Fox News host Chris Wallace defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump as the “opposite of unconstitutional” during an interview on Friday.
“This is the exact opposite of unconstitutional,” he told “America’s Newsroom” host Sandra Smith. “The constitution specifically says impeachment is left to Congress with very little statement as to how they want to conduct it.”
Wallace was responding to comments made by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich that the impeachment inquiry will “backfire badly” on Democrats.
“Nancy Pelosi is simply carrying out what is an unconstitutional coup d’etat in effort to use the power of the Congress to change the outcome for the American people,” Gingrich said earlier on the show.
“It’s a direct assault on the whole idea of representing the American people and instead imposing Democratic members of Congress as the ultimate Electoral College.”
Wallace said it was a little too early to predict if the inquiry will backfire in the 2020 election, and he called out Gingrich for being hypocritical.
“I think I remember that Newt Gingrich led an impeachment effort against Bill Clinton in 1998. Was that an effort to overturn an election? No, he was investigating stuff,” Wallace said.
“We may find out that there is some there there or that there is no there there, but to call it unconstitutional or an effort to overturn an election, that’s kind of a reach.”
Gingrich has previously spoken about the impeachment proceedings he and then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott carried out against Clinton in 1998.
“There are huge differences, but from the standpoint of the Democrats, I think this is a really bad decision,” he said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Sept. 26.
“Given our own experience when we had a much stronger hand and we had an independent counsel report that said that Clinton was guilty on numerous counts including felonies, and what they’re doing now makes no sense at all, and I think will probably politically be very damaging.”
Looking at the fallout from those impeachment proceedings, which failed to remove Clinton from office, Republicans did perform poorly during the midterm elections earlier that year and Gingrich had to step down from the speakership.
Earlier this week, Wallace walked through text messages between U.S. diplomats with Republican Rep. Chris Stewart that many people are calling evidence of a quid pro quo.
Rep Chris Stewart, a member of the House Intelligence Committee , joined #FNS this morning to talk about President Trump asking the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden. #FNS #FoxNews pic.twitter.com/FVVaUqxYos
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) October 6, 2019
“I gotta tell you, you read these [texts], before and after, and I just took three, congressmen, it seems Ukrainian officials and some top American officials sure saw a quid pro quo,” Wallace said.
“It’s just not true,” Stewart replied. “This is a great example of the dishonesty of how this investigation is being run.
“They take little snippets of emails and texts, they leak those without releasing the transcript. If you release the transcript of this entire hearing, it’s very clear that Mr. Volker and others have said there was no quid pro quo, there was no linkage between this.”
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