Trump's complaints about the impeachment process go off the rails

Trump is convinced the House impeachment process was unfair. He's still hasn't quite figured out how or why, though.
Image: US-POLITICS-TRUMP
US President Donald Trump tries to listen to a question as he walks on the South Lawn.YURI GRIPAS / AFP - Getty Images
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By Steve Benen

Donald Trump, unable to present much of a defense of his actions, continues to whine incessantly about the impeachment process, which wouldn't be especially notable were it not for a nagging detail: his complaints are getting a little weird.

Take this morning's tweet, for example.

"The Democrat House would not give us lawyers, or not one witness, but now demand that the Republican Senate produce the witnesses that the House never sought, or even asked for? They had their chance, but pretended to rush. Most unfair & corrupt hearing in Congressional history!"

Let's take each of the claims one at a time.

* "The Democrat House would not give us lawyers." Actually, the House Democratic majority specifically extended multiple invitations to White House attorneys to participate in the impeachment process. Trump's lawyers turned down those invitations and refused to play a role in the House proceedings.

There are some subjective questions in the president's scandal, but this isn't one them. It's not even an obscure detail: the headline in the Washington Post last month read, "White House rejects House Democrats' invitation to participate in impeachment process as Trump focuses on friendly Senate." It really wasn't that long ago; Trump has no excuse for not knowing this.

* "Not one witness." Actually, not only did witnesses requested by Republicans testify, but the Democratic majority also invited White House attorneys to ask questions of witnesses.

* Democrats want the Senate to "produce the witnesses that the House never sought, or even asked for." Actually, at issue are witnesses Democrats did ask for, but the White House blocked their testimony.

* "Most unfair." To date, Trump has not pointed to any specific aspect of the House impeachment proceedings that, in reality, was unfair.

* "Corrupt hearing." To date, Trump has not pointed to any specific aspect of the House impeachment proceedings that, in reality, was corrupt.

Or put another way, Trump's tweet this morning included five claims, each of which are the opposite of the truth.

It's worth emphasizing that the president and his team have had months to come up with real-world examples of the House utilizing an improper process. To date, they've found nothing coherent to complain about.

As regular readers know, Republicans originally argued that the House impeachment process was unfair because there'd been no formal vote on the House floor to authorize the inquiry. After the House did, in fact, hold such a vote, Republicans shifted their focus, complaining that the process is unfair because there were no public impeachment committee hearings.

After the House did, in fact, hold extensive public impeachment committee hearings, Republicans shifted again, insisting that the process is unfair because Trump and his team were not given an opportunity to present a defense. After Trump and his team were invited to present a defense, Republicans shifted again, insisting that the process is unfair because, well, just because.

I'm sure some will take this argument seriously, but I'm less sure why.

MORE: Today's Maddowblog