The White House announced on Monday in a bold letter addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Adam Schiff, and other top Democrats that it will not comply with Democrats’ “illegitimate and unconstitutional” impeachment inquiry.
Fox News reports,
Trump administration officials called the letter, which was written by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and obtained by Fox News, perhaps the most historic letter the White House has sent. The document tees up a head-on collision with Democrats in Congress, who have fired off a slew of subpoenas in recent days concerning the president's apparent efforts to get Ukraine to investigate political foe Joe Biden.
‘President Trump and his administration reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process,’ the letter stated. ‘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.’
The document concluded: ‘The president has a country to lead. The American people elected him to do this job, and he remains focused on fulfilling his promises to the American people.’
The letter argues that the impeachment “inquiry” is “constitutionally invalid and violates basic due process rights and the Separation of Powers.” It also argues that it is an effort to “reverse the election of 2016 and to influence the election of 2020.”
The letter lays out what seems to be the White House’s legal defense:
“You have denied the President the right to cross-examine witnesses, to call witnesses, to receive transcripts of testimony, to have access to evidence, to have counsel present, and many other basic rights guaranteed to all Americans,” the letter reads. “You have conducted your proceedings in secret. You have violated civil liberties and the separation of powers by threatening Executive Branch officials, claiming you will seek to punish those who exercise fundamental constitutional rights and prerogatives. All of this violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent. Never before in our history has the House of Representatives—under the control of either political party—taken the American people down the dangerous path you seem determined to pursue.”
Read the full letter here:
This comes as Republicans vow to ensure that the full story be made public, including all identities and transcripts involved in the Democrats’ impeachment effort.