The White House sent an eight-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other top House Democrats Tuesday saying the Trump administration will not cooperate with Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into the president related to Ukraine.
In the letter, authored by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, the Trump administration says Pelosi and other House Democrats are “seeking to overturn the results of the 2016 election.”
“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,” Cipollone writes. “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” (emphasis original).
White House letter to Pelosi raking the impeachment inquiry is long – eight pages.
“Trump cannot permit his Administration to participate in this partisan inquiry under these circumstances," it says, with echoes of Trump’s earlier “kangaroo court” tweet. pic.twitter.com/1jubHPs6HH
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) October 8, 2019
“You have designed and implemented your inquiry in a manner that violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process,” Cipollone wrote. “Your highly partisan and unconstitutional effort threatens grave and lasting damage to our democratic institutions, to our system of free elections, and to the American people.”
The letter comes as Democrats controlling the House of Representatives say they are pursuing an impeachment inquiry opened up by the speaker without bringing a measure forward for a vote. Cipollone did not call on the House to vote on impeachment.
Pelosi announced her endorsement of an impeachment inquiry last month based on an anonymous whistleblower complaint filed against the president for allegedly conspiring with the Ukrainian president to investigate corruption linked to potential Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The released transcript of the July phone call between Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart, however, revealed no conspiracy, and several times contradicted the complaint based on secondhand knowledge.
Democrats are still pushing for the president’s impeachment as public opinion for the inquiry tilts in support of beginning the formal proceedings. A new report this weekend emerged of a second whistleblower complaint filed against Trump based on the same conversation with the Ukrainian president. It claims to have first-hand knowledge of the events detailed in the complaint, although the transcript of the phone call between the two world leaders has already been released.