It’s Day One of the Senate Impeachment Trial and Trump’s Defense Team Is Already Lying

That was fast.

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It took less than two hours in the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday for a member of President Donald Trump’s defense team to tell an outright lie.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone began by complaining about House Democrats’ process for interviewing witnesses in the impeachment inquiry. “The proceedings took place in the basement of the House of Representatives,” Cipollone said. Then he added, “Not even [House Intelligence Committee chair Adam] Schiff’s Republican colleagues were allowed into the SCIF”—the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility where the interviews took place.

There are several issues with that narrative. For one, closed-door interviews are routine for sensitive congressional probes. But more important, plenty of Republicans participated in the closed-door meetings; they sat on the three committees leading the impeachment investigation. The stunt pulled by dozens of Republicans who loudly claimed otherwise was a clear attempt to distract from the inquiry’s bombshell testimonies.

On Tuesday, Cipollone breezed past those truths to parrot Trump’s longstanding claim that the impeachment proceedings have been rigged from the start. It was a clear signal that Trump’s lawyers had no intention of rising up to the solemnity of a historic impeachment trial and instead would seek to turn C-Span into Fox News.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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