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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.

Go deeper ... Live updates: Senators debate rules of Trump impeachment trial

Go deeper

Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.

The new grifters: outrage profiteers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As Republicans lost the Senate and narrowly missed retaking the House, millions of dollars in grassroots donations were diverted to a handful of 2020 congressional campaigns challenging high-profile Democrats that, realistically, were never going to succeed.

Why it matters: Call it the outrage-industrial complex. Slick fundraising consultants market candidates contesting some of their party’s most reviled opponents. Well-meaning donors pour money into dead-end campaigns instead of competitive contests. The only winner is the consultants.

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