The White House outlined in a defiant eight-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats on Tuesday why it will not participate in their “illegitimate and unconstitutional” impeachment inquiry, charging that the proceedings have run roughshod over congressional norms and the president’s due-process rights, FOX News reports.
Trump administration officials called the letter, which was written by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and obtained by Fox News, perhaps the most historic letter the White House has sent. The document tees up a head-on collision with Democrats in Congress, who have fired off a slew of subpoenas in recent days concerning the president’s alleged effort to get Ukraine to investigate political foe Joe Biden during a July phone call with Ukraine’s leader.
“President Trump and his Administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.”
In a defiant letter that echoed the president’s recent impeachment messaging — accusing Democrats of violating the Constitution and civil liberties and attempting to overturn the results of the 2016 election — the White House said it would not comply with the request from House Democrats because they were conducting an invalid investigation.
“Never before in our history has the House of Representatives — under the control of either political party — taken the American people down the dangerous path you seem determined to pursue,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote.
Pelosi warned that Trump was not above the law and that continued efforts to hide Trump’s abuse of power would be “regarded as further evidence of obstruction.”
The White House argued that in order for the Democrats to make their inquiry valid the House would have to take a number of steps, including holding a full vote to beginning impeachment proceedings, allowing Republicans to issue subpoenas and granting the White House the ability to cross-examine witnesses and have access to evidence.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that the executive branch, which includes the White House, the Justice Department and the State Department, would not be cooperating with the impeachment investigation as a general rule.
“The Executive Branch cannot be expected to, and will not participate in, this exercise of partisan political theater,” Grisham said.
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Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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