• President Trump, on Wednesday, said that he is willing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, but only if House Democrats “give us our rights.” Trump’s comment marks the first time when he talked about the specific conditions for his participation.
• Trump’s statement came a day after the White House, in an eight-page letter, stated that it would not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry on the grounds that it lacked merit. The letter from the White House was followed by a decision to block testimony of an important witness in the investigation.
• The White House also criticized Nancy Pelosi, Democratic House Speaker, for not agreeing to vote of the full chamber for authorizing the impeachment investigation. Many say that Trump’s comment would now put pressure on Pelosi over how to proceed with the impeachment inquiry.
• When a reporter asked Trump if he would cooperate with Democrats’ demands for testimony if a House vote were held, Trump replied, “We would if they give us our rights.”
• White House’s letter further escalates the political tension. Democrats want to hold Trump accountable for his July call, where he asked a favor from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son. Trump has been denying any wrongdoing related to the Ukrainian call, and once referred the impeachment effort a “kangaroo court.”
• On Wednesday, Biden, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, also called for Trump’s impeachment.
The Constitution Doesn't Bend..
Executive privilege has a ceiling…And Trump is feeling it for the first time. The law doesn’t bend for us. We bend for the law. Violate the law? You don’t get to make demands.
Trump is the person of interest. Trump doesn’t write the rules this time. Trump doesn’t get to make demands. Trump doesn’t get to cooperate “on his terms.” Trump doesn’t enjoy the protection of dictatorship.
This is democracy, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the Dems keep pushing forward to give him a taste of his own medicine. It’s been a very long time coming, and Pelosi carefully waited until the right time. The Mueller investigation meant nothing to him beyond a nuisance in his daily operations. It didn’t even make him considering caution in his action and words. He has zero excuse for Ukraine. Zero. More poignantly, Trump doesn’t get to make a deal with the constitution. There’s no negotiation leverage when it comes to matters of this gravity purported by the commander in chief. Giuliani’s buddies were arrested today, and they won’t have a lot of room for choosing whether or not they will defend themselves. Wish there were more clearly stipulated criminal procedures that would allow for the involvement of law enforcement and temporary holdings of a lot of the people involved/present/with knowledge of the phone call who are unwilling to share it. People tend to wither under direct threats such as being held. If you are able to remain in your comfort zone there’s little incentive to give up incriminating evidence.
I'm with you Ted that people must follow the rules. But don't you think that would also apply to Pelosi & co? They're shimmy-ing around a dreaded vote that'll result in a "Nay" by doing this for media attention. A weak attempt at influencing election results. Should Trump have to cooperate with an unfounded inquiry? That's politically motivated than truly concerning the danger of our national security? If it was indeed as perilous as claimed, you'd think the actions taken would've been radically different...
As He Should!
Trump's response to the reporter's question was succinct and common sense. Indeed, he would cooperate if the Dems were willing to grant him his rights. And that's certainly not too much to ask.
When you're being placed on the hot seat, your primary concern should be being able to exercise your rights, have great lawyers represent you, and play this out fairly. The Dems have tried long and hard to skew the stacks in their favor, but the President won't have any of those dirty tactics. If you're really going to wave a serious impeachment inquiry in his face, you should expect him to request the time to adequately prepare, create a defense team, and meet the Dems at a fair and equal point.
And though the media is treating this impeachment inquiry as a legitimate, voted-on one, the facts as of today give no indication of this inquiry carrying legal and political legitimacy. The House hasn’t taken a vote to approve the impeachment inquiry. Whether or not there will be an official one is still up in the air.
The White House was also right to criticize Nancy Pelosi. She wants all of the glory, and none of the fall-out. By allowing this “impeachment inquiry” sans vote, she’s giving her party the nicety of not having to go on record and say: yay or nay.
Finally, Trump is holding them accountable. As any president would and should. Unless a vote is held, there’s no leg for the Dems and Pelosi/Schiff to stand on. Make it official. Then we’ll talk.
Like you, Don, I’ve been looking at the impeachment inquiry with a critical eye that seeks fairness and the appropriate implementation of processes. However, when you state that an impeachment inquiry is only legitimate if it is voted on first, you are incorrect.
I have heard this argument from many people, but when you look at the Constitutional provisions regarding impeachment there is no call for a vote prior to initiating an inquiry. An inquiry is in the discretion and may be requested by a member of the House on his or her own initiative—it may even be requested by non-House members.
An impeachment proceeding (note, not an inquiry) does indeed only begin formally once a resolution has been adopted by the full House of Representatives.
And indeed, a vote takes place as well to determine whether grounds for impeachment exist.
So those are the instances requiring a vote. However, Pelosi had the right to initiate an impeachment inquiry. She chose to focus on the Ukraine phone call, trying to seek a justifiable violation that falls in the category of impeachable offenses: “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
This sets in motion the federal impeachment process. Step one of the impeachment process is as follows: investigation. This is the step we are still in. Investigating includes issuing subpoenas and collecting other valuable and necessary information from witnesses. This is perfectly legal & proper in these circumstances.
Trump’s refusal to cooperate isn’t novel either. Nixon refused to cooperate. Clinton refused to cooperate. Ultimately, though, not cooperating does not work. We know what happened with Nixon and Clinton. Whether those investigating need to jump through extra hoops to get what they need won’t stop them. Trump is indeed in the hot seat, and sadly, it tends to come with a lower standard of privilege or latitude, particularly when refusing to cooperate. It might draw the whole thing out a few more weeks, but the desired conclusion will likely remain the same.