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Ken Starr Whines Over So-Called ‘Rodino’ Standard — But His Former Teacher Walter Dellinger Sets Him Straight

One thing that’s been incredibly noticeable about the impeachment saga of President Donald Trump has been the way that Republicans, in spite of overwhelming evidence demonstrating wrongdoing by the chief executive, have stood by his side.

Senate Television via Getty Images; Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

There have been some exceptions — Rep. Justin Amash, who was a Republican until the middle of last year, had been critical of the president, and became an independent rather than remain in a political party that had Trump as its de facto leader.

Republicans have used this supposed lack of bipartisanship as a rallying cry against impeachment, suggesting that, if it were truly justified, Democrats would have at least a few Republicans on their side.

Kenneth Starr, who is presently working on Trump’s legal defense team during the Senate impeachment trial, brought this point up in his complaints on Monday. Starr complained that there were a high rate of impeachments over the course of the past quarter-century, Law & Crime reported — an odd remark to make, given that he’s been a key player within both of them, and seemingly disregards his own part he’s played:

“In this particular juncture in America’s history, the Senate is being called to sit as the high court of impeachment all too frequently. Indeed, we are living in what I think can aptly be described as the ‘age of impeachment.'”

Starr went onto chide Democratic House managers for pushing for impeachment, stating that, during the process they ignored the so-called “Rodino Rule,” named after Watergate-era House Judiciary chair Rep. Peter Rodino, who pushed for bipartisanship whenever he possibly could.

Many took issue with Starr’s remarks, but one notable figure who spoke out against them was his former teacher, Duke University Professor Emeritus of Law Walter Dellinger.

Dellinger pointed out that there’s two sides to the coin here: having bipartisanship isn’t always dependent on the “leading” party courting others to join them, but also requires members of the other side to have open minds.

Starr “emphasizes that prior impeachments have been bipartisan,” Dellinger noted. But, “[h]e assumes that is a criticism of Democrats who have proceeded alone rather than of the GOP members who have refused to consider joining in a serious critique of the president’s actions.”

In other words, Republicans are being stubborn actors in the entire ordeal. Democrats, on the other hand, and in Dellinger’s point-of-view, have demonstrated reasons to be concerned about Trump’s actions.

It wasn’t the only criticism that Dellinger had of Trump’s legal team on Monday. Noting that they were completely ignoring the latest revelations by the president’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton altogether, Dellinger, quoting a tweet from Harvard Law School’s Laurence Tribe, implied that Trump’s defenders were acting in a confusing and perhaps ridiculous manner.

“How can they keep saying that no witness has said the president linked [aid to Ukraine] and investigations, when everyone in the audience, pro or con, thinks: ‘But, Bolton?'” he said.