Left Menu
Development News Edition

UPDATE 5-White House says it will not participate in Wednesday's Trump impeachment hearing


UPDATE 5-White House says it will not participate in Wednesday's Trump impeachment hearing
US President Donald Trump (File photo) Image Credit: ANI

The White House told Democratic lawmakers on Sunday that U.S. President Donald Trump and his lawyers would not participate in a congressional impeachment hearing this week, citing a lack of "fundamental fairness." 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 impeachment inquiry from fact-finding to the consideration of possible charges of misconduct over his dealings with Ukraine.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, tasked with considering charges known as articles of impeachment, had given Trump until 6 p.m. (2300 GMT) on Sunday to say whether he would dispatch a lawyer to take part in the judiciary panel's proceedings on Wednesday. "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," White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, according to a copy of a letter seen by Reuters.

Cipollone - while citing a "complete lack of due process and fundamental fairness afforded the president" in the impeachment process - did not rule out participation in further proceedings. But he signaled that Democrats would first have to make major procedural concessions. Nadler has given the White House a Friday deadline to say whether Trump will mount a defense in broader impeachment proceedings.

The Judiciary Committee's Democratic staff did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the White House's refusal to participate in the hearing, which would have been the first direct involvement by the Trump camp in a process he has condemned as a partisan "witch hunt." Democratic U.S. Representative Don Beyer said on Twitter in response to the White House letter: "Not one process complaint made by the President and his Republican allies in Congress so far has turned out to be genuine."

Congressional investigators have been looking into whether Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to launch investigations of former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, who is running to unseat him in the 2020 presidential election, and a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

PANEL OF LEGAL EXPERTS

The first in a series of expected Judiciary proceedings will hear testimony on the impeachment process established under the U.S. Constitution from a panel of legal experts that has yet to be named. Hearings before the committee, which has responsibility for crafting any formal charges against Trump, are a major step toward possible charges. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will make the final decision, has not yet said whether the Republican president should be impeached. But in a letter to supporters last week, she called for him to be held accountable for his actions.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, calling the impeachment inquiry a sham. Nadler also set a second deadline of 5 p.m. (2200 GMT) on Friday for Trump to say whether he or his legal counsel would participate in further proceedings expected next week to examine the evidence against him.

"We may consider participating in future Judiciary Committee proceedings if you afford the administration the ability to do so meaningfully," Cipollone wrote, laying out a list of demands, including allowing Trump's Republicans to call additional witnesses. Cipollone also complained that Democrats had scheduled Wednesday's hearing - "no doubt purposely" - to overlap with Trump's absence from the United States to attend a NATO summit in London.

Three investigating panels, led by the House Intelligence Committee, are due to release a formal report this week when lawmakers return on Tuesday from a Thanksgiving recess. The report will outline evidence gathered by the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees. Members of the intelligence panel will review the report in a classified setting on Monday evening, and the full committee will consider and vote on it on Tuesday before forwarding it to the Judiciary Committee, according to an Intelligence Committee official and a person familiar with the matter.

The president and his Republican allies in Congress say the inquiry has been rushed and unfair to Trump by not allowing the White House to have legal counsel present or call witnesses during weeks of closed-door testimony and open hearings before the House Intelligence Committee. Republican lawmakers were able to question witnesses during the closed hearings, however, and called three witnesses during public hearings that wrapped up last week.

The House Judiciary Committee could vote on whether to recommend articles of impeachment within the next two weeks, setting the stage for a possible impeachment vote by the full House before Christmas, according to Democratic aides. If the House impeaches Trump, the Republican-controlled Senate would hold a trial to determine whether he should be removed from office. Senate Republicans have shown little appetite for removing Trump.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

WEF 2020: Trump seems politically correct in pulling out from Paris Agreement

If the survey of the World Economic Forum WEF is believed, Trump seems to enjoy the confidence of his people in flaying climate intuitions and climate activists. His preference for economic development over environmental protection not only...

From home to healthcare, here are Robotic innovations transforming lives

Lovot is equipped with more than 50 sensors such as thermography, microphone array, obstacle detection, and touch sensor to generate motion and emotions in real-time....

Translating words to deeds: Achieving gender parity in access to financial resources

... ...

SDG13: How you can reduce global warming by changing your food habits

The mega narratives of various international organizations give the impression that fighting global warming is only a job of government agencies. However, the European Investment Bank EIB has designed a questionnaire which besides making th...

Videos

Latest News

NFL: Number of concussions up slightly

The NFL released data Thursday showing the number of diagnosed concussions went up slightly in 2019. The league said players sustained 224 concussions overall in the preseason and regular season. That was 10 more than in 2018 but far from t...

REUTERS NEWS SCHEDULE AT 10 p.m. GMT /6:00 a.m. SGT

The World Health Organization WHO said on Thursday it was a bit too early to declare a new coronavirus a global health emergency as China put millions of people on lockdown amid an outbreak that has killed 18 people in the country and infec...

Magnitude 5.5 quake strikes northern Argentina - USGS

An earthquake of magnitude 5.5 struck northern Argentina on Thursday close to the town of El Hoyo but, the U.S. Geological Survey said.The quake, located 16 kilometers 10 miles west of the town, was very deep, some 560.4 kilometers 348.2 mi...

U.S. Justice Dept says it should not have continued spying on former Trump adviser

The U.S. Justice Department has told a court it did not have enough evidence to justify continued surveillance of one of President Donald Trumps former campaign advisers in 2017, in a sign it believes the FBI on occasion went too far when i...

Give Feedback