Thursday, 17 October, 2019

White House Tells House Impeachment Probe is "Illegitimate"

Nancy Pelosi Enlarge Image Nancy Pelosi AP
Patty Aguilar | 09 October, 2019, 18:24

President Trump, joined by Gordon Sondland, the USA ambassador to the European Union, in Brussels, Belgium.

Trump has vociferously denied any wrongdoing over Ukraine and questioned the credibility of the whistleblowers, accusing them of partisanship and lying in their complaints.

The White House has announced that it is refusing to cooperate with the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry, saying it violates the Constitution.

Cipollone also accused Congress of threatening executive branch officials with punishment for exercising "fundamental constitutional rights and prerogatives".

"President Trump and his Administration reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process".

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) sent a letter to Pelosi on October 3, calling on her to suspend the impeachment inquiry until she puts into place "transparent and equitable rules and procedures". Now, he is trying to make lawlessness a virtue.

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"The White House letter is only the latest attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy, and to insist that the President is above the law", she wrote.

"The White House should be warned that continued efforts to hide the truth of the President's abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction".

"The so-called Whistleblower, before knowing I was going to release the exact Transcript, stated that my call with the Ukrainian President was 'crazy, frightening, and completely lacking in substance related to national security.' This is a very big Lie. You will be held accountable".

Through his lawyer on Tuesday, Sondland said he hoped "the issues raised by the State Department that preclude his testimony will be resolved promptly". They say they'll subpoena the ambassador for his testimony and communications on his personal devices that have not been turned over.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-California, said Sondland had taken part in conversations regarding military aid to Ukraine, along with Trump's request that Ukraine investigate the Biden family. It alleges that Sondland attended meetings in Kiev with Volker, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials to discuss on how to "navigate" Trump's demands and the different messages they were receiving from "official US channels on the one hand and from [Trump's personal lawyer Rudy] Giuliani on the other".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday said President Trump is "obstructing Congress from getting the facts" it needs in the impeachment inquiry after his administration blocked a U.S. diplomat from testifying before three committees.

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