoiding him.
Other lawyers who join Trump's trial team include Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general who was a spokeswoman for the defense effort; Jane Serene Raskin, who defended Mr. Trump during the investigation by special attorney Robert S. Mueller III; and Eric D. Herschmann, a partner in the law firm of another longtime Trump attorney, Marc E. Kasowitz.
The president wanted defenders with media knowledge who could play the same vocal role that his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani did during Mueller's investigation. Dershowitz has been a media figure for years and Starr was a contributor to Fox News until he separated from the network because of his new role with Trump.