Washington attorney Charles Cooper, who has represented two attorneys general and is enmeshed in the congressional investigation of President Trump’s contacts with Ukraine, entered the libel case against Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz Thursday after another high-powered attorney, David Boies, was disqualified.

Cooper will take over representation of Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who allegedly was a sexual assault victim of Jeffrey Epstein as a teenager in Florida in the early 2000s. Beginning in 2014, Giuffre began publicly accusing Dershowitz of repeatedly abusing her while Dershowitz was in Epstein’s social orbit, before Epstein was first arrested in Florida. Dershowitz has aggressively denied Giuffre’s claims, calling her a “certified, complete, total liar,” and in April, Giuffre sued Dershowitz for defamation, with Boies and partner Sigrid McCawley as her lawyers.

Dershowitz and Boies met in 2015 to discuss Giuffre’s allegations, and Dershowitz claims that Boies agreed that Dershowitz was right. Boies strongly denies that. Once Boies filed the defamation suit, Dershowitz told a federal judge in New York that he would be calling Boies as a witness, and asked for Boies to be disqualified. U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska agreed and ordered Boies and his firm out of the case earlier this month after five years of representing Giuffre on various matters, including another, successful defamation suit against Epstein’s top assistant, Ghislaine Maxwell, who also called Giuffre a liar. Maxwell paid a confidential settlement to Giuffre, and Dershowitz is seeking to have the documents in that case unsealed.

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While Boies and his firm are considering appealing their disqualification from the Dershowitz case, they felt Giuffre needed immediate representation, Boies said Thursday. So Boies reached out to Cooper, who was a leading candidate for solicitor general early in Trump’s administration, represented both Jeff Sessions and John Ashcroft when they were attorney general, and opposed Boies in the landmark case that legalized same-sex marriage.

“For Dershowitz, a delay is as good as a victory,” Boies said. “We decided the best thing to do was to bring Chuck’s firm in and have the case go forward. We’re going to continue to represent Virginia in other matters. And the key thing is, we’re going to continue to be very active in going after the people who made Epstein’s sex trafficking enterprise possible.”

After Epstein died in jail in August, while new federal criminal charges were pending against him, his alleged victims have said that civil litigation is their last avenue to seek full justice. The Giuffre case had pitted two legal heavyweights, Boies and Dershowitz, against each other until Boies was removed. Now Cooper steps in with an equally long legal résumé.

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Cooper was headed to court Thursday afternoon to represent former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman on the issue of testifying before the House in the Ukraine investigation. Cooper said the Giuffre suit is “of extreme national importance” and that he would seek that “justice be done for the victims of Jeffrey Epstein and the people who were involved in his criminal enterprise.”

Dershowitz said he didn’t know Cooper, “but by reputation he’s a distinguished and honorable lawyer. I look forward to meeting him and to justice being done in this case.”

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