White House counsel Pat Cipollone in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and three committee chairmen on Tuesday said that the White House will not cooperate with House Democrats on the impeachment inquiry against Trump saying that the investigation violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process.
According to CBS News, a senior administration official confirmed on a background call with reporters Tuesday that the White House will not have any administration officials testify or hand over documents. Cipollone wrote in the letter:
‘’Your highly partisan and unconstitutional effort threatens grave and lasting damage to our democratic institution, to our system of free elections, and to the American people.’’
‘’Your contrived process is unprecedented in the history of the Nation and lacks the necessary authorization for a valid impeachment proceeding.’’
Some Democrats said that in order to begin an inquiry, it is not necessary for the full House to vote as the previous impeachment proceedings (against Clinton and Nixon) were initiated with a full House vote, but not for Andrew Johnson.
The White House counsel argued that the whole thing is obviously intended to influence the presidential election next year.
‘’The effort to impeach President Trump – without regard to any evidence of his action in office – is a naked political strategy that began the day he was inaugurated, and perhaps even before,’’ the letter continued.
‘’Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it.’’
‘’We hope that, in light of the many deficiencies we have identified in your proceedings, you will abandon the current invalid efforts to pursue an impeachment inquiry and join the president in focusing on the many important goals that matter to the American people,’’ the letter concluded.