White House Declares War On the Democrats' Impeachment Effort

Photo: Evan Vucci (AP)

The White House on Tuesday afternoon released an eight-page letter outlining why it would not be cooperating in the Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

In the letter, which was addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with Reps. Adam Schiff, Elijah Cummings, and Elliot Engel, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone argues the inquiry “violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process” and attempts to “overturn the results of the 2016 election.”

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Cipollone offered four reasons why the administration will formally stonewall Democrats’ efforts to investigate Trump’s transparently corrupt dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Among the explanations Cipollone offers are the arguments that “Your ‘Inquiry’ Is Constitutionally Invalid and Violates Basic Due Process Rights and the Separation of Powers” and charges that “There Is No Legitimate Basis for Your ‘Impeachment Inquiry.’”

The letter goes on like this—essentially the legal equivalent to a petulant teen giving their parents the finger and stomping off to their room to listen to Nine Inch Nails. Only, instead of a teenager, it’s the president of the United States, and instead of Nine Inch Nails, its a chorus of cable news pundits screaming “constitutional crisis.”

In Trumpian fashion, the letter concludes on a self-aggrandizing note, with Cipollone writing:

For the foregoing reasons, the President cannot allow your constitutionally illegitimate proceedings to distract him and those in the Executive Branch from their work on behalf of the American people. The President has a country to lead. The American people elected him to do this job, and he remains focused on fulfilling his promises to the American people. He 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.

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House Democrats have yet to publicly respond to the White House all but daring them to vote on a formal impeachment inquiry.

For now you can read the White House’s full letter below:

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Rafi Schwartz

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.