President Donald Trump.
Lev Radin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • US president Donald Trump went on a Twitter bender on Wednesday, tweeting and retweeting more than 60 times by 11:30 a.m. ET.
  • The spree highlighted Trump's preoccupation with impeachment and the Justice Department inspector general's recent report that threw a wrench into his conspiracy theories about the FBI's Russia investigation.
  • These are some of the tweets that populated the president's timeline - and why they have no basis in fact.
  • For more stories go to the Business Insider South Africa homepage.

One of the defining characteristics of the modern political era is that anyone, anywhere in the world can log on to Twitter and immediately know what's on President Donald Trump's mind.

Right now, it's impeachment and a recent Justice Department inspector general's report that threw a wrench into Trump's conspiracy theories about the FBI's Russia investigation.

On Wednesday, the president had posted 60 tweets or retweets by 11:30 a.m. ET.

The majority of his timeline consisted of retweets of prominent conservative and far-right commentators who have come out swinging in Trump's defense in the wake of Congress' impeachment inquiry and the inspector general's report.

At the center of the impeachment inquiry are Trump's efforts to solicit Ukraine's interference in the 2020 election while withholding critical security assistance and a White House meeting that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky desperately wanted.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled two articles of impeachment against Trump: One charges him with abuse of power, and the second with obstruction of Congress.

The report, meanwhile, found that contrary to Trump's claims, the FBI had an "authorised purpose" in launching the Russia investigation in July 2016. And while the department's inspector general, Michael Horowitz, found irregularities in the FBI's application for a warrant to surveil the former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, he concluded that the decision was not affected by anti-Trump bias or corrupt motives.

The president and his allies have come out strongly against both impeachment and the report, saying that Trump did nothing wrong and that the report was actually more damaging than the public knew.

Here are some of the tweets that populated Trump's timeline on Wednesday:

Fact check: The House Intelligence Committee proceeded according to normal rules and protocol when conducting closed-door impeachment hearings with fact witnesses to gather evidence against Trump. The reason the hearings went on behind closed doors was that lawmakers wanted to make sure witnesses were truthful and didn't align their testimonies beforehand.

Once the public hearings started in the Intelligence and Judiciary committees, the president's lawyers were invited to participate but declined. Republicans were also allowed to call witnesses, and some of their requests were granted. The only requests that were denied were those that tried to out the whistleblower who filed a lawful complaint against Trump, as well as those that trafficked in unfounded conspiracy theories.

Fact check: Trump Jr. was referring to Attorney General William Barr's baseless assertion that the FBI acted in "bad faith" when it launched the Russia investigation. This was directly contradicted by the inspector general's report, which found that while there were some bureaucratic problems with the surveillance conducted on Page, the FBI was justified in launching the investigation and met the evidentiary threshold required to do so.

Fact check: The House has the sole power to impeach a sitting president for treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors. Congress also cannot be guilty of obstructing itself.

Fact check: The president's "confidential FBI records" this tweet refers to are former FBI Director James Comey's memos about his interactions with Trump. The inspector general found in a separate investigation that while Comey violated FBI protocol by retaining copies of some of the memos, there was "no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos."

Fact check: Over a dozen witnesses have testified that Trump used his public office for private gain and that he tried to leverage US foreign policy in exchange for his political benefit. The White House also blocked every single executive-branch employee and agency from complying with lawful congressional subpoenas for documents and witness testimony.

While Trump's impeachment is certainly unprecedented, the conduct underlying the inquiry is also unique and has no historical precedent.

Fact check: The "horrible and fraudulent statement" Trump is referring to here is Rep. Adam Schiff's paraphrase of Trump's comments during the July 25 phone call. The president said Schiff's actions made him guilty of treason, which is punishable by death.

Fact check: A recent Quinnipiac University poll found six prospective 2020 Democratic nominees beating Trump in a head-to-head matchup.

Fact check: The White House's memo of the July 25 phone call depicts Trump asking Zelensky to "do us a favour, though," after Zelensky told him Ukraine wanted to purchase more weapons from the US. The "favour" Trump wanted was politically motivated investigations into Joe Biden, his 2020 rival, and other Democrats.

Laura Cooper, a top Pentagon official, testified that the State Department received two separate inquiries about the status of security assistance to Ukraine on the day of the phone call.

Zelensky, moreover, was getting ready to cave to Trump's demands and had scheduled an interview on CNN for September 13 in which he would publicly commit to the investigations Trump wanted. He didn't end up doing it because Congress and the public became aware of the whistleblower's complaint days before; Trump released the aid on September 11.

Fact check: Legal experts have said that Trump's conduct violated at least four laws: soliciting foreign interference in a domestic election, bribery, extortion, and misappropriation of taxpayer funds. An impeachable offense, moreover, does not have to be something that violated a law.

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