The White House informed the House Judiciary Committee that President Donald Trump and his lawyers will not co-operate with the panel’s first impeachment inquiry hearing scheduled for Wednesday, citing a lack of “fundamental fairness.”
On November 26, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sent a notice to the White House asking Trump to come to the floor of the House and testify at the public hearing of the impeachment inquiry against him.
In the letter written to Trump, Nadler reminded that the Committee’s impeachment inquiry rules allow for the President to attend the hearing and for his counsel to question the witness panel. “At base, the President has a choice to make: he can take this opportunity to be represented in the impeachment hearings, or he can stop complaining about the process,” he wrote.
The hearing titled “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment” is scheduled for December 4, at 10 am.
The hearing was to consider passing impeachment articles against Trump on possible charges of bribery or “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the constitutional standard for removal of the U.S. president from office.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone sent a reply to Nadler Sunday, saying that the the committee’s proceedings lack “due process and fundamental fairness”.
“As for the hearing scheduled for December 4, we cannot 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,” the letter says.
“More importantly, an invitation to an academic discussion with law professors does not begin to provide the President with any semblance of a fair process. Accordingly, under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing,” Cipollone added.
The White House attorney accused Nedler of scheduling the initial hearing purposely knowing the President will be out of the country attending the NATO leaders’ meeting in London.
Bill Taylor, the Acting U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine, told the House Intelligence Committee last month that he learned a member of his staff overheard Trump asking about “investigations” against his potential presidential rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden the day after the president’s call with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25.
The White House insisted that the President has done nothing wrong and that there is no basis for continuing the Congressional inquiry.
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