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White House sends blistering letter to House Judiciary Committee, will not participate in impeachment hearing


'It is too late to cure the profound procedural deficiencies that have tainted this entire inquiry'

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The White House will not participate in the House Judiciary Committee's first public impeachment hearing Wednesday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone told House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) over the weekend.

Writing in a blistering five-page letter Sunday, Cipollone ripped the "baseless and highly partisan" process that "violates all past historical precedent, basic due process rights, and fundamental fairness."

"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," Cipollone wrote.

"Accordingly, under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing," he said.

Wednesday's hearing will include testimony from constitutional scholars and legal experts who will discuss the impeachment process and whether the allegations of wrongdoing against the president clear the Constitution's "high crimes and misdemeanors" standard for impeachment, Politico reported.

Cipollone said the academic discussion "does not begin to provide the President with any semblance of a fair process."

The letter echoed Cipollone's previous public statements about the impeachment inquiry, which he has called "illegitimate," because it lacks the due process that Republicans believe should be afforded to the president. So far, the president's legal team has not been allowed to present evidence or cross-examine witnesses.

"It is too late to cure the profound procedural deficiencies that have tainted this entire inquiry," Cipollone said.

However, the White House may yet participate in future hearings, Cipollone said. "If you are serious about conducting a fair process going forward, and in order to protect the rights and privileges of the President, we may consider participating in future Judiciary Committee proceedings if you afford the Administration the ability to do so meaningfully."

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