Fox News anchor Chris Wallace dismissed claims raised by former independent counsel Ken Starr, whose report spurred Bill Clinton’s impeachment, that the case against President Donald Trump is “narrow.”
During a break in Monday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, Wallace contended that allegations leveled against Trump are much more serious than those against Clinton, who lied under oath about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
“The allegation that President Trump conditioned support for a key foreign policy ally on political benefit to him, strikes me as not narrow but far broader than the Clinton impeachment,” Wallace said.
Wallace, whose challenges of the Trump administration have made him the target of the president’s criticism, went on to reject the notion that impeachment proceedings are a waste of time given that it’s virtually certain the GOP-led Senate will not convict the president.
“It seems that there’s a very different standard in how the Clinton impeachment went and how this impeachment is being judged,” Wallace said. “It’s a much bigger issue than whether or not Bill Clinton lied about sex.”
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) directed chamber leadership to proceed with drafting articles of impeachment, stating that Trump “seriously violated the Constitution” in his dealings with Ukraine.
“The president has engaged in abuse of power undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections,” she said, referring to Trump’s effort to secure a corruption investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, based on unfounded allegations.
Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky repeatedly in a July 25 phone call to assist with a probe, prompting a whistleblower complaint that Trump was trying to impact the 2020 election by going after his political rival.
At the time of the call, nearly $400 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine was being held up, raising questions over whether a quid pro quo was being arranged.
On Monday, House Judiciary lawmakers heard from lawyers called by both sides of the aisle to discuss the Intelligence Committee’s findings in its impeachment inquiry. Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) expects the panel to vote as early as this week on two or more charges against Trump.
Nadler has not yet said whether one of the articles could be based on former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
“It’s all of a pattern,” he told CNN on Sunday. “The central allegation is that the president put himself above his country several times, that he sought foreign interference in our elections several times ― both for 2016 and 2020 ― that he sought to cover it up all the time and that he continually violated his oath of office.”
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