The White House on Sunday, Dec. 1 declined the invitation of House Democrats to participate in the House Judiciary Committee’s first impeachment hearing, but did not rule out taking part in future hearings.
The White House sent a five-page letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and the committee, saying that the process is “highly partisan” and accused the committee’s Democratic chairman of providing little information about Wednesday’s hearing.
The response from the White House comes after Nadler asked President Donald Trump if he would be sending his lawyers to the impeachment hearing scheduled for Dec. 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,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in a letter.
“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,” according to the Hill.
BREAKING: White House letter to Chairman Nadler states that President Trump nor his attorneys will participate in Wednesday’s House Judiciary impeachment hearing. pic.twitter.com/rkZM64QTro
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 2, 2019
The committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday titled “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment.”
President Trump also blasted Democrats for the unfair process in a tweet on Saturday night and accused the House of intentionally scheduling the proceedings while he is overseas.
“I will be representing our Country in London at NATO, while the Democrats are holding the most ridiculous Impeachment hearings in history. Read the Transcripts, NOTHING was done or said wrong! The Radical Left is undercutting our Country. Hearings scheduled on same dates as NATO!” Trump tweeted.
I will be representing our Country in London at NATO, while the Democrats are holding the most ridiculous Impeachment hearings in history. Read the Transcripts, NOTHING was done or said wrong! The Radical Left is undercutting our Country. Hearings scheduled on same dates as NATO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2019
A committee official told The Hill: “We expect to allow HPSCI Members to view a draft report in committee spaces beginning Monday evening. On Tuesday, the committee will hold a business meeting, following our regularly scheduled briefing, at 6 pm to consider and adopt the report. The report—along with any Minority Views — will then be forwarded to the Judiciary Committee pursuant to H.Res. 660.”
Cipollone in his letter accused Nadler of scheduling the hearing so that it will run concurrently with President Trump’s trip to London for a NATO summit.
“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.
The counsel said the White House “fully reserves the right to respond further” if Nadler releases more information about the committee’s plans for the Dec. 4 hearing.
Cipollone in Sunday’s letter left open the possibility of having a representative for Trump attend future hearings.
“It is too late to cure the profound procedural deficiencies that have tainted this entire inquiry,” he wrote. “Nevertheless, if you are serious about conducting a fair process going forward, and in order to protect the rights and privileges of the President, we may consider participating in future Judiciary Committee proceedings if you afford the Administration the ability to do so meaningfully.”