The White House is reviewing an invitation from House Democrats for President Donald Trump’s legal team to participate in the first Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing next week, even as his lawyers privately question whether to engage with a proceeding his administration branded “an illegitimate sham partisan process” to drive Trump from office, The New York Times reported.
Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wrote to the President on Tuesday offering him or his lawyers the opportunity to appear before lawmakers at a December 4 hearing with constitutional scholars to discuss the historical precedents for impeachment, the definition of an impeachable offense and whether Trump’s actions meet the bar for removal.
In a statement on Wednesday, Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, did not give any indication about whether Trump or his lawyers intended to accept the invitation. But people familiar with the President’s legal strategy have said privately that they are deeply suspicious of taking part in a process they view as unfair to the President.
“What is obvious to every American is that this letter comes at the end of an illegitimate sham partisan process. The president has done nothing wrong, and the Democrats know it,” Grisham said in the statement.
Next week’s hearing will begin a new phase in the inquiry, as the Judiciary Committee prepares to draft articles of impeachment related to charges that Trump abused his power to enlist Ukraine in tarnishing his political rivals. The committee is also expected to consider an article of impeachment charging that Trump obstructed the investigation by blocking witnesses from testifying and refusing to provide documents.