Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee corrected the record on day two of the Senate impeachment trial after the House impeachment managers attributed comments to the senator they later struck from the record.
As Wednesday’s proceedings came to a close, Lee rose to invoke a measure outlined in the impeachment rules to strike statements made by House impeachment manager Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island. Cicilline had described a scene on the day of the Capitol riot where President Donald Trump called Lee when trying to reach Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville. Lee apparently found Tuberville and handed the phone to his southern colleague and stood by to not lose his phone.
“Sen. Lee described it. He had just ended a prayer with his colleagues here in the Senate chamber, and the phone rang,” Cicilline said. “It was Donald Trump. Sen. Lee explains that the phone call goes something like this. ‘Hey, Tommy,’ Trump asks. Sen. Lee says, ‘This isn’t Tommy.’ He hands the phone to Sen. Tuberville.”
“Sen. Lee then confirmed that he stood by as Sen. Tuberville and President Trump spoke on the phone. And on that call, Donald Trump reportedly asked Sen. Tuberville to make additional objections to the certification process.”
According to the New York Times, Lee was visibly angry as Cicilline spoke, writing in big letters on a notepad, “This is not what happened.”
When the Democrats finished their arguments for the day, Lee rose to move Cicilline’s comments be stricken from the congressional record.
“Statements were attributed to me moments ago by the House impeachment managers,” Lee said. “Statements relating to the content of conversations between a phone call involving President Trump and Sen. Tuberville were not made by me. They’re not accurate, and they’re contrary to fact. I move pursuant to Rule 16 that they be stricken from the record.”
After a few brief moments of confusion on the Senate floor, complicated by technical difficulties over presiding Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy’s mic malfunctioning, Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, a House impeachment manager, conceded and rescinded the comments.