06:18 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., questions Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019.

    Nadler: 'Unfortunate' That Trump Refuses to Participate in Impeachment Hearing

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    US House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued a statement Monday, calling it "unfortunate" that US President Donald Trump declined to participate in a Wednesday impeachment hearing.

    "Late last night, the President and his counsel turned down our invitation to participate in Wednesday's hearing," reads Nadler's letter. "His response is unfortunate because allowing the President to participate has been a priority for the House from the outset. That is why the House included the opportunity to participate in H. Res 660."

    "The American people deserve transparency. If the President thinks the call was 'perfect' and there is nothing to hide then he would turn over the thousands of pages of documents requested by Congress, allow witnesses to testify instead of blocking testimony with baseless privilege claims, and provide any exculpatory information that refutes the overwhelming evidence of his abuse of power."

    Nadler's response came a day after White House counsel Pat Cipollone issued a five-page letter to the New York chairman, explaining that Trump would not take part in the committee's hearing. Although Cipollone went on to describe the Democrats' impeachment inquiry as "baseless" and "partisan," the official did not indicate whether or not the president would take part in future hearings.

    Wednesday's hearing is expected to largely focus on constitutional matters, as lawmakers will be hearing from a law professionals and a panel of scholars regarding the US' impeachment process.

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    hearing, House Judiciary Committee, inquiry, impeachment, Donald Trump, Jerrold Nadler
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