Home Politics White House rips Jerry Nadler’s impeachment invite as “baseless and highly partisan”

White House rips Jerry Nadler’s impeachment invite as “baseless and highly partisan”

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White House rips Jerry Nadler’s impeachment invite as “baseless and highly partisan”

The White House declared in an intense letter on Sunday night that President Trump and his lawyers won’t participate in the House Judiciary Committee’s first impeachment hearing scheduled for Wednesday. They went so far as even accusing the panel’s Democratic chairman, Jerry Nadler, of “purposely” scheduling the proceedings when Trump would be attending the NATO Leaders’ Meeting in London.

The letter, which was five pages, came as the Democratic majority on the House Intelligence Committee was preparing to approve a report on Tuesday that will outline possible charges of bribery or “high crimes and misdemeanors.” This is the constitutional standard for impeachment.

“This baseless and highly partisan inquiry violates all past historical precedent, basic due process rights, and fundamental fairness,” wrote White House counsel Pat Cipollone. He is continuing the West Wing’s attack on the procedural form of the impeachment proceedings.

“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,” Cipollone said. “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.”

He continued: “When the Judiciary Committee scheduled a similar hearing during the Clinton impeachment process, it allowed those questioning the witnesses two-and-a-half weeks’ notice to prepare, and it scheduled the hearing on a date suggested by the president’s attorneys. Today, by contrast, you have afforded the president no scheduling input, no meaningful information and so little time to prepare that you have effectively denied the administration a fair opportunity to participate. …”

Cipollone’s letter clarified that his response applied only to the Wednesday hearing, at least for now. Cipollone demanded more information from Democrats on how they intended to conduct further hearings before Trump would make the decision whether to participate in those hearings.

Cipollone wanted to know whether Republicans would be able to cross-examine and call their own fact witnesses, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

The panel of constitutional scholars who will testify on Wednesday will focus on the question of whether the president committed an impeachable offense by allegedly withholding of military aid to Ukraine until it investigated former Vice President Joe Biden.

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.

“The Democrats are holding the most ridiculous Impeachment hearings in history. Read the Transcripts, NOTHING was done or said wrong!” Trump tweeted Saturday.

Late Sunday, Trump tweeted a link to a Fox News opinion piece written by legal analyst Gregg Jarrett, and quoted the piece as saying the president had done “nothing impeachable.”

Written by Rich Stevenson

Credit: Fox News

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