White House says it will not cooperate with impeachment inquiry

World Today

The White House is refusing to hand over documents or allow officials to be questioned by the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump. Calling the investigation unconstitutional and partisan, the White House said it will not participate.

CGTN’s White House correspondent Nathan King reports.

The Trump administration said “NO.” In an eight-page letter sent to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, White House lawyers question the constitutionality, legality and motives of the inquiry.

A statement from the White House press secretary reads in part:

“The President has done nothing wrong, and the Democrats know it. 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 inquiry that ignores the fundamental rights guaranteed to every American.”

The White House indicated it wasn’t going to co-operate when it blocked Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the European Union, from being questioned by impeachment investigators. He’s seen as a central figure who may shed light on whether the U.S. president misused his powers by holding up military aid to Ukraine and a White House visit unless Ukraine opened an investigation into Trump’s political rival Joe Biden and his son.

Congressional investigators insist that it is well within their power to request documents and witnesses and point out that the impeachment process is highlighted in the constitution.

“The American people have the right to know if the president is acting in their interests, in the nation’s interests with an eye towards our national security and not in his narrow personal, political interests,” said Adam Schiff, the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman. “They have a right to know. Indeed, the American people have a need to know and through this impeachment inquiry, we are determined to find the answers.”

Congress theoretically has the power to compel witnesses to testify. They can impose fines even send people to jail. A court battle is likely and the stakes could not be higher.


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