White House Sends Letter Stating Administration Won’t Comply with Congress on Impeachment Inquiry: ‘Illegitimate’

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 2: U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Netherlands Prime Minster Mark Rutte (not pictured) in the OVal Office of The White House on July 2, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Kleponis/Getty Images)

Chief White House counsel Pat Cipollone penned a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the Democratic leaders at the Oversight, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs committees condemning the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump as an “illegitimate” attempt to “overturn” the 2016 election and as “a strategy to influence the next election.”

The White House sent the letter on Tuesday amid the Democrats new efforts to move forward on impeachment, including congressional subpoenas sent to U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Vice President Mike Pence, the White House, and others.

Cipollone’s letter accused Democrats of carrying out an inquiry that is devoid of “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.”

“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 left the President no choice,” the counsel wrote, before adding that the president “cannot permit his Administration to participate in this partisan inquiry under these circumstances.”

Cipollone also claimed Democrats are taking “the American people down the dangerous path you seem determined to pursue. Put simply, you seek to overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the President they have freely chosen.”

“Many Democrats now apparently view impeachment not only as a means to undo the democratic results of the last election, but as a strategy to influence the next election, which is barely more than a year away,” he continued, before accusing Democrats of acting in a “highly partisan and unconstitutional” manner that “threatens grave and lasting damage to our democratic institutions, to our system of free elections, and to the American people.”

On Tuesday, the State Department took a stance consistent with the White House’s letter by directing Ambassador Sondland to decline an appearance before Congress to discuss connections to the Ukraine scandal, which was started after Trump called Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in July and urged him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Democratic leaders responded to the move by suggesting that such resistance from the administration has the potential to be used as examples of obstruction if Democrats move forward with impeachment articles.

Read the full letter here.

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: caleb@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma