White House counsel and lead Trump lawyer Pat Cipollone falsely claimed during the Senate trial Tuesday that Republicans were barred from attending the House impeachment inquiry's closed-door hearings.
Reality check: Republicans who are members of the three committees conducting the impeachment inquiry — the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees — were invited to and did attend impeachment hearings, which took in place in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF).
- "Not even Mr. Schiff's Republican colleagues were allowed into the SCIF," Cipollone claimed.
- Head impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-N.Y.) responded that he would not suggest that Cipollone would "deliberately make a false statement,” but that "he's mistaken" and that Republicans were given equal time to question witnesses during the closed-door depositions.
- Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) led a group of House Republicans in storming a closed-door hearing in October to protest the alleged lack of transparency from Democrats — despite the fact that at least a dozen of the participating GOP lawmakers sit on one of the authorized committees.
Cipollone also claimed that the impeachment inquiry began when Democrats "made false allegations about a telephone call" and that Schiff began focusing on the second phone call when allegations about the first fell flat.
- Reality check: The inquiry began when a whistleblower alleged that Trump sought to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son during a July 25 phone call. The other phone call, which took place in April, was never considered central to the allegations.