President Donald Trump and his attorneys have chosen not to participate in the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment hearing Wednesday, calling the inquiry “baseless and highly partisan.”

In a five-page letter addressed to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-New York), White House counsel to the President Pat Cipollone wrote, “We cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the President a fair process through additional hearings.”

Cipollone said that he heard from “rumors and press reports” that the Dec. 4 hearing will consist of an academic discussion, and added that “[w]e understand this to mean that your initial hearing will
include no fact witnesses at all.”

“Inviting the Administration now to participate in an after-the-fact constitutional law
seminar-with yet-to-be-named witnesses-only demonstrates further the countless procedural
deficiencies that have infected this inquiry from its inception and shows the lack of seriousness
with which you are undertaking these proceedings,” Cipollone wrote, critiquing both the ongoing inquiry and the idea of holding an academic panel. “An academic discussion cannot retroactively
fix an irretrievably broken process.”

He also accused Nadler of “no doubt purposely” scheduling the hearing while Trump will be at a NATO meeting in London.


However, he emphasized that this letter was only in response to the Dec. 4 and wrote that Trump would be willing to participate in future hearings if the Judiciary Committee becomes “serious about conducting a fair process.”

“It is too late to cure the profound procedural deficiencies that have tainted this entire
inquiry,” Cipollone wrote. “Nevertheless, if you are serious about conducting a fair process going forward, and in order to protect the rights and privileges of the President, we may consider participating in future Judiciary Committee proceedings if you afford the Administration the ability to do so meaningfully.”

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