White House rejects participation in 'baseless' impeachment probe

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 07 2019 08:09 AM

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters while participating in a "roundtable on small business and red tape reduction accomplishments" in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, US December 6, 2019. Kevin Lamarque, Reuters

WASHINGTON - The White House on Friday responded to a deadline on an invitation to defend President Donald Trump in his impeachment probe by denouncing the entire process as "baseless."

"As you know, your impeachment inquiry is completely baseless," White House chief lawyer Pat Cipollone wrote in a letter to Jerrold Nadler, Democratic chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives.

While Cipollone did not specifically rule out the White House's participation in the process, the meaning was clear as he said Democrats had "wasted enough of America's time with this charade."

Cipollone issued the letter minutes before an end-of-business-hours deadline for the White House to declare whether it would send representatives to the Judiciary Committee.

The committee is drawing up impeachment charges that the full House is expected to vote on later this month.

While Democrats are likely to get a majority to impeach Trump on allegations that he abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 US presidential election, his Republican party will almost certainly acquit him in the Senate.