White House tells Congress it will refuse to participate in impeachment hearings

White House tells Congress it will refuse to participate in impeachment hearings

White House tells Congress it will refuse to participate in impeachment hearings

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, directed the committee to draw up the charges on Thursday after weeks of investigation into Trump's request that Ukraine investigate former vice-president Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to face the president in the 2020 USA election.

"Our democracy is what is at stake, the president leaves us no choice but to act", the top elected Democrat said.

In releasing his report Saturday, Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the president's actions are the framers' "worst nightmare".

"T$3 he evidence produced over the last two months is more than sufficient to persuade us that he should be impeached", the December 7 editorial begins.

Representative Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, a former Navy helicopter pilot, said Democrats have done a lot but still have a long to-do list including election security measures and a bill to lower prescription drug costs that Pelosi said will come to the floor next week.

"President Trump abused his power, betrayed our national security, and corrupted our elections, all for personal gain", Nadler said in a statement.

Crow and Perlmutter have been reluctant to support the impeachment process, voting against impeachment in July, but both agree it's time to draft articles of impeachment now.

With information from the Associated Press and Reuters.

"Impeachment is the Constitution's final answer to a President who mistakes himself for a monarch".

Many of these lawmakers remain publicly supportive of the Democratic-led House inquiry while eager to work on other pressing matters. He repeated Trump's tweet of Thursday: "If you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our country can get back to business".

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said immediately after Mrs Pelosi's remarks that Democrats "should be ashamed".

Republicans accuse Democrats of conducting a politically motivated witch hunt aimed at ousting Trump using an unfair impeachment process. They could also include obstruction of justice, based on Mueller's report on the original Trump-Russia investigation.

"That's when the defence goes on the offence", she said, adding that Republicans look forward to calling their own witnesses.

Trump, who denied any wrongdoing, thus far has refused to co-operate with the inquiry and ordered current and former administration officials not to testify or provide documents demanded by House committees.

Trump has insisted he did nothing wrong.

What is Mr Trump accused of?

He, like many House Democrats, believes President Donald Trump has obstructed Congress.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to House Judiciary chairman outline the president's sentiment towards the proceedings. Hunter Biden joined the board of a Ukrainian energy company when his father was President Obama's deputy. Democrats also say Trump's actions amount to soliciting foreign interference in American elections - which is barred by USA laws. This theory has been widely debunked, and United States intelligence agencies are unanimous in saying Moscow was behind the hacking of Democratic Party emails in 2016.

Though Nadler did not immediately respond to the Republican witness requests, he said of Trump's refusal to participate: "Having declined this opportunity, he can not claim that the process is unfair". Those articles will then be amended and marked up by the committee before being voted on and, if passed, sent to the full House.

"Am I correct that no president in the history of the republic, before President Trump, ever issued a general order instructing executive branch officials not to testify in an impeachment inquiry?" asked Neguse, a Lafayette Democrat.

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