In a blistering letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders on Tuesday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone explained that, due to the biased and unconstitutional nature of the party’s demands, President Trump and the executive branch would not be cooperating with the House’s impeachment inquiry.
“Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it,” the letter read. “Because participating in this inquiry under the current unconstitutional posture would inflict lasting institutional harm on the Executive Branch and lasting damage to the separation of powers, you have the President no choice.
“Consistent with the duties of the President of the United States, and in particular his obligation to preserve the rights of future occupants of his office, President Trump cannot permit his Administration to participate in this partisan inquiry under these circumstances,” Cipollone continued.
To no one’s surprise, the letter drew a pointed response from Pelosi.
“For a while, the President has tried to normalize lawlessness. Now, he is trying to make lawlessness a virtue,” Pelosi’s statement read. “The White House letter is only the latest attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy, and to insist that the President is above the law.
“This letter is manifestly wrong, and is simply another unlawful attempt to hide the facts of the Trump Administration’s brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections,” Pelosi continued. “Despite the White House’s stonewalling, we see a growing body of evidence that shows that President Trump abused his office and violated his oath to ‘protect, preserve and defend the Constitution.’ Mr. President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable.”
Trump, of course, has made no claim to being “above the law.” The problem is, the Democrats have utterly failed to come up with any supposed law that he has broken. That is exactly what makes this impeachment proceeding an exercise in partisan warfare. There is no reasonable legal understanding that gives this inquiry any legitimacy. The Democrats had more to go on when they were pursuing the Russia witch hunt, and they had virtually nothing there, either. This Ukraine thing…it’s a bad joke, and it’s getting worse.
There is no reason for the Trump White House to become an active partner in the Democrats’ undemocratic attack on the president’s legitimacy.