Deplorables for the Defense: Starr, Dershowitz, Bondi and Ray

C.J. Jones

On Friday, when Trump announced his defense team, Monica Lewinksy tweeted: “this is definitely an ‘are you fucking kidding me?’ kinda day.”

Here are the career low lights of several high-profile members of Trump’s team of misfits:

  • Kenneth Starr, the cringe-makingly unctuous former Whitewater prosecutor, was demoted from president of Baylor University and resigned as chancellor in 2016 after an independent investigation cited his “fundamental failure” to respond appropriately to multiple allegations of sexual assault. Three football players and the president of a fraternity were tried on the charges. Two of the football players went to prison. Baylor’s football coach and other staff members either resigned or were fired.
  • Alan Dershowitz, a once-respected attorney and Harvard law professor turned Trump cult consigliere, has been accused of receiving a massage from an underage sex slave at one of Jeffrey Epstein’s houses. “I kept my underwear on during the massage,” Dershowitz has said. He denies he was massaged by a child, claiming instead that the masseuse was an “old, old Russian woman.” Dershowitz has never explained why he was in Epstein’s house and says he was clueless about what was going on elsewhere in the place. “Were there young women in another part of the house giving massages when I wasn’t around?” he says. “I have no idea of that.” Some of the “young women” under Epstein’s control were as young as 12 years old.
  • Pam Bondi is a Florida Republican politician, a ready-for-Fox-News blonde and a lobbyist for Qatar who has been credibly accused of taking a bribe — a quid pro quo — from Trump when she was attorney general in Florida. In August 2013 the attorney general of New York filed suit against Trump University, a real-estate seminar program operated by the Trump Organization, alleging that Trump U had defrauded thousands of seminar attendees. Because some of the allegations came from Florida, Bondi at first promised her office would investigate. A month later, however, a political PAC she controlled received a $25,000 donation from Trump’s nonprofit foundation — the “quid” — and subsequently Bondi’s investigation into Trump U never happened — the quid’s alleged “pro.” Bondi has claimed she personally solicited the donation from Trump a few weeks before the New York attorney sued Trump U, but this has never been proven. The court eventually ruled against the Trump Organization and imposed a fine of $25 million.

    Although it is illegal for 5013c nonprofits to make political donations, the Trump Foundation was merely fined $2,500 — a slap on the wrist. The foundation was recently ordered dissolved, however, based on allegations of “persistently illegal conduct” by the Trump crime family. They were forced to pay a $2 million fine.
  • Robert Ray — best remembered as the federal prosecutor who took over the Whitewater investigation from Ken Starr back in the ’90s — was charged in 2006 with stalking his ex-girlfriend. Ray, who is active in right-wing Christian circles, surrendered to police on May 12. He was given an order to appear in the New York City Criminal Court for an arraignment on a charge of stalking in the fourth degree, a misdemeanor. The former girlfriend said he’d harassed her and intruded in her home against her wishes. A quick scour of Google produced nothing on Ray’s appearance in court or any sentencing in the case.

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