- The contentious debate over witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial spilled into Fox News on Monday.
- Fox News anchor Chris Wallace told conservative commentator Katie Pavlich to get her “facts straight” as they discussed whether former national security adviser John Bolton should testify.
- There are growing calls for Bolton to testify, including from some Republicans, particularly after reports suggested that he directly undercuts Trump’s main defence against impeachment in an upcoming book.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace and Katie Pavlich, a conservative commentator and network contributor, got into a heated exchange on Monday over the subject of impeachment witnesses.
Senators have not yet voted on whether witnesses will be called in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial as the president’s defence team lays out its opening arguments this week. Democrats are pushing hard for witnesses, especially former national security adviser John Bolton, as Republicans push back and accuse the opposition of rushing the process and not gathering enough evidence before the trial.
After The New York Times reported Bolton’s upcoming book undercuts one of Trump’s central defences against impeachment, there have been increasing calls for him to testify.
The subject came up on Monday on Fox News before Trump’s defence team continued its opening arguments.
“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,” Pavlich said. “So there are questions here about the process.”
“That’s not true; that’s not true,” Wallace said, interjecting. “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.”
Pavlich went on to say that was because of an “extensive Justice Department investigation,” but Wallace continued to challenge her, saying that the Justice Department chose not to investigate concerns raised by a whistleblower complaint on Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine, which was part of what led the House to launch its own investigation.
“The fact of the matter is that the whistleblower information was given to the inspector general, who gave it to the Justice Department,” Wallace said of the whistleblower complaint that led to the impeachment inquiry into Trump. “The Justice Department decided not to investigate, and that is why it went to the House,” Wallace added.
“So to say that in the Clinton investigation these people were interviewed by the House – one, they weren’t,” Wallace said. “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.”
Fox News anchor Bret Baier then hopped in. “OK, OK, let’s tone it down,” Baier said.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) January 27, 2020
The spat between Wallace and Pavlich on Monday is emblematic of the growing rift between Fox News news anchors and the pro-Trump opinion side.
Witnesses have been called in all 15 Senate impeachment trials in US history before Trump’s, including those for former Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
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