Former Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr told the Senate on Monday afternoon that the impeachment of a president had always involved crimes — and that none had been alleged in the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Starr made the argument that former Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz had been expected to make.
He implored the Senate to restore the nation’s constitutional traditions by considering the “common law” of precedent, and the constitutional text itself, which “always” spoke in terms of actual “crimes.”
“Impeachments should be evaluated in terms of offenses against established law — especially with respect to the presidency.”
He said he was not stating that categorically, but noted — citing a similar argument on the eve of the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson in 1868 — the “weight of authority” supported his view.
Starr, speaking with perhaps unique authority as the an who investigated allegations that led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, said that precedent suggested criminal conduct had to be alleged.
The Clinton impeachment, he said, while controversial, charged actual crimes, as did the impeachment investigation of Richard Nixon. full story