President Donald Trump is continuing his refusal to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, despite the House vote on a resolution that formalized the process following criticism from the White House and Republican Party.
So far, the White House has refused to comply with subpoenas and document requests from the House committees that fall under the umbrella of an impeachment inquiry and requested that others both inside and outside the administration do the same. Many are cooperating anyway.
Even after the House vote on Thursday, Trump is holding firm on his position, telling the Washington Examiner that he does not intend to work with the impeachment inquiry or honor any of its requests: “You are setting a terrible precedent for other presidents.”
The White House and Republican lawmakers have focused on attacking the process by which House Democrats are conducting the impeachment inquiry, accusing them of denying Trump his rights and upending precedent. Constitutional scholars have said such claims are baseless.
The impeachment of Trump centers on his conduct towards Ukraine. He is suspected of withholding military aid from Ukraine to pressure the country into opening dubious corruption investigations into the Democratic Party and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Those investigations would have potentially damaged both the party and Biden, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination, at the next election. Some testimony by officials to the inquiry has corroborated the allegations. But Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
He has defended his July 25 call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and the White House has released an edited summary of that call, which Trump characterizes as a transcript.
During that call, Trump asked Zelenskiy for a “favor” and to open the investigations, the edited summary shows. Trump told the Examiner that it was a “good call.”
“At some point, I’m going to sit down, perhaps as a fireside chat on live television, and I will read the transcript of the call, because people have to hear it. When you read it, it’s a straight call,” Trump told the publication.
But the call is only one piece of evidence in the impeachment inquiry. Discussions about withholding military aid from Ukraine, and also dangling a potential White House meeting for Zelenskiy, allegedly took place elsewhere.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told The Atlantic this week that she believes there is now enough evidence to move forward with impeachment.
“We’ve had enough for a very long time…but as long as there is corroboration, we might as well get some more. And then we’ll see,” the California Democrat said, adding: “When we decide if we are going to go forward, we will be ready, and we will be ironclad.”