The White House declared it will halt any and all cooperation with what it termed the “illegitimate” impeachment probe by House Democrats, sharpening the constitutional clash between President Donald Trump and Congress.
Trump attorneys on Oct. 8 sent a lengthy letter to House leaders bluntly stating White House refusal to participate in the inquiry that was given a boost by last week’s release of a whistleblower’s complaint that the president sought political favors from Ukraine.
“Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote.
That means no additional witnesses under administration purview will be permitted to appear in front of Congress or comply with document requests, a senior official said.
The White House is objecting that the House has not voted to begin an impeachment investigation into Trump. It also claims that Trump’s due process rights are being violated.
House intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff tweeted in response that Trump’s refusal to cooperate with the inquiry signals an attitude that “the president is above the law.”