The White House on Friday said it will not participate in the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump.
In a terse two-paragraph letter to Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote:
“As you know your impeachment inquiry is baseless and violated basis principles of due process and fundamental fairness. Nevertheless the speaker of the house ordered house Democrats to proceed with articles of impeachment before your committee has heard a single shred of evidence.”
Cipollone charged that Democrats have “wasted enough of America’s time with this charade,” adding that “adopting articles of impeachment is reckless abuse of power and constitute the most unjust and highly partisan and unconstitutional attempt at impeachment in our nation’s history.”
“Whatever course you choose, as the President has recently stated: ‘if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our country can get back to business,'” wrote Cipollone, citing a tweet from Trump this week.
The decision comes one day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she had instructed the committee chairmen leading the inquiry to move forward with drafting articles of impeachment against Trump.
The White House had faced a Friday evening deadline to inform the House Judiciary Committee whether or not it intended to have legal representation at a hearing scheduled for Monday morning that will focus on an impeachment report recently released by the House Intelligence Committee.
The Democrats’ case hinges on the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine in the face of Russian military aggression, to pressure President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to launch a probe of the Bidens, and an unsubstantiated theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.