The White House told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House investigators that it will not comply with their impeachment inquiry Tuesday.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone told Pelosi and the heads of relevant House committees that the president and his administration would not “participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry.”
The letter claimed that the House did not give Trump the right to “cross-examine witnesses” or other rights afforded to Americans at a trial. But the House does not hold any trials, the Senate does.
The letter also claimed that the inquiry “violated civil liberties” of administration officials by issuing subpoenas, a routine investigative tool.
“All of this violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent,” the letter claimed.
The letter accused Democrats of seeking to “overturn the results of the 2016 election” and complained that Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff cannot be a “neutral investigator” because an aide to the committee spoke with the whistleblower whose complaint triggered the inquiry after the whistleblower reached out about how to act after submitting a complaint at the CIA which was ignored.
Pelosi responded to the letter by accusing Trump of trying to “cover up” his pressure on Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and undercut the Russia investigation.
“For a while, the President has tried to normalize lawlessness. Now, he is trying to make lawlessness a virtue,” Pelosi said in a statement. “The White House letter is only the latest attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy, and to insist that the President is above the law.”
“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. Despite the White House’s stonewalling, we see a growing body of evidence that shows that President Trump abused his office and violated his oath to ‘protect, preserve and defend the Constitution,’” she said.
Polls show public backs impeachment:
Weeks into the scandal over Trump pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political rival, polls show that Trump’s messaging war is sorely losing in the face of the facts.
A Washington Post poll published on Tuesday showed that 58% of Americans support the House impeachment inquiry and 49% say the Senate should remove the president from office. Past polls showed that only 37-41% of Americans supported impeachment proceedings. The number of Republicans who backed the impeachment inquiry increased by 21% since July.
A Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday similarly showed that 50% of Americans support the Senate removing Trump from office.