Even the Salem Witch Trials Didn’t Use Anonymous Testimony

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Rudy Giuliani argued on Tuesday that the Salem witch trials afforded more rights to the accused than the House Democratic impeachment inquiry is giving to his client, President Donald Trump.

“Even Salem witch trials didn’t use anonymous testimony. The accused had to be confronted by a witness willing to put their name and reputation behind the charges and then had to be available for cross examination,” Giuliani tweeted.

The former New York City mayor elaborated on the point during a Tuesday appearance on Fox News.

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“When I was a young person … liberals believed that you have to defend civil rights even for your enemies,” Giuliani told host Laura Ingraham. “You have to defend civil rights for the Nazis and for the communists because it they’re denied civil rights, everyone will be.”

“All of a sudden this Congress has run roughshod over the right to call witnesses, the right to confront the witnesses against you, the right of counsel. I mean, they’re threatening to imprison Attorney General [William] Barr.”

Giuliani said that Democratic House committees issued a broad subpoena against him, seeking all his “attorney-client documents.”

The former federal prosecutor pointed to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler’s own words during the impeachment proceedings against then-President Bill Clinton in 1998 to argue that Trump is being treated unfairly.

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“The power of impeachment … demands a rigorous level of due process,” and that in this context “due process mean[s] … the right to be informed of the law, of the charges against you, the right to confront the witnesses against you, to call your own witnesses, and to have the assistance of counsel,” Nadler said, according to a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone on Tuesday.

“Of course due process is necessary. Let’s call it basic fairness,” Giuliani said.

“The American people, when they think about this, are going to be totally outraged,” he continued. “They actually want to impeach him on the testimony of hidden witnesses who will be behind a curtain. We don’t know who they are.”

Giuliani said he’d recently done some reading on the Salem witch trials after visiting the Massachusetts town.

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“They required witnesses to face the witch,” he said. “And some witches were acquitted.”

Giuliani argued that the Democrats are throwing basic structures of fairness out the window.

“The only place I can think of where we had trials like this is in the Soviet Union,” he said. “And that’s what the Democrats are trying to do?”

“Remember the president used to call this a witch hunt?” Giuliani asked. “This is now worse than a witch hunt.”

“The witches had it better in other words,” Ingraham responded.

“They had more rights,” Giuliani said.

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