Schiff Calls Out Cipollone Over False Claim About Impeachment Process

Schiff Calls Out Cipollone Over False Claim About Impeachment Process

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), one of seven impeachment managers named by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, took to the Senate floor Tuesday to address a blatantly incorrect claim by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.

On the first full day of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Cipollone tried to argue that House Republicans were not allowed to attend depositions of impeachment witnesses in the ‘SCIF,’ or sensitive compartmented information facility. This is definitively incorrect, as deposition transcripts make clear that Republican members on the committees tasked with investigating Trump’s conduct toward Ukraine asked plenty of questions to witnesses under oath.

“Now, I’m not going to suggest to you that Mr. Cipollone would deliberately make a false statement. I will leave it to Mr. Cipollone to make those allegations against others,” Schiff said. “But I will tell you this: He’s mistaken. He’s mistaken. Every Republican on the three investigative committees was allowed to participate in the depositions. And, more than that, they got the same time we did.”

Although Schiff stopped short of calling one of Trump’s lawyers a liar, the fact that Cipollone’s claim was in his prepared remarks suggests that he meant what he said.

Cipollone was also excoriated for his lack of accuracy in other areas. For instance, he omitted the fact that Schiff, during the September 26 testimony of Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, made it clear that he paraphrased the read-out of Trump’s July phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart.

Critics of Cipollone’s performance as a whole included former CIA director John Brennan and Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe:

In a legal brief filed Monday, Cipollone and the other members of Trump’s legal team wrote that the president “did absolutely nothing wrong” and that senators should “immediately” acquit him of the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Watch the video above, via C-SPAN.

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt is a writer and editor from New Hampshire whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Progressive, Slate and Areo Magazine, among other places. He holds a BA in Political Science and History from Boston University.