Former President Bill Clinton said that impeachment hearings would have begun if a Democratic president, instead of Donald Trump, were in power and the Russia investigation was as far along as it is now.
“I think if the roles were reversed – now, this is me just talking, but it’s based on my experience – if it were a Democratic president, and these facts were present, most people I know in Washington believe impeachment hearings would have begun already,” Clinton told “CBS Sunday Morning.”
The former Democratic president added, “And most people I know believe that the press would have been that hard, or harder. But these are serious issues.”
As of last month, the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has led to 75 criminal charges, five guilty pleas, and one sentencing.
Asked if the media has been unfair to Trump in its reporting on the Russia probe, Clinton said, “I think they have tried by and large to cover this investigation based on the facts.”
Clinton also took issue with Trump’s rhetoric and name-calling: “I don’t like all this. I couldn’t be elected anything now ‘cause I just don’t like embarrassing people. My mother would have whipped me for five days in a row when I was a little boy if I spent all my time badmouthing people like this.”
While in office, Clinton was the subject of an investigation led by independent counsel Ken Starr and faced impeachment in connection with his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Starr’s report accused Clinton of lying under oath, obstruction of justice, witness-tampering and abuse of power. The House impeached Clinton in 1998, but the Senate acquitted the President, preventing his removal from office.
“It wasn’t a pleasant experience,” Clinton told CBS. “But it was a fight that I was glad to undertake. They knew there was nothing impeachable. And so, we fought it to the end. And I’m glad.”
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who holds Hillary Clinton’s former Senate seat, said in November that President Clinton should have resigned in light of the Lewinsky affair.
In the interview, Clinton said disagrees with Gillibrand, a fellow Democrat who was a big supporter of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“Well, I just disagree with her,” Clinton told CBS on Sunday. “I mean, you have to really ignore what the context was.”