Washington [US]: The Trump administration will not take part in the Democrats' impeachment "political theatre," the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The Democrats are pursuing purely partisan goals, including influencing the upcoming 2020 election," the statement said. "In the process, they are violating civil liberties and the separation of powers, threatening Executive Branch officials with punishment simply for exercising their constitutional rights and prerogatives.
The White House noted in the statement that all such actions violate the US Constitution, rule of law and every past precedent and for these reasons, "the Executive Branch cannot be expected to, and will not participate in, this exercise of partisan political theatre." The White House revealed that Pat Cipollone, counsel to the US President, sent a letter to Us House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and committee chairmen Eliot Engel, Adam Schiff, and Elijah Cummings.
"The letter demonstrates that the Democrat inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretence of fairness and even the most elementary due process protections," the statement said. President Donald Trump called the impeachment inquiry a "kangaroo court" and has refused to cooperate, prompting House Democrats to warn that obstruction could become the basis for impeachment if requested evidence does not pan out.
The White House emphasized that President Trump has done nothing wrong and the Democrats know that fact. "For purely political reasons, the Democrats have decided their desire to overturn the outcome of the 2016 election allows them to conduct a so-called impeachment enquiry that ignores the fundamental rights guaranteed to every American," the statement said.
"These partisan proceedings are an affront to the Constitution - as they are being held behind closed doors and deny the President the right to call witnesses, to cross-examine witnesses, to have access to evidence, and many other basic rights." On September 24, congressional Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump's July 25 telephone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The inquiry was initiated after a whistleblower sent a complaint to Congress, saying Trump pressed Zelenskyy to investigate possible corruption by 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden as well as threatened withholding US military aid to Ukraine. Trump denied the allegations calling them another attempt at a political witch hunt to reverse the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election, and published the transcript of the telephone call with Zelenskyy.