Donald Trump‘s adviser Kellyanne Conway says the president is “very fond” of Alan Dershowitz amid rumours that the former lawyer for sex offender Jeffery Epstein may join the president’s legal team as his impeachment heads to Congress and a trial in the Senate.
Ms Conway told reporters at the White House that the president has spoken with Mr Dershowitz “on any number of occasions over time.” She said the president will announce his legal time at another time.
Mr Dershowitz was part of a 2006 legal team that represented Mr Epstein – the financier who was later charged with sex trafficking and died in prison in August, as well as OJ Simpson – among other high-profile criminal defendants.
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She said the White House expects Mr Trump to be “fully exonerated” from charges approved by the House Judiciary Committee, which filed its articles of impeachment against the president for obstruction and abuses of power in his dealings with Ukraine.
The president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani also was spotted at the White House today following his return from Ukraine, where he reportedly continued to press for investigations into Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden as Mr Giuliani remains under federal investigation for campaign finance violations.
Ms Conway said she didn’t know why Mr Giuliani was there.
On Twitter, while he was reportedly in Washington, Mr Giuliani said: “The American people have already made up their mind on this #ImpeachmentScam … This is a SMOKESCREEN for the Obama-Biden administration’s corruption. It will soon be proven.”
According to Ms Conway, Mr Trump has a “number of attorneys” as part of his legal defence, which is likely to enter a trial in the US Senate following the House of Representatives’ vote to impeach the president next week.
For the trial, the Senate will ostensibly act as an impartial jury under oath, but leaders in the Republican-controller Senate say they’ve already coordinated with the president about his defence and the process for a trial.
On Thursday, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said he’s in “total coordination” with the president.
He said: “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this.”
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Asked whether it’s appropriate that the president is communicating with the Senate ahead of trial, Ms Conway demurred, telling reporters, “you don’t know what they discussed” and then said they likely were coordinating their calendars.
“I care very much about the Senate getting its act together”, she said, adding that she wants to see passage of opioid legislation before its expiration “because I gave a s*** about people dying from drug overdoses while they’re trying to impeach a president.”
“I’ve had it with this nonsense”, she told reporters. “Cut it out. We have stuff to do in this country.”
She said that the president didn’t have an “opportunity to present and challenge” evidence and witnesses during the House hearings, but Mr Trump’s counsel told the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month that he didn’t plan to participate in those hearings after requests for his presence.
When a reporter said the president did have those opportunities, Ms Conway said: “The House proceeding was nonsense and you know it.”
The House is expected to vote on the president’s impeachment next week.