Jan 21, 2020

Cipollone falsely claims Republicans were barred from impeachment depositions

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

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Pat Cipollone: Democrats want to remove Trump from 2020 ballot with impeachment

White House counsel Pat Cipollone, one of President Trump's chief defenders during his impeachment trial, alleged Tuesday during the debate over the trial's rules that Democrats want to "steal" the 2020 presidential election via the impeachment process.

"It's buried in the small print of their ridiculous articles of impeachment. They want to remove President Trump from the ballot. They won't tell you that. They don't have the guts to say it directly, but that's exactly what they're here to do."

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

Keep ReadingArrowJan 21, 2020

Pelosi slams McConnell trial rules as "deliberately designed to hide the truth"

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed in a statement Tuesday that the rules Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has proposed for President Trump's impeachment trial diverge from the Clinton precedent and show he has "chosen a cover-up" over a fair trial.

Context: McConnell made public an organizing resolution Monday laying out the terms for the trial, which include 24 hours over two days for each side to present their cases. It would block evidence discovered in the House impeachment investigation from being presented without a separate vote, and it would delay a vote on whether to subpoena witnesses and documents until later in the trial.

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020

Trump impeachment trial recap, day 4: Schiff closes

Photo: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

House managers appealed directly to senators to weigh their actions against the precedent they'll set on Congress’ ability to serve as a check on the president, as they wrapped up their three-day impeachment presentation.

Why it matters: Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) used his last chance to address senators directly and expertly pursued every argument made by Republicans, undercutting what Trump has said publicly, and what he anticipates Trump’s defense team will attempt to make over the next few days.

Go deeperArrowJan 25, 2020