White House, in Fiery Letter, Declares Trump Won’t Participate in House Judiciary Impeachment Hearing
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The White House announced in a fiery letter Sunday night that President Trump and his lawyers won’t participate in the House Judiciary Committee’s first impeachment hearing scheduled for Wednesday — even accusing the panel’s Democratic chairman, Jerry Nadler, of “purposely” scheduling the proceedings when Trump would be attending the NATO Leaders’ Meeting in London.
The five-page letter came as the Democratic majority on the House Intelligence Committee was preparing to approve a report on Tuesday that will outline possible charges of bribery or “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the constitutional standard for impeachment. After receiving the report, the Judiciary Committee would prepare actual charges.
“This baseless and highly partisan inquiry violates all past historical precedent, basic due process rights, and fundamental fairness,” wrote White House counsel Pat Cipollone, continuing the West Wing’s attack on the procedural form of the impeachment proceedings. Cipollone said Nadler provided only “vague” details about the hearing, and that unnamed academics — and not “fact witnesses” — would apparently be attending.
“When the Judiciary Committee scheduled a similar hearing during the Clinton impeachment process, it allowed those questioning the witnesses two-and-a-half weeks’ notice to prepare, and it scheduled the hearing on a date suggested by the president’s attorneys,” Cipollone wrote. “Today, by contrast, you have afforded the president no scheduling input, no meaningful information and so little time to prepare that you have effectively denied the administration a fair opportunity to participate.”
Cipollone’s letter made clear that his response applied only to the Wednesday hearing, at least for now. Cipollone demanded more information from Democrats on how they intended to conduct further hearings before Trump would decide whether to participate in those hearings, amid sagging national support for Democrats’ probe.
Specifically, Cipollone demanded to know whether Republicans would be able to cross-examine and call defense witnesses, as well as whether Republicans could call “fact witnesses” — including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
House-passed rules provide the president and his attorneys the right to cross-examine witnesses and review evidence before the committee, but little ability to bring forward witnesses of their own.
“If [Schiff] chooses not to (testify), then I really question his veracity in what he’s putting in his report,” said Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee. “It’s easy to hide behind a report,” Collins added. “But it’s going to be another thing to actually get up and have to answer questions.”
Schiff has come under scrutiny from Republicans, in part because of his overtly partisan comments and his previous claim in a televised interview that “we have not spoken directly with the whistleblower.” A Schiff spokesperson later narrowed that claim in October, telling Fox News that Schiff himself “does not know the identity of the whistleblower, and has not met with or spoken with the whistleblower or their counsel” for any reason.
An aide to Schiff insisted that when Schiff mentioned “we” had not spoken to the whistleblower, he was referring to members of the full House intelligence committee, rather than staff. NBC National Security reporter Ken Dilanian flagged Schiff’s explanation as “deceptive” late Wednesday, and Schiff acknowledged he “should have been more clear” concerning whistleblower contacts.
The panel of constitutional scholars who will testify on Wednesday will weigh in on the question of whether the president committed an impeachable offense by allegedly withholding of military aid to Ukraine until it investigated former Vice President Joe Biden.
During impeachment hearings last month, a career State Department official testified that in January or February 2015, he “became aware that [Joe Biden’s son] Hunter Biden was on the board” of Ukrainian company Burisma Holdings while his father Joe Biden was overseeing Ukraine policy as vice president — and that he raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest at the time. Joe Biden has openly bragged about pressuring Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor while he was investigating Burisma, by threatening to withhold critical U.S. aid.
Republicans had urged President Trump not to attend the Democrats’ hearings, arguing that his presence would validate a process they have repeatedly derided as partisan. In his letter, Cipollone repeatedly derided what he called Democrats’ “fundamentally unfair” process.
“Inviting the Administration now to participate in an after-the-fact constitutional law seminar — with yet-to-be-named witnesses — only demonstrates further the countless procedural deficiencies that have infected this inquiry from its inception and shows the lack of seriousness with which you are undertaking these proceedings,” Cipollone wrote.
Nadler had written the president last week announcing a hearing for Dec. 4 at 10 a.m., and notified him of the committee’s intentions to provide him with “certain privileges” while they consider “whether to recommend articles of impeachment to the full House.” Nadler also extended an invitation to the president, asking whether “you and your counsel plan to attend the hearing or make a request to question the witness panel.”
With polls showing support for impeachment flagging, Democrats were aiming for a final House vote by Christmas, which would set the stage for a likely Senate trial in January. Surveys have shown that independents are souring on the idea of impeaching and removing Trump from office, including in critical battleground states like Wisconsin, even as House Democrats aggressively presented their focus-group-tested “bribery” case against the president over the past two weeks.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2019
“I do believe that all evidence certainly will be included in that report so the Judiciary Committee can make the necessary decisions that they need to,” said Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., a member of both the Intelligence and Judiciary committees.
She said Democrats had not yet finalized witnesses for the upcoming Judiciary hearings and were waiting to hear back from Trump on his plans to present a defense.
“If he has not done anything wrong, we’re certainly anxious to hear his explanation of that,” Demings said.
The House Judiciary’s impeachment hearings will follow last month’s hearings by the House Intelligence Committee, which heard from 12 witnesses during five days of testimony.
Trump has previously suggested that he might be willing to offer written testimony under certain conditions, though aides suggested they did not anticipate Democrats would ever agree to them.
“The Democrats are holding the most ridiculous Impeachment hearings in history. Read the Transcripts, NOTHING was done or said wrong!” Trump tweeted Saturday.
Nikki Haley Breaks with Trump: ‘We Shouldn’t Have Followed Him, and We Shouldn’t Have Listened to Him’
Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, believes that former President Donald Trump “let us down.”
Haley’s remarks come as the former president’s legal team prepares to present its defense of Trump during his second impeachment trial in the Senate.
In a Politico interview published Friday, Haley, former South Carolina governor, said that “we shouldn’t have followed” Trump.
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” she said in an extensive profile. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”
She also told the outlet that she has not spoken to Trump since the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, and takes issue with his remarks condemning former Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to reject the Electoral College vote.
“When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement,” she expressed. “I am so disappointed in the fact that [despite] the loyalty and friendship he had with Mike Pence, that he would do that to him. Like, I’m disgusted by it.”
The former ambassador, who many people are speculating may run for the White House in 2024, also added that Trump will never accept the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“There’s nothing that you’re ever going to do that’s going to make him feel like he legitimately lost the election,” she explained. “He’s got a big bully pulpit. He should be responsible with it.”
Haley also warned that many people still love the former president and will not stop supporting him just because he is out of office.
“I know how much people love Donald Trump,” she admitted. “I know it. I feel it. Whether it’s an RNC room or social media or talking to donors, I can tell you that the love they have for him is still very strong. That’s not going to just fall to the wayside. Nor do I think the Republican Party is going to go back to the way it was before Donald Trump. I don’t think it should.”
Haley added that people, instead, should “take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party.”
“[I]t’s bigger than the party,” she insisted. “I hope our country can come together and figure out how we pull this back.”
Referring to Haley’s possible 2024 ambitions, Politico’s Tim Alberta wrote, “Since last fall, I’ve spent nearly six hours talking with Haley on-the-record. I’ve also spoken with nearly 70 people who know her: friends, associates, donors, staffers, former colleagues. From those conversations, two things are clear. First, Nikki Haley is going to run for president in 2024. Second, she doesn’t know which Nikki Haley will be on the ballot.”
Haley also said that she didn’t believe Trump had a chance of winning in a 2024 election scenario.
“I don’t think he can,” she admitted. “He’s fallen so far.”
“I think his business is suffering at this point,” she added. “I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have. I think he’s lost his social media, which meant the world to him. I mean, I think he’s lost the things that really could have kept him moving.”
WATCH: Trump’s Defense Team Absolutely Ruins Democrats With 13 Minute Montage of “Fight” Word Like Trump Did
The Democrats demonized President Trump for using the word ‘fight’. Trump’s attorneys responded today with a collage of clips from each of the Democrats in the room using the word ‘fight’.
This portion of today’s events on Capitol Hill was excellent. The Democrats claim that because President Trump used the word ‘fight’ in his speech on January 6th in Washington D.C. However, what every Democrat in that room forgot was that they too had used the word previously in political speech.
The montage went on for 13 minutes. (The video montage starts at 7:10 timeframe.)
WATCH: Trump Attorneys Destroy House Managers on Lying to American Public and Using Manipulated Tweet as Evidence
President Trump’s defense team took the floor of the US Senate on Friday in defense of President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial.
Trump Attorney David Schoen absolutely destroyed the House Managers when he took to the floor of the US Senate.
At one point Schoen played video of the Democrat lawmakers lying about a Trump tweet.
House Impeachment Manager Eric Swalwell gave a riveting performance on Wednesday reading off Trump’s tweets with emotional appeal.
During this theatrical performance, Swalwell read off a Trump retweet by Jennifer Lynn Lawrence.
But there was one problem with the tweet. It was photoshopped.
Jennifer Lynn Lawrence has never been verified by Twitter. Democrats faked that to make it look more important.
On Friday Trump Attorney David Schoen destroyed Democrats for lying about this to the American public.
White House Suspends Deputy Press Secretary For Allegedly Sexually Harassing, Threatening Reporter
The White House announced on Friday that it was suspending Deputy Press Secretary TJ Ducklo after a report surfaced alleging that he sexually harassed and threatened a female reporter who was getting ready to publish a report revealing that he was dating a reporter who had previously been tasked with covering Democrat Joe Biden.
“The confrontation began on Inauguration Day, January 20, after [Politico reporter Tara] Palmeri, a coauthor of Politico’s Playbook, contacted [Axios political reporter Alexi] McCammond for comment while one of her male colleagues left a message for Ducklo,” Vanity Fair reported. “Ducklo subsequently called a Playbook editor to object to the story, but was told to call the Playbook reporters with his concerns. But instead of calling the male reporter who initially contacted him, Ducklo tried to intimidate Palmeri by phone in an effort to kill the story. ‘I will destroy you,’ Ducklo told her, according to the sources, adding that he would ruin her reputation if she published it.”
“During the off-the-record call, Ducklo made derogatory and misogynistic comments, accusing Palmeri of only reporting on his relationship—which, due to the ethics questions that factor into the relationship between a journalist and White House official, falls under the purview of her reporting beat—because she was ‘jealous’ that an unidentified man in the past had ‘wanted to f***’ McCammond ‘and not you,’” the report added. “Ducklo also accused Palmeri of being ‘jealous’ of his relationship with McCammond.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said following the report that Ducklo has been suspended for a week over the incident.
“TJ Ducklo has apologized to the reporter, with whom he had a heated conversation about his personal life,” Psaki wrote on Twitter. “He is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President.”
TJ Ducklo has apologized to the reporter, with whom he had a heated conversation about his personal life. He is the first to acknowledge this is not the standard of behavior set out by the President.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 12, 2021
“In addition to his initial apology, he has sent the reporter a personal note expressing his profound regret,” she continued. “With the approval of the White House Chief of Staff, he has been placed on a one-week suspension without pay. In addition, when he returns, he will no longer be assigned to work with any reporters at Politico.”
With the approval of the White House Chief of Staff, he has been placed on a one-week suspension without pay. In addition, when he returns, he will no longer be assigned to work with any reporters at Politico.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 12, 2021
Reporters called out the administration over the incident, highlighting how the Trump administration did not treat reporters that way as well as issues with the timeline of events with regard to the White House taking action to address the incident.
“The Vanity Fair piece indicates that Politico editors reached to the WH after the incident first occurred and the WH acknowledged it was inappropriate,” Spectator editor Amber Athey wrote on Twitter. “But they clearly didn’t have any interest in disciplining Ducklo until his behavior was made public.”
The Vanity Fair piece indicates that Politico editors reached to the WH after the incident first occurred and the WH acknowledged it was inappropriate. But they clearly didn't have any interest in disciplining Ducklo until his behavior was made public @PressSec pic.twitter.com/T3mTLPcdid
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) February 12, 2021
New York Magazine reporter Olivia Nuzzi wrote on Twitter: “I covered Donald Trump for 6 years. It is saying something that this behavior — from a Biden official — shocks me.”
I covered Donald Trump for 6 years. It is saying something that this behavior — from a Biden official — shocks me.
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) February 12, 2021
Grabien founder Tom Elliott highlighted the following remarks that Biden made a few weeks ago: “If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot, on the spot. No if, ands, or buts. Everybody — everybody is entitled to be treated with decency & dignity.”
Biden 3 weeks ago: "If you’re ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise you I will fire you on the spot, on the spot. No if, ands, or buts. Everybody — everybody is entitled to be treated with decency & dignity." pic.twitter.com/0QDHnyU3Jo
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 12, 2021
CNN anchor Jake Tapper responded to the quote, writing: “Standards that are not upheld are not standards. They’re lies.”
Standards that are not upheld are not standards. They’re lies. https://t.co/7b1InypvBT
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 12, 2021