White House won't take part in 'unfair' impeachment hearing

Democratic presidential candidate investor Tom Steyer speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta. Democrats are narrowing Donald Trump's early spending advantage with two billionaire W

White House won't take part in 'unfair' impeachment hearing

"We can not fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the president a fair process through additional hearings", White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in a five-page letter to Nadler, arguing that "an invitation to an academic discussion" would not "provide the president with any semblance of a fair process".

In a November 26 letter to Trump, Nadler said the president's counsel can make a request to question a panel of as yet unnamed witnesses who will discuss the constitutional basis for impeachment. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) listens during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill September 17, 2019 in Washington, DC.

"I regret that they've chosen to hold these hearings at the same time that the president and our entire national security team will be travelling to Europe, to London, to work on these important matters", Pompeo said. House rules provide the president and his attorneys the right to cross-examine witnesses and review evidence before the committee, but little ability to bring forward witnesses of their own.

The White House's decision on Sunday was in response to the first of two crucial deadlines it faces in Congress this week as Democrats prepared to shift the focus of their impeachment inquiry from fact-finding to the consideration of possible charges of misconduct over Mr Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

"It's easy to hide behind a report", said Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the judiciary committee.

Mr Trump has denied any wrongdoing, calling the impeachment inquiry a "sham".

Of course, not one of those things is actually true. "It is a valid vote by the House of Representatives that authorized this", he continued.

"That, in fact, is the James Madison playbook", Mr. Jeffries said.

The Republican-controlled Senate, where any impeachment trial would be held, is highly unlikely to vote to oust Trump.

Trump has previously suggested that he might be willing to offer written testimony under certain conditions, though aides suggested they did not anticipate Democrats would ever agree to them.

Basically, Trump is now saying that he won't participate because he doesn't believe he'll be treated fairly, and rather than give the House Democrats the opportunity to prove him wrong (or right), he's doing the presidential equivalent of taking his ball and going home-except these committees are going to keep moving ahead, with or without his cooperation.

Congressional Democrats have so far defended their process, arguing that Trump is being given opportunities to defend himself and that the White House should not have blocked current and former administration officials from testifying, as well as relevant documents from lawmakers.

Collins appeared on "Fox News Sunday" and Demings and McClintock were on ABC's "This Week". "This is why this is a problematic exercise and simply a made-for-TV event coming on Wednesday".

"The D.C. Wolves and Fake News Media are reading far too much into people being forced by Courts to testify before Congress", Trump said in a tweet on November 26. Back during Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 election, Trump originally said he would cooperate and answer Mueller's questions, but he then decided not to for fear of getting caught in a "perjury trap"-because I guess the idea of just not lying wasn't an option, then or now, apparently".

"He didn't use the delicate language of diplomacy in that conversation, that's true".

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