The White House on Tuesday sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denouncing the impeachment inquiry begun in the House of Representatives as “illegitimate.”
“President Trump and his administration reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process,” the letter read.
The eight-page letter was released by the White House to reporters on Tuesday evening.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone authored the letter, which directly challenged the Democrats in Congress.
The letter read:
Your unprecedented actions have left the president with no choice. In order to fulfill 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.
The White House refused to comply with Democrat demands for witnesses and documents, citing the “legal and constitutional flaws” in the process.
Speaking to reporters after the letter was released, the White House sternly lectured the House Democrats for breaking precedent by hosting an impeachment process without holding an official vote.
“For the first time in our nation’s history, the House of Representatives is now purporting to proceed an impeachment inquiry against the president, without conducting a vote on the house floor,” a senior White House official said in a call with reporters after the letter was released.
The official did not detail whether the president was willing to cooperate with the House of Representatives’ inquiry if the vote passed.
“We don’t want to speculate on what would happen in various hypothetical situations,” the official said.
The letter was also addressed to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel, and House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings.
White House lawyers criticized Democrats’ actions in denying the president the right to cross-examine witnesses, call witnesses, and receive testimony transcripts.
“All of this violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent,” the letter read. “Never before in our history has the House of Representatives-under the control of either political party-taken the American people down the dangerous path you seem determined to pursue.”
The letter argued that Democrats were using impeachment hearings to reverse the 2016 election and to influence the 2020 election.
“The Founders, however, did not create the extraordinary mechanism of impeachment so it could be used by a political party that feared for its prospects against the sitting President in the next election,” it read.
Read the full letter below: