White House says it won’t cooperate with impeachment probe

White House says it won’t cooperate with impeachment probe

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The White House, in a letter to top Democrats on Tuesday, said that it won't cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, citing violations of President Trump's due process rights and painting the effort as politically charged.

The eight-page letter, penned by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and obtained by Fox News, announces that the Trump administration won't comply with Democrats' requests because the probe "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."

"Your unprecedented actions have left the president with no choice. In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the Executive Branch, and all future occupants of the Office of the Presidency, President Trump and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances."

No impeachment inquiry vote: The White House also noted that the House still hasn't voted on an impeachment inquiry. "Without waiting to see what was actually said on the call, a press conference was held announcing an 'impeachment inquiry' based on falsehoods and misinformation about the call."

The president's rights: According to the letter, Democrats violated the president's constitutional rights by stripping him of "the right to see all evidence, to present evidence, to call witnesses, to have counsel present at all hearings, to cross-examine all witnesses, to make objections relating to the examination of witnesses or the admissibility of testimony and evidence, and to respond to evidence and testimony."

Democrats' response: Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, took it as a signal that the president thinks he's "above the law."

House Speaker Pelosi made similar remarks in a statement on Tuesday. “Mr. President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable," she said.

"The American people have already heard the President’s own words – ‘do us a favor, though," wrote Pelosi, referring to a line in President Trump's conversation with the Ukranian president. "This letter is manifestly wrong and is simply another unlawful attempt to hide the facts of the Trump Administration’s brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections."

Comments: “This letter reads to me much more like a press release prepared by the press secretary than analysis by the White House counsel," University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck told the Associated Press.

Worth noting: Earlier on Tuesday, President Trump stopped Gordon Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, from making an appearance at a scheduled deposition before a House panel. The Democrats later subpoenaed him.

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