Trump lawyer Ken Starr invokes MLK to defend Trump at impeachment trial

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Ken Starr told the Senate they should vote to acquit Trump and attempted to use Martin Luther King Jr. to make his point — right as Black History Month kicks off.

From the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump:

KEN STARR: We've been reminded of what our country is all about, and that it stands for one nation, under God. The nation is about freedom. And we hear the voice of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his dream-filled speech about freedom echoing the great passages inscribed on America's temple of justice, the Lincoln Memorial, which stood behind Dr. King as he spoke on that historic day.

 

Dr. King is gone, felled by an assassin's bullet, but his words remain with us. And during his magnificent life, Dr. King spoke not only about freedom, freedom standing alone, he spoke frequently about freedom and justice. And in his speeches, he summed up regularly the words of a unitarian abolitionist from the prior century, Theodore Parker, who referred to the moral arc of the universe – the long moral arc of the universe – points toward justice.

 

Freedom and justice. Freedom whose contours have been shaped over the centuries in the English-speaking world. By what Justice Benjamin Cardozo called the authentic forms of justice through which the community expresses itself in law.

 

Authentic. Authenticity. And at the foundation of those authentic forms of justice, is fundamental fairness. It's playing by the rules. It's why we don't allow deflated footballs or stealing signs from the field.

 

Rules are rules. There to be followed.

 

And so I submit that a key question to be asked as you begin your deliberations: Were the rules here faithfully followed? If not, if that is your judgement, then with all due respect the prosecutors should not be rewarded. Just as federal prosecutors are not rewarded.

 

You didn't follow the rules. You should have.