White House: Trump will not participate in House Judiciary impeachment hearing

by Jordyn Pair · Dec 2nd, 2019 9:54 am
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President Trump and his lawyers will not be participating in the House Judiciary Committee's first impeachment hearing on Wednesday, according to a letter sent Sunday night by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.

The five-page letter also accused the panel's Democratic chairman Jerry Nadler of "purposely" scheduling the hearing while Trump would be in London at the NATO Leaders' Meeting.

"This baseless and highly partisan inquiry violates all past historical precedent, basic due process rights, and fundamental fairness," wrote Cipollone. "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. 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. When the Judiciary Committee scheduled a similar hearing during the Clinton impeachment process, it allowed those questioning the witnesses two-and-a-half weeks' notice to prepare, and it scheduled the hearing on a date suggested by the president's attorneys. Today, by contrast, you have afforded the president no scheduling input, no meaningful information and so little time to prepare that you have effectively denied the administration a fair opportunity to participate."

Cipollone's letter made it clear that his response only applied to the Wedneday hearing. The counsel also asked for more information about future hearings and if Republicans would be allowed to cross-examine or call their own witnesses.

Nadler informed the president last week that the hearing would be scheduled for December 4 at 10 a.m.

Follow Jordyn Pair on Twitter at @JordynPair.