Former independent counsel Ken Starr said he was unimpressed with the first two witnesses House Democrats put on the stand on Wednesday. Speaking frankly about the legal implications of the impeachment inquiry, Starr said that the witnesses provided little in the way of credible evidence – something the Democrats desperately need if they are to convince the public that President Trump committed impeachable offenses in relation to Ukraine.
“The members were very strong. I think the members overall acquitted themselves extremely well on both sides of the aisle. The quality of the questioning was extremely high for the most part,” Starr said. “One key thing, the Republicans not only are rock solid, so that means if this trend continues, there is no hope for impeachment, that’ll do it for the conviction in the Senate.
“And to me, here was something that was very telling: No crime was proven today,” Starr continued. “There were a lot terms used, extortion and bribery, but no crime. This is very unlike Nixon and unlike Clinton.”
In a separate interview, Starr – once at the center of this country’s sole impeachment – said that it was a mistake for our republic to put too much faith in the impeachment solution.
“We are living in this culture of impeachment — that everyone cries impeachment. And we inherited this process from the mother country. But the mother country hasn’t employed impeachment for executive branch officers — it’s a parliamentary system, of course — in two centuries,” Starr said.
“So we need to find a better way to hold the executive accountable,” Starr argued. “If the Democrats believe that the president stepped over the line, discuss a motion of censure, resolution of censure, and say this is really bad. But there’s no suggestion that the president somehow was profiting from this, right? This does not seem like bribery. To the person on the street, this is going to seem like a stretch.”
Starr is right on multiple levels here. We’re all for the House of Representatives providing a check on the Executive Branch – that’s what our Constitution provides for and requires. And if there was something fishy about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, there are a hundred smaller steps the House could have taken short of impeachment. They bypassed those steps not because of the severity of the wrongdoing – it is minor, if it exists at all – but because they are terrified to face Trump in 2020. That’s it. That’s the whole reason we’re going through this charade.
Unfortunately, if the “person on the street” gets their impeachment news filtered through the leftists in the media, this stunt show could be more successful than we’d hope.