Trump had to persuade Dershowitz’s wife to support him representing the President


By Vicky Ward and Chandelis Duster

Alan Dershowitz, a member of Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team, said Sunday the President had to call his wife, Carolyn Cohen, to persuade her to support the idea of Dershowitz making the case for “the Constitution” in the Senate impeachment trial.

“My wife thought that it would be better for me to remain independent and not present the argument in the Senate. President Trump spoke to her and said how important it was for the country. And my wife is still quite ambivalent about my role, but she supports me,” he told CNN on Sunday.

The White House announced Friday that the constitutional lawyer, along with Kenneth Starr, and Robert Ray, Starr’s successor at the Office of Independent Counsel during the Clinton administration, would be part of the President’s legal impeachment defense team.

Trump was especially fixated on having controversial defense attorney Dershowitz on the legal team. But Dershowitz has been telling his own associates he didn’t want to participate in the President’s trial, a source who is familiar with these conversations told CNN. White House officials have applied a lot of pressure over the last several weeks to convince Dershowitz to join the team, sources familiar with the attorney’s appointment said.

Dershowitz has distanced himself from the Trump legal team and earlier Sunday, he told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “State of the Union” he would not be involved in the day-to-day with the legal team — noting that he will just be there to argue the specific issue of constitutional criteria for impeachment, making “what could be the most important argument on the floor.”

When pressed by ABC’s George Stephanopolous on Sunday about Trump’s legal team’s formal response to the Senate summons of the President that was filed Saturday evening, Dershowtiz, said “I did not read that brief or I didn’t sign that brief.”

“That’s not part of my mandate,” he said. “My mandate is to present the constitutional argument. And if the constitutional argument succeeds, we don’t reach that issue, because you can’t charge a president with impeachable conduct if it doesn’t fit within the criteria for the Constitution.”

CNN’s Jamie Ehrlich and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.