Former Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr said Tuesday that he still doesn’t see any substantial criminal allegations from the testimony, reacting to the third day of House Democrats’ public impeachment inquiry hearings.
Appearing on “America’s Newsroom” with hosts Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith, Starr said that the two witnesses who testified on Tuesday — both of whom listened in on President Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — never accused the president of a crime.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official, testified, saying he “was concerned by the call. What I heard was inappropriate.”
Vice President Pence’s aide Jennifer Williams said she “found the July 25th phone call unusual because, in contrast to other presidential calls I had observed, it involved discussion of what appeared to be a domestic political matter.”
Both Vindman and Williams testified Tuesday they never learned why the hold on the military aid to Ukraine was eventually lifted.
“What we hear is ‘improper.’ I’ve never heard the suggestion ‘unlawful,'” said Starr, a Fox News contributor. “I think, again, the president’s judgment is being called into question — whether this is wise or not. But, not a crime.”
Additionally, Starr noted to Hemmer and Smith that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., has “chosen to be chief prosecutor” and that he “long ago left the idea of being the fair and balanced chair of the committee.
“And, he uses terms such as bribery and extortion, but we’re not hearing that from the witnesses,” Starr noted.
The committee’s ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., dismissed the inquiry as a “partisan frenzy” in his opening remarks. He also blasted media coverage over what he called a “fevered rush to tarnish and remove” the president.
Starr said he believes what Nunes is driving at is “there really is no crime” and that Trump’s actions should have been subject to an oversight hearing, not an impeachment proceeding.
“Reasonable people could say he should not have done that. Perfectly reasonable conclusion … but the idea that this was impeachable is, to me, quite extreme. It’s extravagant. It’s certainly not what the founding generation intended,” he said.
“Here we are, 11 months and a few days away from a presidential election. It’s extravagant. It’s political.”
Fox News’ Alex Pappas, Adam Shaw, and Gregg Re contributed to this report.