Former special counsel Ken Starr said Wednesday that Ambassador Sondland’s public testimony sealed the deal: he had no doubt that impeachment was coming.
Starr appeared on “America’s Newsroom” on Fox News during a brief break in Sondland’s testimony to discuss the ongoing hearing.
Host Sandra Smith began by repeating a question she had asked earlier. “Ken, I asked you three hours ago before the hearing took place this morning or before it began, you called yesterday the hearings extravagant and political and so far these hearings have not revealed a crime,” she began. “Did anything change in the last couple of hours?”
“Yes, because we’ve gotten closer to the president but just for the reasons you identified, the president may have covered himself by saying ‘no quid pro quo,’ the record is muddled,” Starr said. “So we have Gordon Sondland’s understanding.” (RELATED: Sondland Never Took Notes, His Memory Of Trump Conversation Was Triggered By A$AP Rocky)
Starr went on to draw a comparison between the current situation and the impeachment hearings prior to the resignation of former President Richard Nixon. “It doesn’t look good for the president substantively, but I want to make a different point,” he said. “The chairman began with essentially pulling out the Richard Nixon articles of impeachment, figuratively speaking, and he pointed to the third article: contempt. Contempt in the sense of you have stood in the way of this investigation.”
Starr went on to say that the Democrats had laid out the case for obstruction by pointing out Ambassador Sondland’s lack of access to records in order to help him give more accurate testimony. “The very first questions from Mr. Goldman went exactly to obstruction,” Starr explained. “‘You have not had the ability to refresh your recollection, you are not a note taker’ and so forth. So we already have one article of impeachment and the third article of impeachment in the Richard Nixon situation is very clear, it’s very succinct and very well done. That just got drawn up today thanks to Ambassador Sondland saying it is not a complaint now, but the House chairman or anyone on this committee it is from the witness himself and he was — I thought quite bitter and almost impassioned with respect to ‘I have been stymied.'”
“So we have now a process crime,” Starr concluded. “Contempt of Congress, Contempt of the House in the course of its impeachment.”
But Starr also noted that the case against impeachment was still there and that Republicans could easily craft a response. “What’s the response to that? ‘We don’t recognize this.’ ‘It was not proper.’ ‘It was not authorized through a proper vote of the House,’ etc. ‘This is a House — not Judiciary Committee.’ There are responses to it.”
Bill Hemmer then asked Starr what the overall takeaway was.
“It leads me — there will be articles of impeachment,” Starr concluded. “We’ve known that. It was just confirmed today and substantively what we heard from the chairman just now is it’s over. We now know — this is his position. We now know that the president in fact committed the crime of bribery. The something of value. I think articles of impeachment are being drawn up if they haven’t already been drawn up. So it depends will it be bipartisan and so forth. So this obviously has been one of those bombshell days.”