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“THAT’S JUST NOT TRUE”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 27, 2020) — At approximately 1:00 p.m. EST, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace barked at guest Katie Pavlich regarding the differences Pavlich was outlining between the 1998 Clinton impeachment and the current impeachment proceedings of Donald J. Trump, “Get your facts straight!”
Pavlich had said that the House of Representatives presented an incomplete record to the U.S. Senate when it conveyed two Articles of Impeachment earlier this month and that therefore, the Senate is not obligated to call witnesses, a subject expected to be debated later this week.
Trump’s defense team resumes its part of the trial Monday afternoon after a two-hour opening session on Saturday morning.
On the subject of witnesses, Wallace countered by stating that the Justice Department had “refused to investigate” the “whistleblower” complaint submitted to the Intelligence Community Inspector General’s office in August.
Neither Republicans nor Democrats in the House had asked for a Justice Department investigation into the whistleblower complaint. In the case of Clinton, Kenneth Starr was appointed independent counsel, and the Articles of Impeachment at the time were passed on a bipartisan basis following Starr’s investigation, which identified 11 potential crimes committed by Clinton.
On September 3, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued an opinion to Acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire, who had requested guidance before reporting the complaint to Congress, stating, “The complaint does not arise in connection with the operation of any U.S. government intelligence activity, and the alleged misconduct does not involve any member of the intelligence community. Rather, the com-plaint arises out of a confidential diplomatic communication between the President and a foreign leader that the intelligence-community complain-ant received secondhand. The question is whether such a complaint falls within the statutory definition of “urgent concern” that the law requires the DNI to forward to the intelligence committees. We conclude that it does not…”
Wallace did not mention that Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX4), who told “Sunday Morning Futures” host Maria Bartiromo yesterday that he has seen the ICIG transcript and that if released, the public would see that the whistleblower was not honest when he or she was asked about contact with other government entities regarding the complaint.
The transcript is the only record created from 18 closed-door interviews Schiff conducted through the fall not made public, Ratcliffe said.
In early October, The New York Times reported that staffers for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA28) spoke with the whistleblower prior to the filing of the complaint with the inspector general. Schiff has denied knowing the identity of the whistleblower.
On January 6, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA22) told radio host Sara A. Carter that Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson has “serious questions to answer for” and that Atkinson’s testimony to Schiff’s committee is “very damaging” to the whistleblower’s claims.
Pavlich agreed with Wallace that the Justice Department had investigated the allegations about Clinton and transferred its findings, along with grand-jury material, to Congress, but stated that that process did not take place in Trump’s case. To Pavlich’s contention, Wallace snarled, “That’s just not true.”
A video of the exchange is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iiodL6Sf4s
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Updated, 3:13 p.m.