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.
.@RepAdamSchiff is being kind about Pat Cipollone’s lies on the Senate floor (“he’s mistaken”) & it earns Schiff class and credibility points
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) January 21, 2020
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.
So White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, on the Senate floor during an impeachment trial, is wholly fabricating the timeline around Adam Schiff’s paraphrase of Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky. The call transcript was released BEFORE Schiff parodied it in a hearing. https://t.co/0oZZTVmWbV
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 21, 2020
Whatever Cipollone’s supposed claim was of @RepAdamSchiff misrepresenting the July 25 transcript (when the “transcript” was already public), its nothing compared to Cipillone’s misrepresentations today about SCIF, etc
They are not just afraid of the truth, they distort the truth
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) January 21, 2020
Critics of Cipollone’s performance as a whole included former CIA director John Brennan and Harvard law professor Lawrence Tribe:
During more than 33 years in public service, I never heard a government lawyer so misrepresent the facts & deceive the American public as WH Counsel Pat Cipollone just did in the Senate impeachment trial. Further evidence of the contagion of Mr. Trump’s dishonesty & corruption. https://t.co/Mk10KoE7sC
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) January 21, 2020
As I listen to the arguments of the Trump team of lawyers in the Senate, I can’t decide whether to be disgusted at their duplicity and ineptitude or to be outraged that we have elected a president who would choose this bunch of idiots to represent him in so solemn a proceeding
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 21, 2020
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.