Trump and Lawyers Won’t Attend Impeachment Hearing
By Staff, Agencies
US President Donald Trump and his lawyers will not participate in a congressional impeachment hearing this week due to a lack of “fundamental fairness,” according to a letter from the White House to Democratic lawmakers.
“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,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote to Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat from New York's 10th congressional district and Chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.
Cipollone did not rule out participation in further proceedings, but he signaled that Democrats would first have to make major procedural concessions.
The Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee, tasked with considering charges known as articles of impeachment, had given Trump until Sunday night to say whether he would dispatch a lawyer to take part in the judiciary panel’s proceedings on Wednesday.
Trump’s aides responded defiantly to the first of two crucial deadlines he faces in Congress.
The impeachment probe shifted to a public phase on November 13 after weeks of closed-door interviews in the House.
An overwhelming 70 percent of US adults think Trump’s action towards Ukraine was wrong, and a slim majority of Americans, 51 percent, believe Trump’s actions were both wrong and he should be removed from office, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll released on November 19.