Fox News host Chris Wallace said Monday that the House impeachment inquiry includes “far broader” allegations against President Trump than were levied against former President Clinton, pointing out that the Democrats’ case is based on matters connected to foreign policy and the security of elections.
Wallace made the comments on Fox News while rebutting Clinton impeachment investigator Ken Starr’s claims that the House’s inquiry is “narrow” and “slanted.” Wallace said that, by comparison, the Clinton impeachment was “basically about whether or not the president had lied under oath about sex.”
“I’m not talking about whether or not this story is true or not. But 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 and the effort that was made by you and Republicans then to impeach him,” Wallace said.
The Fox News anchor also rejected the argument that the impeachment inquiry isn’t necessary because of the slim chances of the Senate voting to convict Trump.
“You said earlier today that there’s no prospect that this is ever going to go anywhere in the Senate, as if that should somehow affect the way the House proceeds. Well there was certainly never any prospect that Bill Clinton was going to be removed,” Wallace said, adding that there “seems to be a very different standard in how the [Clinton] impeachment went and how this impeachment is being judged.”
“It seems to be a much bigger issue. Whether or not you believe the president did it is a different issue. but it seems to me it’s about an issue of foreign policy, national security, the security of our elections,” Wallace concluded. “It’s a much bigger issue than whether or not Bill Clinton lied about sex.”
The comments from Wallace came as the House Judiciary Committee held its first impeachment hearing since Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced last week that Democrats would begin drafting articles of impeachment.
House Democrats have been reviewing allegations that Trump pushed Ukraine to launch politically beneficial investigations and that he conditioned military aid on the country announcing the probes.
In response to Wallace’s comments, Starr, a Fox News contributor, argued that there is no bipartisan support for impeachment. He also asserted that there is “no proof” that a crime has been committed in Trump’s case.
“That seems to me to be a relevant fact. When some president has committed actual federal felonies, then that puts, it seems to me, the impeachment inquiry in a very different context,” he said.
Starr’s investigation into Clinton in the 1990s led to a report that accused Clinton of perjuring himself under oath. The release of his report was followed by impeachment hearings.