WH tells House Democrats it will not participate in impeachment proceedings

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WH tells House Democrats it will not participate in impeachment proceedings

Saturday, 07 December 2019 | PTI | Washington

WH tells House Democrats it will not participate in impeachment proceedings

The White House on Friday informed the House Democrats that it would not participate in the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

In a letter to House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said it would be a "reckless abuse of power" for them to adopt the articles of impeachment.

This "would constitute the most unjust, highly partisan, and unconstitutional attempt at impeachment in our Nation's history," he said in a one-page letter.

"As the President has recently stated: 'if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate'," he wrote and slammed the ongoing impeachment inquiry as "completely baseless."

It violates "basic principles of due process and fundamental fairness," the White House Counsel said.

Expressing disappointment over the White House response, Nadler said that American people deserve answers from Trump.

"The House invited, and then subpoenaed, his top advisors. The President ordered them not to show and continues to block key evidence from Congress. We are disappointed that the President has once again failed to provide those answers here," he said.

"We gave President Trump a fair opportunity to question witnesses and present his own to address the overwhelming evidence before us. After listening to him complain about the impeachment process, we had hoped that he might accept our invitation," Nadler added.

"If the President has no good response to the allegations, then he would not want to appear before the Committee. Having declined this opportunity, he cannot claim that the process is unfair.N The President's failure will not prevent us from carrying out our solemn constitutional duty," Nadler said.

Nadler has scheduled a Monday morning hearing at which members will hear "presentations of evidence" from attorneys for the House Judiciary and Intelligence committee.

Last week, Nadler had asked White House to participate in the impeachment hearings.

In his letter, Cipollone said House Democrats had wasted enough of America's time with this "charade".

"You should end this inquiry now and not waste even more time with additional hearings. Adopting articles of impeachment would be a reckless abuse of power by House Democrats, and would constitute the most unjust, highly partisan, and unconstitutional attempt at impeachment in our Nation's history," he said.

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