Legal expert and MSNBC host Ari Melber explained Monday that former independent counsel Ken Starr could not have been a worse person to give an opening statement for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
Host Nicolle Wallace explained that she was satisfied with not being yelled at on television by Trump’s team, as other lawyers have done. But Melber explained that beyond the volume level, the Trump team isn’t on a successful trajectory.
“This is the first big TV lawyer that we’ve seen deployed, that Donald Trump added to the team,” said Melber. “This was a disaster for Republicans, a total unmitigated legal and constitutional disaster. Ken Starr, at no point in this dramatic, at times, mournful opening, explained in any factual or legal way what’s different. If anything, he drew attention — and there are senators who understand the history — he drew attention to the fact that the last two times in modern history we’ve had impeachments: Clinton and Nixon.”
“They were for less!” exclaimed Wallace.
“They were for abuse of power among the original articles,” Melber agreed. “There were three articles for Nixon, one abuse of power, four initially for Clinton, one abuse of power. Hearing this mumbo jumbo of technical crime vis-à-vis high crime, abuse of power is the ultimate high crime. And so listening to this it was remarkable because Ken Starr is ‘Mr. Abuse of Power’ and I was listening interested, ready, open-minded to hear him somehow distinguish, explain, foreign policy. Nothing. He came up empty.”
Melber went on to call it a case of Starr vs. Starr like he was “shadow-boxing with himself.”
“I think constitutionally it may or may not resolve this case but for lawyers and senators watching constitutionally we watched Ken Starr punch himself in the face and then walk off the floor and anyone paying attention thought, ‘That’s odd.’ You asked a panelist earlier, ‘Well, what’s in his mind?’ We don’t know but we know what’s in his hands, his own hypocritical history,” Melber continued.
Watch the full exchange below:
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