White House says it won't comply with impeachment inquiry


In a letter sent to top Democrats on Tuesday, the White House made it clear they wouldn't comply with the inquiry.

"Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch can not be expected to participate in it", Cipollone wrote.

Democrats are still pushing for the president's impeachment as public opinion for the inquiry tilts in support of beginning the formal proceedings. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), and Scott Perry (R-PA) went straight to the White House after defending Trump's honor at a press conference (during which Gaetz accused House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) of being a "malicious Captain Kangaroo").

Cipollone's letter, which was addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chairmen of the three committees, argued the inquiry is partisan and a violation of due process.

Schiff, commenting before the White House letter was released, said, "For this impeachment inquiry we are determined to find answers".

A trial on whether to remove him from office would then be held in the Republican-controlled Senate.

A Senate vote needs a two-thirds majority to convict the president - unlikely in this case, given that Mr Trump's party controls the chamber.

Among those due to testify: Gordon Sondland, the USA ambassador to the European Union who was involved in efforts to get Ukraine to open the investigations, and Masha Yovanovitch, who was abruptly recalled from her post as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in May after Trump supporters questioned her loyalty to the president.

Sondland's attorney, Robert Luskin, said his client was "profoundly disappointed" that he wouldn't be able to testify.

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"The failure to produce this witness", the California Democrat added, "the failure to produce these documents, we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress".

The new subpoenas follow those issued to the State Department and White House in recent weeks by the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees.

As lawmakers seek to amass ammunition to be used in an impeachment trial, the White House increasingly believes all-out warfare is its best course of action. A lot of people said very few people could handle it.

That document alleged Trump pushed Ukraine's president to investigate Biden's family, prompting a White House cover-up.

The grounds for impeachment are sketchy, to say the least, and revolve around the word of a whistleblower whose allegations were based on secondhand information (hearsay) and who is allegedly against the president. "This is a scam".

That "has never happened", a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters.

The directive to China came just moments after Trump discussed upcoming trade negotiations, where officials were expected to attempt to postpone planned escalations. House Democrats are seeking grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation as they conduct their impeachment inquiry.

That distinction matters because while grand jury testimony is ordinarily secret, one exception authorizes a judge to disclose it in connection with a judicial proceeding.

"The House under the Constitution sets its own rules, and the House has sole power over impeachment", Douglas Letter, a lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee, told the court.