House Democrats have been claiming there can’t be a “fair trial” in the Senate if they aren’t allowed to have witnesses and present new “evidence.”
This is incredibly hypocritical given that the House Democrats wouldn’t allow Republicans to call witnesses, completely disregarded some exculpatory evidence and misrepresented the facts in public statements.
But as White House counsel Pat Cipollone revealed, it gets even worse.
During the impeachment proceedings on Tuesday, Cipollone indicated that Democrats are deliberately holding back evidence in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), presumably because it would be helpful to the president or injurious to the case of the Democrats. Furthermore, they are not even allowing the president’s legal team to see the evidence.
From Daily Caller:
“It’s very difficult to sit there and listen to Mr. Schiff tell the tale that he just told,” Cipollone began. “Let’s remember how we all got here. They made false allegations about a telephone call. The president of the United States declassified that telephone call and released it to the public. How’s that for transparency?” [….]
“Again, complete transparency in a way that frankly I’m unfamiliar with any precedent of any President of the United States releasing a classified telephone call with a foreign leader,” he said.
On the other hand, Cipollone explained, what you got from the Democratic said was false claims, like the “parody” from Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) about what happened on the call. He had to make something up, clearly, because the truth of the transcript didn’t meet the narrative Schiff was trying to sell. “He manufactured a false version of that call. He read it to the American people, and he didn’t tell them it was a complete fake.”
Cipollone then attacked Schiff and the Democrats for denying the president due process. They even denied Trump a lawyer in the proceeding, he said.
“I will tell you about Due Process,” he said. “The president has been given a minimal Due Process, nothing here. Not even Mr. Schiff’s republican colleagues were allowed into the SCIF. Information was selectively leaked out. Witnesses were threatened … By the way, there is still evidence in the SCIF that we have not been allowed to see. I wonder why.”
“We hear all this talk about an overwhelming case, an overwhelming case that they’re not even prepared today to stand up and make an opening argument about,” Cipollone concluded. “That’s because they have no case. Frankly, they have no charge.”
It’s not clear who or what he’s referencing with “witnesses were threatened,” he follows that by saying that people were told they would be held in contempt or threatened with obstruction unless they complied with Dems’ requests. Cipollone may also be referencing Jonathan Turley who received threats at his home and office with people calling his job to get him fired because he dared to be a witness for the Republicans.
The “evidence in the SCIF we have not been allowed to see” may refer to the deposition of Michael Atkinson. That had still not been released as of ten days ago, despite requests by people such as ranking member of the House Intel Committee Devin Nunes.
From Fox News:
Nunes sent a letter to ICIG Michael Atkinson raising several questions about the complaint, which ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment, and repeated requests for information that he said went unanswered for months. While several officials met for closed-door sessions to answer questions following the complaint, Atkinson’s testimony has not been released to the public.
“He’s the only one of all the star chamber games that were played in the basement of the Capitol, with the secretive interviews. The only one that’s not released is the one with the IC Inspector General. That’s unacceptable,” Nunes told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
Nunes, along with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., previously had sent a letter to Atkinson in September 2019 in which they raised a number of issues related to the whistleblower’s complaint. Nunes’ new letter claimed Atkinson’s office has not responded satisfactorily.
So one has to ask why they are holding that back, other than that it doesn’t help their case. This raises a lot of questions on if they are hiding evidence.
If this were a real trial, they would be required to turn over any exculpatory evidence and the fact that they have not done so while making their bogus claims about witnesses and evidence is the height of hypocrisy.