House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) undermined the Democrats’ case for witnesses to testify in the Senate impeachment trial by arguing they already had proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” Trump should be impeached, former independent counsel Kenneth Starr said Wednesday.
“There’s an incoherence in Jerry Nadler’s approach to things,” Starr said on Fox News’s America’s Newsroom.
During a press conference where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced which Democrats would serve as impeachment managers in the Senate trial, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) argued there was a need to bring in witnesses:
The framers had in mind a real trial with witnesses and evidence, and if McConnell makes this the first trial in history without witnesses, it will be exposed for what it is and that is an effort to cover up for the president.
But Nadler later added during the press conference that there was proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the president had “betrayed the country.” He said:
There’s an overwhelming case beyond any reasonable doubt that the president betrayed the country by withholding federal funds appropriated by Congress, breaking the law in doing so, in order to extort a foreign government into intervening in our government to try to embarrass a potential political opponent of his. There’s overwhelming evidence of that.
Nadler’s remarks directly undermined House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) argument that the Senate needed to bring in witnesses, as Starr noted:
There’s a huge question, will there be witnesses? If you’ve proven the case, then there’s no need to retry the case, right? And that’s precisely the approach from 21 years ago — ‘We don’t need it.’
Democrats will have to argue, “We really need these witnesses even though Jerry Nadler says we proved it beyond a reasonable doubt,'” Starr said.