Many things were on clear display during the second failed impeachment of President Trump. The world witnessed senility and cognitive decline in the “world’s greatest deliberative body”, as well as the miscued reliance on “reports” from the media to make a legal case; a tactic that probably would’ve been thrown out of a normal court of law because judges don’t take kindly to attorneys making things up.
The second day of former president Donald Trump’s impeachment trial closed with a momentary controversy. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) objected to how a Democratic impeachment manager sourced information to him personally and asked that it be stricken from the record.
Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.) had cited Lee while describing a phone call early in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot between then-President Donald Trump and Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) about overturning the election. Lee had confirmed that Trump called him accidentally while seeking to talk to Tuberville, but the details of the ensuing conversation were not sourced to Lee in news reports. Cicilline had cited Lee’s confirmation of the call and added in the next sentence: “And on that call, Donald Trump reportedly asks Senator Tuberville to make additional objections to the certification process.”
Cicilline’s comments could be read to suggest the “reportedly” was based on Lee’s confirmation, though that generally refers to news reports. Regardless, lead House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) opted to withdraw Cicilline’s assertion, maintaining that the sourcing was “not critical in any way to our case.”
— Washington Post, 2/11/21
In fact, the “source” Cicilline cited made no mention of Senator Lee and indicated that President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani made the phone call to Tuberville, NOT President Trump himself. Aside from blatantly lying and assuming he wouldn’t be called out, it’s not clear why Cicilline tied Lee to the Giuliani-Tuberville phone call.
At approximately 7 p.m., Giuliani called newly sworn-in Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a staunch Trump ally, imploring him to stall the process. “I want to discuss with you how they’re trying to rush this hearing and how we need you, our Republican friends, to try to just slow it down so we can get these legislatures to get more information to you,” Giuliani said in a voicemail.
The problem for Giuliani? He left his message on the voicemail of another senator, who shared it with The Dispatch.
— The Dispatch, 1/6/21
The Dispatch did not reveal which senator actually got the call, neither did the Washington Post or Congressman Cicilline.
But what was also on sad was soon-to-be 81-year-old Sen. Patrick Leahy, president pro tempore of the Senate, presiding over the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, whose senility, cognitive decline, and incompetence was on full display to the world.
Aides having to tell the president pro tempore of the Senate what to do and say during an impeachment trial regarding blatant mischaracterizations by a House manager… seriously?