The White House rejects participation in an unfounded political trial investigation
WASHINGTON: The White House criticized the political trial investigation on Donald Trump as completely unfounded on Friday, indicating that he will not seek to defend the president in hearings led by Democrats to bring formal charges against him.
But Republicans demanded that Joe biden Hunter's son, the legislator who directs the political trial investigation Adam Schiff, and the complainant at the source of the investigation, all testify next week before the House Judiciary Committee.
As you know, his political trial investigation is completely unfounded and has violated the basic principles of due process and fundamental justice, White House law chief Pat Cipollone wrote in a letter addressed to committee chairman Jerry Nadler.
House Democrats have wasted enough US time with this farce. They should finish this investigation now and not waste any more time with additional audiences, he wrote.
Cipollone issued the letter minutes before the deadline to state whether the White House would deploy representatives to defend Trump from accusations that he abused his office by pressing Ukraine to find dirt in former Vice President Biden, his potential rival in the elections of 2020.
Nadler's committee will meet starting Monday to review investigator evidence and decide whether to accuse Trump of abuse of power, bribery and obstruction.
These charges could become articles of political judgment sent to the entire House to vote in a matter of weeks.
If they move on to the House led by Democrats as expected, it would make Trump the third president in US history to be dismissed.
That would establish a trial next month in the Republican-controlled Senate, which will probably absolve him.
Trump is accused of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to initiate investigations into Biden and his son, and also about a widely rejected theory that Ukraine helped Democrats in the 2016 elections.
The US leader is accused of demanding Zelensky to announce the investigations in exchange for the release of military aid and a high-profile summit, which the Democrats say constitutes a bribe.
Democrats also say that Trump's actions amount to requesting foreign interference in US elections, which is prohibited by US law.
Trump denies acting badly, but has refused to cooperate with the investigation, citing his privilege as president to prevent the main assistants from testifying.
Cipollone told Nadler in the letter that adopting articles of political judgment would be a reckless abuse of power and would constitute the most unfair, highly partisan and unconstitutional political trial attempt in the history of our nation.
He repeated Trump's tweet on Thursday: If you're going to accuse me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so our country can get back to business.
In a statement, Nadler accused Trump of continuing to block key evidence from Congress.
We gave President Trump a fair chance to question witnesses and present his to address the overwhelming evidence we have before us, Nadler said.
If the president does not have a good response to the charges, then he would not want to appear before the committee. Having rejected this opportunity, he cannot say that the process is unfair.
Meanwhile, the Republican in the Judiciary Committee, Doug Collins, announced a list of witnesses that his camp wishes to cite to provide context and transparency about the underlying facts in question.
In addition to Schiff, the list includes his business partner Devon Archer, who was on the board of an Ukrainian energy company, Burisma, which Trump allegedly pressured Zelensky to investigate.
The complainant was also included, who is believed to be a CIA analyst who reported on his concerns about Zelensky's Trump demands; possible government contacts of the complainant; The White House national security official, Alexander Vindman, whose previous testimony strongly supported the accusations against Trump.
With the exception of Vindman, there was little chance that Nadler would accept the witness list.