A letter from the White House refusing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry has been branded “unconstitutional” and “garbage” by politicians and pundits alike.
The letter, sent Tuesday by White House counsel Pat Cipollone to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with three other committee chairs, claims that the “highly partisan and unconstitutional effort threatens grave and lasting damage to our democratic institutions, to our system of free elections, and to the American people.”
The eight-page document accuses the Democrats of attempting to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election, and suggests they are using impeachment as a strategy to try to win the next presidential election.
“Given that your inquiry lacks 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,” the letter states.
It comes in response to an impeachment inquiry announced by Pelosi following whisteblower allegations that President Donald Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate potential political rival Joe Biden, and his son Hunter. Aid to the country was held up around the time a phone call between the pair took place.
However, Trump has denied the claims, maintaining there was no “quid-pro-quo” in the phone call with Zelenskiy, and branded the impeachment inquiry a witch hunt. The White House letter now makes it clear there will be scant cooperation with the probe from the commander-in-chief.
But the letter has been slammed by numerous pundits, Democrats and even late night show hosts, who variously described it as “garbage,” decried it as unconstitutional and even branded it “bitchy.”
George Conway, who is married to White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway, shared a copy of the letter, tweeting: “It’s hard to count the number of ways that this letter is, constitutionally and legally, garbage.”
“I’m honestly surprised that the White House letter wasn’t written in crayon on a McDonald’s placemat,” added author Kevin M. Kruse.
Meanwhile, others were quick to point out that refusing to comply with an impeachment inquiry was itself unconstitutional.
“It’s a letter written by people who have never read our Constitution,” said Republican 2020 hopeful Joe Walsh. “Donald Trump is not above the law. He may not understand that right now, but he will soon enough.”
And Stephen Colbert, host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, also jumped into the fray, commenting: “The White House made the announcement in an officially bitchy, eight-page letter.”