House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Monday the White House’s refusal to participate in Wednesday’s impeachment hearing is a sign that President Trump has something “to hide.”
“The American people deserve transparency,” Nadler said in a statement.
“If the President thinks the call was ‘perfect’ and there is nothing to hide then he would turn over the thousands of pages of documents requested by Congress, allow witnesses to testify instead of blocking testimony with baseless privilege claims, and provide any exculpatory information that refutes the overwhelming evidence of his abuse of power,” he added.
His response comes after White House counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to Nadler on Sunday informing the committee that the White House will not participate in the hearing. In a five-page letter Cipollone criticized the process as “highly partisan” and accused top Judiciary Democrats of providing little information about the upcoming hearing.
Cipollone did not rule out participating in future hearings. Nadler previously asked Trump to provide notice to the committee by Dec. 6 as to whether he plans to mount a defense.
Nadler called the letter “unfortunate” and said allowing Trump to participate has “been a priority for the House from the outset.”
The committee is holding a hearing on Wednesday titled “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment.”
It follows weeks of House Intelligence Committee hearings that wrapped up before the Thanksgiving recess. The committee heard testimony from 12 current or former administration officials over Trump’s alleged solicitation of foreign interference in the 2020 election.