A moment of truth exploded its way into a cult on Wednesday.
What does it mean when even Republican impeachment hack Ken Starr says on the most watched channel of the impeachment inquiry, “We now know that the president in fact committed the crime of bribery…I think articles of impeachment are being drawn up if they haven’t already been drawn up.”
It probably means he will no longer be asked to speak on Fox News. But it also tells the story of Trump losing some support, and certainly is the opposite of the Republican spin.
Ken Starr: "There will be articles of impeachment, I think we've known that … It's over … This is his position, we now know that the president, in fact, committed the crime of bribery … Articles of impeachment are being drawn up if they haven't already been drawn up." pic.twitter.com/82NOwczpej
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 20, 2019
Ken Starr said, “There will be articles on impeachment. I think we’ve known that, it was just confirmed today.”
“Substantively what we’ve heard from the Chairman just now is: It’s over,” Starr told Fox News viewers. “We know know, I mean this was his position, we now know that the President in fact committed the crime of bribery, to something of value. That’s litigable, but I think articles of impeachment are being drawn up if they haven’t already been drawn up. And so this depends will it be bipartisan and so forth. And so this has obviously been one of those bombshell days.”
Starr added that Trump may have “covered himself” on the quid pro quo, which seems odd when it was testified to directly today and isn’t necessary in the first place.
Starr also said he wondered if Senators were going to be making a trip to the White House to ask Trump to resign “in light of what we’ve heard today” from Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
“The senators are watching. Are senators going to now say in light of what we hear today, it’s going to be a long day even with the ambassador alone, in light of what we have heard, ‘We need to make a trip down to the White House?’ That historic example set during the Nixon presidency. From what I’ve been able to glean I don’t think that’s going to happen. But obviously what happens today has the potential to be a game changer.”
"Are senators going to now say, in light of what we hear today….we need to make a trip down to the White House—that historic example set during the Nixon presidency."
Ken Starr on the implications of Sondland's damning testimony: pic.twitter.com/iXGaNWybjL
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) November 20, 2019
Fox News has had the highest ratings of any cable outlet carrying the impeachment inquiry. In fact, according to Forbes, impeachment hearings gave Fox News “its best ratings since the 2018 midterm elections.”
This suggests that even the President’s worn out rallies pale in comparison to his impeachment with his own base.
Forbes media writer Mark Joyella even noted, “… ratings show there was no shortage of interest in news coverage of this next phase of the impeachment process…”
This flies in the face of the Republican talking point that people are over it and have lost interest in the impeachment hearings, which I pointed out early Wednesday morning was patently untrue.
People are watching. They are watching on Fox. And they were just told by a Republican that impeachment is happening and that the Chairman knows “that the President in fact committed the crime of bribery, to something of value.” Starr softened this with “That’s litigable…” but the words are out there now, floating around in the minds of the audience of the most watched impeachment inquiry.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.