Service :
07 December 2019 - 19:45
News ID: 447881
The White House has said it will not participate next week in hearings in the US House of Representatives that will consider what articles of impeachment to bring against President Donald Trump.

RNA - White House counsel Pat Cipollone made the announcement on Friday in a letter to Chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler.

He called the impeachment inquiry "completely baseless" and said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had ordered Democrats to draft articles of impeachment "before your committee has heard a single shred of evidence."

"House Democrats have wasted enough of America's time with this charade," Cipollone's letter said. "You should end this inquiry now and not waste even more time with additional hearings."

He quoted Trump as saying "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."

"We don’t see any reason to participate because the process is unfair," said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We haven’t been given any fair opportunity to participate. The speaker has already announced the predetermined result and they will not give us the ability to call any witnesses."

Pelosi on Thursday instructed the House Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against the Republican president, assuring that a formal impeachment process against the US president will proceed.

The committee could draft and recommend the articles by next Thursday and the House could vote on them by Christmas.

Three House committees are writing a report detailing their findings in Trump’s impeachment inquiry, which is expected to serve as the basis for an impeachment resolution, or “articles of impeachment”.  

Impeachment begins in the House. If the lower chamber of Congress approves articles of impeachment, a trial is then held in the Senate. House members act as the prosecutors; the senators as jurors; the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides.

Trump is likely to become just the third president in US history to be impeached by the House of Representatives.

Only two American presidents have been impeached by the House, Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Neither Johnson nor Clinton was convicted by the Senate.

In 1974, then US President Richard Nixon resigned in the face of certain impeachment and removal from office over the Watergate scandal.

A majority of members in the House, which id controlled by Democrats, have expressed their intention to back the deeply divisive impeachment procedure.

House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry against Trump in September after the unknown whistle-blower alleged the Republican president pressured his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had served as a director for Ukrainian energy company Burisma.


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