The Trump administration informed House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) on Sunday that it would not be participating in Democrats’ public impeachment hearings this week, saying that it cannot fairly participate because Democrats have yet to reveal who they are calling as witnesses.
In a letter, White House counsel Pat Cipollone slammed Nadler for scheduling the hearing at a time when Nadler knew that the president was going to be out of the country.
“You scheduled this initial hearing-no doubt purposely-during the time that you know the President will be out of the country attending the NATO Leaders Meeting in London,” Cipollone wrote.
“Again, your letter provided no information whatsoever as to the dates these hearings will occur, what witnesses will be called, what the schedule will be, what the procedures will be, or what rights, if any, the Committee intends to afford the President,” Cipollone continued. “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 said that the president could not fairly be expected to participate in the impeachment hearings because Nadler has refused to identify who the witnesses are the the Democrats are calling to testify.
“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.”
“It is too late to cure the profound procedural deficiencies that have tainted this entire inquiry,” Cipollone added in his letter to Nadler. “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.”
“As you have acknowledged, the House’s ‘power of impeachment … demands a rigorous level of due process,’ and in this context ‘due process mean[s] … the right to confront witnesses against you, to call your own witnesses, and to have the assistance of counsel,'” Cipollone continued. “So far, all of these rights have been violated. Even at this late date, it is not yet clear whether you will afford the President at least these basic, fundamental rights or continue to deny them.”
On Friday, Nadler told Trump in a letter that he had until 5 p.m. on December 6, 2019, to inform the Committee “with notice of whether your counsel intends to participate” in the impeachment hearings.
Trump slammed the Democrats on Saturday, writing on Twitter: “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!”
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