The White House told Democratic lawmakers Sunday that President Donald Trump and his lawyers would not participate in an impeachment hearing in Congress this week, citing a lack of “fundamental justice.”
Trump’s aides responded defiantly to the first of two crucial deadlines he faces in Congress this week as Democrats prepare to shift the focus of their fact-finding probe to the consideration of possible charges of misconduct over their relations with Ukraine.
The House Judiciary Committee, headed by Democrats and responsible for considering the charges, had given Trump until 18h00 Sunday to decide whether to send a lawyer to participate in Wednesday’s judicial panel proceedings.
“We cannot be expected to participate in a hearing until witnesses have been named and until it is clear whether the Judicial Committee will give the President a fair trial through additional hearings,” White House Attorney Pat Cipollone wrote to Judicial Committee Chairman, Jerrold Nadler.
Cipollone, while citing the “total lack of due process and fundamental impartiality towards the president” in the impeachment process, did not rule out his participation in other proceedings.
Nadler has given the White House a Friday deadline to say if Trump will build a defense in a broader impeachment process.