Trump holds chat with Alan Dershowitz during Mar-a-Lago Christmas eve dinner
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Trump holds chat with Alan Dershowitz during Mar-a-Lago Christmas eve dinner

In change of pace, US president and first lady attend services at Southern Baptist church rather than at Episcopal one where they married

President Donald Trump speaks to attorney Alan Dershowitz, right, as he arrives for Christmas Eve dinner at Mar-a-lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, December 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
President Donald Trump speaks to attorney Alan Dershowitz, right, as he arrives for Christmas Eve dinner at Mar-a-lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, December 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

US President Donald Trump met and chatted with Alan Dershowitz during Christmas eve dinner on Tuesday evening at the president’s private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. Trump, who was recently impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, has reportedly been mulling adding the prominent Jewish defense attorney and scholar to his legal defense team.

Rumors that Dershowitz could be added to Trump’s defense team gained momentum last week when the law professor attended the White House Hanukkah party and was asked by the US president to speak at the event.

Dershowitz, a scholar of constitutional law and a lifetime advocate of civil liberties, has already been warming up to the task, publishing an op-ed on The Hill in which he argued that House Judiciary committee impeachment proposals “are so vague and open ended that they could be applied in partisan fashion by a majority of the House against almost any president from the opposing party.”

Dershowitz did not indicate if he and the president had discussed impeachment during their chat on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump leave Christmas Eve service at Family Church Downtown in West Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, December 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“I was a guest of friends of mine. Not part of the Trump Christmas party. The president came over to say hello to me and my wife. We wished each other happy holidays,” he told Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper.

Their meeting came after Trump attended Christmas services at the Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated Family Church in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Attending the church was a change of pace for the Trumps, who had attended holiday services in the past at Bethesda-by-the-Sea, the Episcopal Church in Palm Beach where they were married in 2005. It is unclear why the Trumps chose to attend a new church for the holiday but the move came on the heels of the publication of a call for his removal in a leading evangelical publication.

Prominent evangelical Trump supporters recently harshly condemned Christianity Today magazine’s editorial. Trump himself tweeted in response that “no President has ever done what I have done for Evangelicals, or religion itself!”

The pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Florida, Jimmy Scroggins, and his family greeted the Trumps as they arrived moments into a “Candlelight Christmas Celebration.” The Trumps received applause and cheers while taking reserved seats in the church’s third pew. Brief sermons and readings by clergy were interlaced between traditional Christmas songs, as theatrical smoke billowed and fake snow descended from the rafters.

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