On Friday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler informed President Donald Trump that he has until December 6 to let Congress know whether the White House will participate in impeachment hearings, reports The Hill.
In a formal letter, Nadler wrote the following.
“I am writing to determine if your counsel will… participate in the upcoming impeachment proceedings. In particular, please provide the Committee notice of whether your counsel intends to participate, specifying which of the privileges your counsel seeks to exercise, no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 6, 2019.”
Nadler’s letter comes on the heels of a similar notice from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who said earlier this week that the House committees investigating Trump are drafting a report for the Judiciary Committee. According to Schiff, the House has evidence that the president “sought foreign interference” in the 2020 presidential election.
Nadler also wrote to GOP lawmaker Doug Collins, the top Republican on his committee. The New York Democrat asked Collins whether he wants to issue subpoenas related to the impeachment inquiry, giving him until December 6 to make the decision.
“I am prepared to schedule a meeting of the Committee on Monday, December 9, 2019 to consider any such referrals,” Nadler wrote.
The White House has long stonewalled House Democrats’ investigations, and Republicans in Congress have complained about procedural issues since the beginning of the impeachment inquiry, alleging that they’re being shut out of proceedings.
During the first round of impeachment interviews, GOP lawmakers staged a protest, storming into a behind-closed-doors meeting, and disrupting the hearing. Republicans have also echoed Trump’s claims about Ukraine interfering in the 2016 presidential election, and the president has suggested that he is being treated unfairly, having allegedly been denied the opportunity to defend himself.
House Democrats decided to start a formal impeachment investigation after an intelligence community official alleged that the president froze military aid in order to force the Ukrainian government to investigate his political opponents. According to the whistleblower, Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate top Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
The president wanted Ukraine to launch the investigations in order to damage Biden’s 2020 presidential bid, according to the anonymous official. House Democrats claim that the whistleblower’s claims have been corroborated by impeachment witnesses, and they are reportedly drafting four different articles of impeachment.
According to newly released State Department documents, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, were also involved in the case. The two men allegedly worked together, pressuring Ukrainian officials to launch investigations, as Trump was freezing military aid.