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Posted at: Oct 9, 2019, 8:47 AM; last updated: Oct 9, 2019, 11:04 AM (IST)

White House refuses cooperation by Trump in impeachment investigation

White House refuses cooperation by Trump in impeachment investigation
Donald Trump. Reuters file

Washington, October 9

The White House has refused any cooperation by President Donald Trump in the Democrats’ impeachment investigation, saying the efforts being made by the opposition are unconstitutional and an attempt to overturn the democratic process.

Speaking to reporters, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said the impeachment probe against President Trump is purely political.

“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,” she said.

“These partisan proceedings are an affront to the Constitution--as they are being held behind closed doors and deny the President the right to call witnesses, to cross-examine witnesses, to have access to evidence, and many other basic rights,” she said soon after the White House sent a letter to the Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives informing them of the decision of the Trump Administration.

Democrats in the US House of Representatives are examining whether there are grounds to impeach Trump, a Republican, based on a whistleblower’s account that said he asked Ukrainian President Zelenskiy in a July 25 phone call to help investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden.

In the letter, White House counsel Pat Cipollone rejected the allegations against Trump terming them baseless and unconstitutional.

“President Trump and his Administration reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process,” he said in his letter dated October 8, a copy of which was released to the press.

“Your unprecedented actions have left the President with no choice. In order to fulfil his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the Executive Branch, and all future occupants of the Office of the Presidency, President Trump and his Administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances,” he said.

Cipollone said Trump is focused on fulfilling his promises to the American people.

“He (Trump) has important work that he must continue on their behalf, both at home and around the world, including continuing strong economic growth, extending historically low levels of unemployment, negotiating trade deals, fixing our broken immigration system, lowering prescription drug prices, and addressing mass shooting violence,” he said. PTI

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