Ken Starr Statement on Impeachment Inquiry Spreads Without Full Context

Claim

Clinton impeachment investigator Ken Starr told Fox News that "articles of impeachment are being drawn up if they haven't already been drawn up" against United States President Donald Trump.

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Amid impeachment inquiry hearings on November 20 2019, a partial transcript from a Fox News telecast spread online and gave some readers and listeners the impression that one of the right-wing network’s analysts had concluded that United States President Donald Trump would be impeached.

The quote was posted on Twitter by Kyle Griffin, a senior producer for the MSNBC commentary show The Last Word. The clip was shared thousands of times within an hour:

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.”

Starr’s sentiments are notable because he served as an independent counsel in the impeachment investigation of another United States president, Bill Clinton.

Without the ellipses, however, the full quote shows that Starr was relating what he felt was the sentiments of California Rep. Adam Schiff, who is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the Democratic Party lawmaker leading the impeachment inquiry against Trump.

“Substantively, what we’ve heard from the chairman just now is, ‘It’s over. We now know,'” Starr said. “I mean, this is his position: ‘We now know that the president, in fact, committed the crime of bribery — there’s something of value.’ That’s litigable. But I think the articles of impeachment are being drawn up if they haven’t already been drawn up.”