Thursday, January 23, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He summed up most of the lies he's told about the impeachment process in one tweet.

As of 9:00 p.m. Washington time tonight, Trump had tweeted 25 times. That's just about his average tweet-rate lately, and fell far short of yesterday's record-setting rage-fest of 142 tweets. One in particular summed up most of the rest on the subject of his ongoing impeachment trial.

Literally no part of this is true.

Specifically, Trump was invited to take part in the impeachment hearings, and to be represented by lawyers. Trump refused.

The House impeachment panels subpoenaed Trump's chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney. He refused to appear, citing orders from Trump. The House also requested that Trump's former national security advisor John Bolton testify, but did not force the issue after Bolton threatened to delay any subpoena in court.  

As Daniel Goldman, an attorney working for the impeachment inquiry, testified before the House Judiciary Committee in December:

Following President Trump’s order, not a single document was produced by the White House, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, or the Department of Energy in response to 71 specific, individualized requests or subpoenas. In total, 12 witnesses did not appear for their scheduled testimony before the Committees, and 10 of those individuals defied duly-authorized subpoenas. 

Three of the witnesses who testified before the impeachment inquiry in the House were ones that House Republicans requested on behalf of the White House: National Security Council advisor Timothy Morrison, former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, and State Department official David Hale.

All of this happened in public. As is often the case, it's not clear whether Trump genuinely doesn't know that what he's saying is false, or simply thinks his supporters won't know any better.

Why does this matter?

  • This is not something that the President of the United States can afford to be confused or a liar about.