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Monday, 18 January 2021

White House refuses to take part in hearing

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White House refuses to take part in hearing
White House refuses to take part in hearing

The White House told Democratic lawmakers on Sunday that U.S. President Donald Trump and his lawyers would not participate in a congressional impeachment hearing this week, citing a lack of "fundamental fairness." Eve Johnson reports.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his lawyers will not take part in an impeachment hearing scheduled for Wednesday (December 4).

In a letter seen by Reuters, White House counsel Pat Cipollone cited a "complete lack of due process and fundamental fairness afforded the president" in the impeachment process.

But Cipollone didn't rule out participating in future hearings.

He laid out a list of demands like allowing Trump's Republicans to call additional witnesses.

Congressional hearings have centered around the question of whether Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and called the impeachment inquiry a sham.

Wednesday's hearing is the first by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

It marks a shift in the inquiry from fact -finding to considering possible charges of misconduct over Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

The committee didn't immediately respond to the White House's letter.

But one member of the House - Democrat Don Beyer - fired back, tweeting "Not one process complaint made by the President and his Republican allies in Congress so far has turned out to be genuine." Sources say the Judiciary Committee could vote on whether to recommend articles of impeachment within the next two weeks.

That would set the stage for a possible impeachment vote in the House before Christmas.

But a "yes" on impeachment doesn't mean the president would be automatically removed form office.

That question would be decided in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans.


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