News

White House

White House Says It Won’t Cooperate With Impeachment Inquiry Citing ‘Lasting Institutional Harm’

President Trump speaks to the media before departing from the White House in Washington, D.C., June 2, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

The White House on Tuesday wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chairmen of three Democratic committees informing House Democrats that the Trump administration does not intend to cooperate with the “unconstitutional” impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

“You have designed and implemented your inquiry in a manner that violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in the eight-page letter.

The White House lawyer launched a slew of accusations at Democrats, saying they have violated due process by denying Trump access to witnesses for cross-examining and the right to have counsel present and have withheld evidence and transcripts of testimony from the executive branch.

“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,” Cipollone wrote. “Because participating in this inquiry under the current unconstitutional posture would inflict lasting institutional harm on the Executive Branch and lasting damage to the separation of powers, you have left the President no choice.”

The president also “cannot permit” the rest of his administration to participate in such a “partisan inquiry,” Cipollone said.

Democrats have also violated the separation of powers and led the country in an “unprecedented” and “dangerous” direction, Cipollone charged, by attempting to use impeachment to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

The letter comes the same day Trump blocked Gordon Sondland, the U.S. European Union ambassador and a key witness in the impeachment probe, from testifying behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee, riling Democratic lawmakers.

Trump has been criticized by both sides of the aisle over his July phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump asked Zelensky to help his administration investigate allegations that the former vice president used his position to help a Ukrainian natural-gas company avoid a corruption probe soon after his son was appointed to its board of directors.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month announced the opening of a formal impeachment inquiry into allegations that President Trump withheld Ukrainian military aid unless Ukraine investigated Biden.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review

Farewell

Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More
White House

More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we're seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump's worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump's staff was at its best, it was possible to draw ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More
Culture

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More