The far-right former independent counsel who spent four years investigating President Clinton and set up his impeachment has just told Fox News that Senate Republicans might consider following the precedent their party set during Watergate and ask for President Trump’s resignation after today’s bombshell testimony from EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland outlining a quid pro quo bribery scheme.
Kenneth Starr is widely known as a Republican partisan, whose neverending presidential investigation found nothing about the Whitewater real estate deal and instead relied on Clinton’s evasive statements about an extramarital affair to fuel an impeachment push and ultimately his acquittal in the Senate.
Needless to say, Starr is on Fox News today because he’s still a very reliable, partisan legal commentator. Yet even the Republican lawyer couldn’t help but draw a direct line between Ambassador Sondland’s devastating opening statement tying the Trump directly into the Ukraine bribery and extortion plot and the historical precedent his party set by forcing out President Nixon before his impeachment.
The Daily Beast reports Starr said:
“The real issue is the senators are watching. Are senators going to now say in light of what we hear today, it’s going to be a long day even with the ambassador alone, in light of what we have heard, ‘We need to make a trip down to the White House’? That historic example set during the Nixon presidency.
From what I’ve been able to glean I don’t think that’s going to happen. But obviously what happens today could—has the potential to be a game-changer.”
That’s not all the former independent counsel said on Fox News.
Starr continued by outlining House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) position that today’s testimony by Sondland when added with the other witnesses is enough to say that “‘We now know that the president in fact committed the crime of bribery.'”
“I think articles of impeachment are being drawn up,” the Republican lawyer says in response to today’s revelations, “if they haven’t already been drawn up.”
President Trump is in a tremendous pickle if he has lost Ken Starr, let alone Fox News.
Anchorman Chris Wallace has been unabashedly pro-facts lately on Fox News, and he’s anchoring their impeachment coverage.
“Any good lawyer can parse this, can phrase this any way they want. As a reporter, it seems to me that we have to go to the headline,” Wallace said to Fox’s national audience. “The headline today is that Gordon Sondland, one of the “three amigos,” perhaps the one with the most direct contact with Donald Trump, says in his opening statement ‘Was there a quid pro quo with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting? The answer is: yes.’
“‘He says that ‘President Trump wanted a public statement from President Zelensky committing to investigations of Burisma and the 2016 election,'” Wallace continued, paraphrasing Gordon Sondland’s testimony. “‘We all understood that these prerequisites… reflected President Trump’s desires.’ So, there seems to have been no doubt whatsoever amongst the people closest [to Trump].”
Today’s testimony has ripped apart every single Republican defense of the President, revealing what Trump knew and when he knew it.
But perhaps the greatest wound on Trump’s presidency from today’s hearings is his loss of the Fox News commentators complicity when they refuse to pretend that it is acceptable to use White House or congressional aide to bribe a foreign leader into delivering political favors.
Watch the Starr videos on Fox News here:
"Are senators going to now say, in light of what we hear today….we need to make a trip down to the White House—that historic example set during the Nixon presidency."
Ken Starr on the implications of Sondland's damning testimony: pic.twitter.com/iXGaNWybjL
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) November 20, 2019
"We now know that the president in fact committed the crime of bribery…
I think articles of impeachment are being drawn up if they haven't already been drawn up." —Ken Starr pic.twitter.com/3jrHhi7oPc
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) November 20, 2019
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition