During the ongoing impeachment trial, house impeachment managers found themselves forced to withdraw part of their case against Trump once Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) noted that the evidence used was false.
On Wednesday, impeachment managers claimed that on January 6, Trump called Lee in the Capitol during the evening, though Trump actually believed he was calling Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a freshman senator for Alabama and a close Trump ally.
According to David Cicilline (D-RI), an impeachment manager, Trump had accidentally dialed Senator Lee, and Lee notes that “he had just ended a prayer in the Senate Chamber” when he received the call.
Cicilline also suggested that Lee simply “stood by” throughout the call when Trump asked Tuberville to launch additional objections to election certification, which lawmakers intended to complete that day.
However, Lee ended up standing in the Senate Chamber after the impeachment managers’ presentation, and he requested for the Democrats to remove any references in the presentation that pertained to him.
Lee noted that several statements attributed to him by the impeachment manager were completely inaccurate, particularly the statements regarding “the contents of the conversations between phone calls involving Trump and Senator Tuberville,”
Democrats tried to counter Lee’s motion, but they ultimately abandoned their efforts.
Democrats also admitted to the information about the phone calls to Lee and Tuberville originated from “a newspaper account,” and they ultimately agreed to withdraw it. However, they also noted the possibility of “relitigating” the issue on Thursday, or the third day of Trump’s impeachment trial.
According to a January 7 story from the Deseret News, a Utah publication, Lee was quoted as claiming that Trump accidentally dialed him while attempting to reach Tuberville, at the same time that Capitol Hill was under siege. However, the story does not reference any quotes or information from Lee regarding Trump’s presumed requests for Tuberville to continue with further objections to election certification.