It’s Day One of the Senate Impeachment Trial and Trump’s Defense Team Is Already Lying

That was fast.

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It took less than two hours in the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday for a member of President Donald Trump’s defense team to tell an outright lie.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone began by complaining about House Democrats’ process for interviewing witnesses in the impeachment inquiry. “The proceedings took place in the basement of the House of Representatives,” Cipollone said. Then he added, “Not even [House Intelligence Committee chair Adam] Schiff’s Republican colleagues were allowed into the SCIF”—the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility where the interviews took place.

There are several issues with that narrative. For one, closed-door interviews are routine for sensitive congressional probes. But more important, plenty of Republicans participated in the closed-door meetings; they sat on the three committees leading the impeachment investigation. The stunt pulled by dozens of Republicans who loudly claimed otherwise was a clear attempt to distract from the inquiry’s bombshell testimonies.

On Tuesday, Cipollone breezed past those truths to parrot Trump’s longstanding claim that the impeachment proceedings have been rigged from the start. It was a clear signal that Trump’s lawyers had no intention of rising up to the solemnity of a historic impeachment trial and instead would seek to turn C-Span into Fox News.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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