The White House told Democratic lawmakers on Sunday that U.S. President Donald Trump and his lawyers would not participate in a congressional impeachment hearing this week, citing a lack of “fundamental fairness.”
White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, according to a copy of a letter.
Trump’s aides responded defiantly to the first of two crucial deadlines he faces in Congress this week as Democrats prepare to shift the focus of their impeachment inquiry from fact-finding to the consideration of possible charges of misconduct over his dealings with Ukraine.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, tasked with considering charges known as articles of impeachment, had given Trump until 6 p.m. (2300 GMT) on Sunday to say whether he would dispatch a lawyer to take part in the judiciary panel’s proceedings on Wednesday.
“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,” Cipollone said.
Cipollone – while citing a “complete lack of due process and fundamental fairness afforded the president” in the impeachment process – did not rule out participation in further proceedings.
But he signaled that Democrats would first have to make major procedural concessions.
Nadler has given the White House a Friday deadline to say whether Trump will mount a defense in broader impeachment proceedings.
The Judiciary Committee’s Democratic staff did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the White House’s refusal to participate in the hearing, which would have been the first direct involvement by the Trump camp in a process he has condemned as a partisan “witch hunt.”
Democratic U.S. Representative Don Beyer said on Twitter in response to the White House letter: “Not one process complaint made by the President and his Republican allies in Congress so far has turned out to be genuine.”
Congressional investigators have been looking into whether Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to launch investigations of former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden is running to unseat him in the 2020 presidential election, and a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The first in a series of expected Judiciary proceedings will hear testimony on the impeachment process established under the U.S. Constitution from a panel of legal experts that has yet to be named.
Hearings before the committee, which has responsibility for crafting any formal charges against Trump, are a major step toward possible charges.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will make the final decision, has not yet said whether the Republican president should be impeached.
But in a letter to supporters last week, she called for him to be held accountable for his actions.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing, calling the impeachment inquiry a sham.
BREAKING: Sudan’s Al-Bashir Sentenced To Two Years For Corruption
A court in Sudan convicted former President Omar al-Bashir of money laundering and corruption on Saturday, sentencing him to two years in prison.
That’s the first verdict in a series of legal proceedings against al-Bashir, who is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide linked to the Darfur conflict in the 2000s.
The verdict came a year after Sudanese protesters first began their revolt against al-Bashir’s three-decade authoritarian rule. During that time, Sudan landed on the U.S. list for sponsoring terrorism, and the economy has been battered by years of mismanagement and American sanctions.
Before the verdict was read, supporters of al-Bashir briefly disrupted the proceedings and were pushed out of the courtroom by security forces.
Al-Bashir, 75, has been in custody since April, when Sudan’s military stepped in and removed him from power after months of nationwide protests. The uprising eventually forced the military into a power-sharing agreement with civilians.
The former strongman was charged earlier this year with money laundering, after millions of U.S. dollars, euros and Sudanese pounds were seized in his home shortly after his ouster.
The Sudanese military has said it would not extradite him to the ICC. The country’s military-civilian transitional government has so far not indicated whether they will hand him over to the The Hague.
The corruption trial is separate from charges against al-Bashir regarding the killing of protesters during the uprising.
Anti-government demonstrations initially erupted last December over steep price rises and shortages, but soon shifted to calls for al-Bashir to step down. Security forces responded with a fierce crackdown that killed dozens of protesters in the months prior his ouster.
Nigerian-Born Chinyelu Onwurah Makes History, Wins Seat In UK General Election
Nigerian-born Chinyelu Onwurah has made a mark in world politics. She won the first seat that was declared for Labour party in the United Kingdom election held on Thursday, December 12.
The Independent reports the Nigerian took Newcastle Central with whopping votes of 21,568 to beat her Conservative opponent’s 9,290.
Following her success, another Labour’s candidate, Bridget Phillipson, won seat in Houghton and Sunderland South.
It should be noted that Chinyelu was born on April 12, 1965. Her mother is from Newcastle who met her Nigerian father when he was a dentist and studied at the Newcastle University Medical School.
According to the information on her website, she recalled how her parents had to leave Nigeria after the infamous 1967 civil war.
“I was still a baby when my father took us to live in Awka, Nigeria. But two years later, the Biafran Civil War broke out, bringing famine with it and, as described vividly in an Evening Chronicle article in 1968, my mother, my brother and sister and I returned as refugees to Newcastle, whilst my father stayed on in the Biafran army,” she said.
Thank you to everyone in #NewcastleCentral for re-electing me as your Member of Parliament. Representing you is the best job in the world and it will be a privilege to continue stand up for you in Parliament. THANK YOU! pic.twitter.com/6m9JJrbID5
— chi onwurah (@ChiOnwurah) December 13, 2019
The Straits Times reports that Marin’s victory was a close margin, making her the replacement for the outgoing Antti Rinne who lost people’s confidence with the way he handled postal strike.
“We have a lot of work to do to rebuild trust,” Marin said as she spoke to newsmen, parrying questions that had to do with her age.
BREAKING: Boris Johnson Wins A Decisive UK Election With His Promise To Deliver Brexit
Boris Johnson has won a huge victory in the general election, tearing seats from Labour in its heartlands.
The Conservatives clinched their majority after winning 326 seats – their majority is on course to be between 78 and 82.
He told staffers at the Tory party’s HQ that “no one can now refute” his “stonking mandate” to deliver Brexit.
Speaking at the private gathering in the early hours, he said: “We must understand now what an earthquake we have created… the way in which we have changed the political map in this country.
“We have to grapple with the consequences of that. We have to change our own party. We have to rise to the level of events.”
In a recording obtained by Buzzfeed, he added: “We have to rise to the challenge that the British people have given us.”
After holding on to his own seat, he told party members in Uxbridge and South Ruislip: “Above all I want to thank the people of this country for turning out to vote in a December election that we didn’t want to call but which I think has turned out to be a historic election that gives us now, in this new government, the chance to respect the democratic will of the British people to change this country for the better and to unleash the potential of the entire people of this country.”
After a crushing night for Labour, Jeremy Corbyn announced he would not lead his party in any future general election campaign.
But he suggested he would not be departing as Labour leader immediately.
“I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward,” Mr Corbyn added.
“And I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future.”