At the conclusion of the second day of former President Donald Trump‘s impeachment trial, Republican Utah Senator Mike Lee asked for a statement attributed to him to be stricken from the record because of its inaccuracy. After some confusion, the House impeachment managers agreed to do so.
The House impeachment managers had cited a news report from Deseret News claiming that Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had called mistakenly called Lee on January 6, the day of Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally and the insurrection at the Capitol seeking to overturn the election.
The aforementioned news report said Trump and Giuliani had meant to call freshman Republican Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville. Additional reports claimed that the purpose of the calls was to encourage Tuberville to challenge the Senate‘s certification of then-President-elect Joe Biden‘s Electoral College victory, which the Congress had convened to certify.
However, Lee objected to the statements attributed to him and demanded that they be stricken from the record.
“Statements were attributed to me repeatedly as to which I have personal knowledge because I am the source. They are not true. I never made those statements. I ask that they be stricken,” he said.
The news article in question claimed that Lee was finishing a prayer with some of his Senate colleagues when Trump rang. The article then said that Lee walked his cell phone over to Tuberville who was in the Senate chamber with him, and that Tuberville spoke with Trump for five to 10 minutes before police ordered the Senate to be evacuated because rioters had breached security.
When Lee later asked Tuberville about the call, the article reported, Tuberville allegedly said that Trump seemed to not realize that the Capitol was under attack.
Earlier in the trial, Democratic Rhode Island Representative David Cicciline cited the article’s recount of Lee’s experience. However, Lee quickly objected but was overruled by Democratic Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who is presiding over the trial. In response, Lee quickly appealed, and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York sought to clarify Leahy’s ruling.
After some confusion, lead impeachment manager, Democratic Maryland Representative Jamie Raskin, agreed to strike the remarks from the record, stating, “The impeachment manager Mr. Cicciline correctly and accurately quoted a newspaper account which the distinguished senator has taken objection to on the grounds that it is not true.”
“We are going to withdraw it this evening,” Raskin added.
Newsweek contacted Lee’s office for comment.