The Trump White House on Sunday told the House Judiciary Committee that it will not participate in Wednesday’s impeachment inquiry hearing.
“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,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
“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,” Cipollone wrote. “Accordingly, under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing.”
Cipollone accuses Nadler of deliberately scheduling Wednesday’s hearing while Trump is at a NATO summit in London. He also says Dems are withholding information about who will testify & other details. pic.twitter.com/qE28NvyFjJ
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) December 2, 2019
Trump blasted the impeachment inquiry in late October, calling the process a “lynching” in a controversial predawn tweet.
“They can impeach the President without due process or fairness or any legal rights,” he claimed at the time.
The committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday titled “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment.”
The panel is expected to hear from legal scholars as Democrats weigh whether the evidence turned up in their weeks-long impeachment inquiry warrants the drafting of articles aimed at removing the president from office.
After a vote in the Democratic-controlled House, a trial would be held in the Republican-run Senate. If Trump was convicted by a two-thirds majority, he would become the first US president to be removed from office through impeachment.
Chairman Nadler said in a statement last week that he had written to Trump inviting him to the hearing next month.
“At base, the president has a choice to make,” Nadler said. “He can take this opportunity to be represented in the impeachment hearings, or he can stop complaining about the process.
“I hope that he chooses to participate in the inquiry, directly or through counsel, as other presidents have done before him.”