As the impeachment of Donald Trump unfolds it’s becoming harder and harder for his media flacks to offer credible defenses of the president’s actions.
There is now no convincing way to deny that he tried to exploit the powers of the Executive Branch to hurt Joe Biden’s 2020 chances by pushing Ukraine to open a sham investigation into the former vice president and his son. According to former National Security Advisor John Bolton, Trump froze almost $400 million in aid to Ukraine with the explicit intent of using it as leverage to force the Eastern European country to target Democrats for investigation. One struggles to imagine a more impeachable offense.
Fox News is of course engaged in their usual propaganda efforts and wants to paint the impeachment trial as a political stunt by Democrats rather than what it is: the only reasonable recourse for dealing with such a gleefully lawless president. In order to placate their delusional MAGA audience, most of the Fox pundit stable refuse to talk honestly about Trump and his abuses. Chris Wallace has proven to be the rare exception unafraid to buck those marching orders, and he has not been coy about criticizing this administration in the past.
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Earlier today, Wallace was discussing the impeachment on Fox and ended up getting into a dustup with right-wing pundit Katie Pavlich after she misrepresented the facts of the case. Pavlich claimed that the House did not conduct itself well during the impeachment inquiry and that a more thorough case should have been presented to the Senate.
“The Senate is not the House, the House did not come with a complete case, and every impeachment beforehand, the witnesses that were called had been called in the House before being brought to the Senate. So there are questions here about the process,” said Pavlich.
“That’s not true, that’s not true,” Wallace jumped in.“They hadn’t all been called in the House, and in the Clinton impeachment, they’d been called by the general independent counsel. They had not been called by the House,” he went on. Pavlich responded that an “extensive Justice Department investigation” was responsible for that fact and while Wallace agreed, he insisted that she was “just wrong” in her claim that impeachment witnesses were only called by the House in the past.
“Let me finish. Before the articles were sent to the House, the grand jury material in the Clinton impeachment were handed to the House as part of the articles and given to the Senate. They were not given after the House voted for those articles. That is the difference. The process does matter,” Pavlich responded.
“The fact of the matter was is that the whistleblower information was given to the inspector general, who gave it to the Justice Department. The Justice Department decided not to investigate, and that is why it went to the House,” explained Wallace with growing, visible annoyance “So to say that in the Clinton investigation that these people were interviewed by the House, one, they weren’t and to say it wasn’t done by the Justice Department, because the Justice Department refused to carry out the investigation. Get your facts straight!” he demanded.
“Okay. Okay. Let’s tone it down,” said Bret Baier, clearly surprised by Wallace’s tone. The interactions remained civil from there out, but it was refreshing to see a pro-Trump shill called out for her dishonesty in real-time.
Watch the confrontation below.
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.