Fox News anchor lies, claims Trump wants key witnesses to testify

Fox News’ purported “news”-side anchor Sandra Smith peddled an absolute fiction Thursday morning, claiming that President Donald Trump wants key witnesses to testify in the impeachment proceedings — when he’s actually been blocking them the whole time.

While interviewing Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) on America’s Newsroom, Smith suggested that the House Democrats should call other witnesses before proceeding with impeachment, such as former national security adviser John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

As explained in The New York Times, the Republicans’ expert witness, law professor Jonathan Turley, alleged at Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing that there was “a facially incomplete and inadequate record in order to impeach a president,” based on “unsubpoenaed witnesses with material evidence.” But in fact, Trump has asserted broad executive privilege, claimed immunity from subpoenas, and directed potential witnesses not to appear at all.

This argument goes to the heart of a claim that Republicans and conservative media have made: declaring that witnesses have offered only “hearsay” evidence against the president — even in the case of direct witnesses such as Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Trump-appointed Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland — while trying to keep as many core witnesses as possible away from the investigation.

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Citation From the December 5, 2019, edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom

SANDRA SMITH (CO-ANCHOR): Why not build the biggest, best case that you can, in impeaching the president? Why wouldn't it behoove, as going back to Nancy Pelosi's words, “building this in a manner worthy of the oath of office,” to not rush it, as Jonathan Turley made the case yesterday?

REP. DAN KILDEE (D-MI): Well, I think everybody needs to be worthy of their oath of office. And the president needs to be worthy of his oath. And here's the problem, and here's the sort of irony of the situation. The argument that we should hear from other witnesses actually falls right into this question of whether or not the president is obstructing the investigation — which actually could be an article of impeachment. The witnesses that we're referring to, the president has made it abundantly clear, under no circumstances will he allow them to testify. Not at all. So the idea that the president's supporters and those of us who would love to hear from those —

SMITH: To be clear, the president has said he would like to hear from Mick Mulvaney, John Bolton, and others. First, I want to get reactions, since we are hearing from —

KILDEE: Let me just make it clear. He may have said that, but he has ordered them to not testify.

SMITH:  In the House — in the House Intelligence Committee, that's what we heard. He said that he was willing to have them testify publicly as soon as the latest — as the Judiciary Committee hearing that happened this week. First, I want to hear from Congressman Andy Biggs, top of the hour —

KILDEE: But they're still under the orders.