President Trump said he would not be testifying before the House Judiciary Committee hearing this Wednesday, despite an invitation by Chairman Jerry Nadler to do so.
The Washington Examiner reports White House Counsel Pat Cipollone shared the decision in a five-page letter Sunday evening where he criticized the “baseless and highly partisan” Democratic impeachment process.
He also claimed the process “violates all past historical precedent, basic due process rights, and fundamental fairness.”
“We understand from rumors and press reports (though not from any notice provided in your letter or in the official notice of the hearing) that the hearing will consist of an academic discussion by law professors. We understand this to mean that your initial hearing will include no fact witnesses at all,” Cipollone wrote in the letter. “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.”
“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,” he added. “Accordingly, under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing.”
He continued: “Despite the fundamental unfairness of those hearings, the facts that emerged even from Chairman Schiff’s carefully controlled and blatantly unfair process served only to further confirm that the President has done nothing wrong and that there is no basis for continuing your inquiry.”
“Inviting the Administration now to participate in an after-the-fact constitutional law seminar — with yet-to-be-named witnesses — only demonstrates further the countless procedural deficiencies that have infected this inquiry from its inception and shows the lack of seriousness with which you are undertaking these proceedings. An academic discussion cannot retroactively fix an irretrievably broken process,” Cipollone also said.
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The Trump lawyer zeroed in on Nadler’s upcoming hearing, which is set to focus on the “historical and constitutional basis of impeachment” but remains largely shrouded in mystery. Cipollone said Nadler “no doubt purposely” scheduled this hearing when President Trump would be overseas at the NATO Leaders Meeting in London.
Cipollone argued that weeks of closed-door and public testimony conducted by Chairman Adam Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee showed Trump had done nothing wrong and that there was no reason for Nadler to continue the investigation in his committee.
According to the report, the White House counsel left the door open on a future appearance by Trump before the committee.