Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Monday dressed down Kenneth Starr, the Clinton impeachment-era independent counsel, objecting to Starr’s insistence that the current allegations against President Donald Trump are “narrow” and “slanted.”
During a break in Monday’s House impeachment hearing, Wallace addressed Starr directly, letting him know he was going to “push back a bit respectfully” on his previous analysis of the impeachment inquiry while referencing Starr’s own role in former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment two decades ago.
“He said that the presentation of the case against the president is narrow, prosecutors look at the world through dirty windows. It is slanted,” Wallace noted before speaking right to Starr.
“When you compare this to the Clinton impeachment, which 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,” the Fox News anchor declared.
Wallace went on to take issue with Starr suggesting that since it doesn’t appear that the Senate will convict Trump on impeachment the House should abandon their efforts, noting that “there was certainly never any prospect that Bill Clinton was going to be removed.”
“The House and you to some degree participated in impeaching [Clinton], Wallace explained. “Not saying there was anything wrong with that but I’m simply saying it seems there is 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’s about an issue of foreign policy, national security,” the Fox News Sunday host added. "The security of our elections. It is a much bigger issue than whether or not Bill Clinton lied about sex.”
Starr, for his part, responded by asserting that there is currently no “bipartisan support of this impeachment inquiry,” insisting that in this impeachment process that “we have not seen proof that a crime has been committed.”
“That seems to me to be a very relevant fact,” Starr continued. “When some president has committed actual federal felonies, then that puts, it seems to me, the impeachment inquiry in a very different context.”
Starr concluded that the Democrats’ view that Trump is “a clear and present danger to national security” due to the president pressuring a foreign leader to investigate his political rivals is an “extravagant claim.”