House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler issued his response this afternoon to Donald Trump and the White House refusing to participate in Wednesday’s first Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings. Nadler said what is on everyone’s mind, which is that Trump has something “to hide.”
“Late last night, the President and his counsel turned down our invitation to participate in Wednesday’s hearing. 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,” Nadler said in an official statement released today.
“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 concluded.
Nadler’s response is the result of White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sending a letter to Nadler yesterday which said that the White House will not be participating in the hearings. Cipollone called the process “highly partisan” and accused Nadler of providing little information about the upcoming hearing.
Trump not defending himself will just make it all the more easy for House Democrats to do their jobs. It will probably discourage GOP House Representatives from putting energy into defending Trump. Why defend Trump when he won’t even defend himself? The Wednesday hearing is titled “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Ground for Presidential Impeachment,” and we can’t wait.