Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to Twitter to lash out at House Democrats over the way they are conducting an impeachment probe against US President Donald President Trump.
“Overturning the results of an American election requires the highest level of fairness and due process,” McConnell wrote, blaming the House for “failing to follow the same basic procedures that it has followed for every other President in our history”.
So far, the House has fallen far short by failing to follow the same basic procedures that it has followed for every other President in our history.— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) October 8, 2019
He was echoed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who insisted that Trump "is right to call out this rushed process because Democrats refuse to protect the transparency and basic fairness that have been integral to previous impeachment proceedings”.
President @realDonaldTrump is right to call out this rushed process because Democrats refuse to protect the transparency and basic fairness that have been integral to previous impeachment proceedings.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) October 8, 2019
White House Indicates Unwillingness to Cooperate With Impeachment Probe
The two Republican legislators' remarks followed the White House sending a letter to Democratic congressional leaders, in which it doubled down on its pledge not to cooperate with the impeachment probe of President Trump.
In the document, Pat A. Cipollone, White House counsel, pledged noncompliance with the Democrats’ “numerous, legally unsupported demands”, which he argued violate “fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process”.
The Democrats are violating Trump's civil rights by denying him “the right to cross-examine witnesses, to call witnesses, to receive transcripts of testimony, to have access to evidence, to have counsel present, and many other basic rights guaranteed to all Americans”, Cipollone claimed.
.@SpeakerPelosi's office confirms she's received letter from WH outlining why the administration won't be cooperating with impeachment inquiry. Below is the link to the 8-pg letter from WH Counsel Pat Cipollone. https://t.co/23V5TSeHBl— Ramsey Touchberry (@ramsberry1) October 8, 2019
He accused the Democrats of seeking to “overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the President they have freely chosen”.
“For the foregoing reasons, the President cannot allow your constitutionally illegitimate proceedings to distract him and those in the Executive Branch from their work on behalf of the American people,” Cipollone pointed out.
His letter came as White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham reiterated that the impeachment probe against Trump is being pursued "for purely political reasons".
“The President has done nothing wrong, and the Democrats know it,” Grisham said, adding that “the Executive Branch cannot be expected to, and will not participate in, this exercise of partisan political theatre”.
Earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected McCarthy’s request to suspend the Trump impeachment inquiry until equitable and transparent rules are established to govern the probe.
“The swiftness and recklessness with which you have proceeded has already resulted in committee chairs attempting to limit minority participation in interviews, calling into question the integrity of such an inquiry,” McCarthy wrote in a letter.
Pelosi responded by claiming that his request has no basis in the US Constitution and that the Democrats “take a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.
Democrats Announce Impeachment Probe Against Trump
The impeachment inquiry against Trump was announced by Pelosi on 24 September in response to the US President’s phone call with Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, part of which has been released as a transcript by the White House.
During the call, Trump asked Zelensky to open an investigation in US presidential candidate Joe Biden, ostensibly pressing Kiev to end a 2016 corruption investigation of a company where Biden’s son Hunter sat on the board.
Pelosi insisted that Trump's request to the Ukrainian President to probe Biden can be seen as a go-ahead for meddling in the US election and that it may constitute a breach of Trump’s constitutional responsibilities, something that justifies the Democrats’ impeachment attempt.
Trump, in turn, denies the allegations, describing the impeachment inquiry as a “hoax”, a “witch hunt” and a “coup”.