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President Trump Confirms He Plans on Calling Any Transcript He Doesn’t Like ‘Fake’


President Donald Trump kicked off the week by asserting that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is only going to release “doctored transcripts,” which is just another way of calling them fake. It didn’t stop there, though, as the president suggested these transcripts are not available for public viewing (plot twist: they are).

House Democrats have already released testimony from key witnesses like Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, Fiona Hill, George Kent, Bill Taylor, and Gordon Sondland. All of that is public, and there haven’t been complaints from Republicans about “doctoring” of transcripts.

And one would think that the witnesses themselves would say something if there were glaring inaccuracies, but they haven’t. That didn’t stop the president from saying this anyway:

“Shifty Adam Schiff will only release doctored transcripts. We haven’t even seen the documents and are restricted from (get this) having a lawyer,” he began.

It’s true that the president’s lawyers are not going to be involved at this stage of the impeachment proceedings in the House, but if this heads to the Senate and there’s an actual trial that’s going to change.

“Republicans should put out their own transcripts! Schiff must testify as to why he MADE UP a statement from me, and read it to all!” Trump continued, once again referring to Schiff’s detrimental parody of his words as contained in the memo of the July 25 Trump-Volodymyr Zelensky call. Notably, however, we have also reached the stage where the President of the United States is actively encouraging Republicans to produce alternative transcripts.

It didn’t take long for sharp criticism to flow, much of it from the usual suspects.

“Only a sociopath” would say such things…

Reminder: the memo of the Trump-Zelensky phone call wasn’t a transcript. Also reminder: NSC lawyer John Eisenberg defied a subpoena.

Here’s how transcripts of testimony actually work:

Importantly, Republicans haven’t denied the accuracy of the transcripts the president is now calling “doctored.”

[Image Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images]

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.