The White House’s counsel called on the House Judiciary Committee and its chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), to get the impeachment process over with and indicated the Trump administration will not participate.
“House Democrats have wasted enough of America’s time with this charade,” White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote to Nadler. “You should end this inquiry now and not waste even more time with additional hearings.”
He added that “adopting articles of impeachment” would be an abuse of power by the Democratic House majority and would be the “most unjust, highly partisan, and unconstitutional attempt at impeachment” in U.S. history.
“Your impeachment inquiry is completely baseless and has violated basic principles of due process and fundamental fairness,” the letter added. “Nevertheless, the Speaker of the House yesterday ordered House Democrats to proceed with articles of impeachment before your Committee has heard a single shred of evidence.”
Friday was the deadline for President Trump to respond to Nadler’s request for participation in a Dec. 9 Judiciary Committee hearing.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Thursday that her caucus would proceed with drafting articles of impeachment against Trump and alleged that based on the evidence Democrats have gathered, he violated his oath of office and should be impeached.
Trump and Republicans have consistently denied he did anything wrong.
His committee is responsible for drafting articles of impeachment and would have to approve them before sending them to the full House for a vote. Passage of formal charges would lead to a trial in the Republican-led Senate on whether to remove Trump from office. Senate Republicans, who have a majority in the Congressional body, have given virtually no indication that they would support Trump’s removal.
Republicans accuse Democrats of conducting a politically motivated witch hunt aimed at ousting Trump using an unfair impeachment process. Asked if it would be in the White House’s interest to take part in Monday’s hearing, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, “Not if it isn’t a fair process.”
As Pelosi made the announcement, Trump indicated that he wants it to get over with so the Senate could hold the trial.
“Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate and so that our Country can get back to business,” Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday. “We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is.”
Reuters contributed to this report.