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White House rejects invitation to participate in upcoming impeachment hearing: Report
The thoroughly one-sided impeachment inquiry led by House Democrats is about to move from the Intelligence Committee to the Judiciary Committee — and ahead of a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) invited President Donald Trump and his attorneys to participate, The Hill reported.
But in a scathing response letter to Nadler from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, the invitation was summarily dismissed. According to Cipollone, the president has no desire to grant credibility to “this baseless and highly partisan inquiry” that “violates all past historic precedent, basic due process rights, and fundamental fairness.”
White House out
According to The Hill, the Wednesday hearing is slated for a day when Trump will be out of the country; he will be attending a NATO summit in London. In his letter, Cipollone accused Democrats of creating this conflict on purpose.
Cipollone also called out Nadler over a letter sent to Trump by the congressman giving the president what Cipollone called an “arbitrary” deadline of Dec. 6 to give notice of his intent to participate in any future hearings — though the dates, schedules, procedures, and witness lists for these hearings weren’t provided.
“In other words, you have given no information regarding your plans, set arbitrary deadlines, and then demanded a response, all to create the false appearance of providing the president some rudimentary process,” Cipollone wrote to Nadler.
No due process
The White House attorney went on to rake Nadler over the coals for the “complete lack of due process and fundamental fairness” that has plagued the impeachment inquiry thus far. He also pointed out that this inquiry varies widely from the precedent set by prior inquiries into presidents like Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon.
But despite the initial “carefully controlled and blatantly unfair process” presided over by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), Cipollone argued that Democrats have still failed to make the case that the president has done anything wrong.
“It is too late to cure the profound procedural deficiencies that have tainted this entire inquiry,” Cipollone wrote.
But he didn’t close the door completely.
“If you are serious about conducting a fair process going forward, and in order to protect the rights and privileges of the [p]resident, we may consider participating in future Judiciary Committee proceedings if you afford the [a]dministration the ability to do so meaningfully,” the lawyer vowed.
A waiting game
It’s clear that Cipollone didn’t hold back in exposing the utter sham of an impeachment inquiry that House Democrats are continuing to press forward with.
The president is right to dismiss Nadler’s bad-faith offer to participate in a hearing on short notice and without the necessary information to properly prepare. At this rate, we’ll have to wait for the matter to make its way to the Senate before we see any due process on Capitol Hill.
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