At the start of the hearing Jerry Nadler and ranking member Doug Collins (R-GA) asked the Democrat chairman questions on the scheduling and the process that would define the impeachment hearings taking place in the House Judiciary.
Nadler appeared flustered from the questioning – leading Rep. Andy Biggs to laugh at the chair along with other Republicans. Biggs can be heard describing Nadler’s response as a “circular response.”
The House Judiciary Committee held its first impeachment hearing on Wednesday just 24 hours after the House Intelligence Committee voted along party lines to kick the impeachment hearing into the House Judiciary Committee, where impeachment typically takes place.
This came after the White House informed the House Judiciary Committee that it will not participate in Wednesday’s impeachment inquiry hearing but did not rule to take part in future hearings.
The administration wrote in a five-page letter days ago that the committee hearing te process was “highly partisan.”
The administration wrote in a five-page letter that Democratic chairman provided information about Wednesday’s hearing.
“We cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the President a fair process through additional hearings,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote to Nadler.
“More importantly, an invitation to an academic discussion with law professors does not begin to provide the President with any semblance of a fair process,” Cipollone wrote. “Accordingly, under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing.”
The impeachment hearing is titled “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment.” The panel is hearing from several legal scholars after the impeachment inquiry warrants drafting articles aimed at removing the president from office.
Cipollone accused Nadler in his letter of holding the hearing while President Trump is in London for scheduled NATO summit. The president accused Democrats of “undercutting our country” in response.