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Politics White House letter: Why Democrats aren't planning to vote on an impeachment inquiry

01:45  09 october  2019
01:45  09 october  2019 Source:   cnn.com

GOP lawmaker clarifies he doesn't back impeachment after voicing support for inquiry

  GOP lawmaker clarifies he doesn't back impeachment after voicing support for inquiry Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) is clarifying his statement on his support for an inquiry into President Trump, saying that while he supports the oversight process he does not currently back impeachment. Amodei expressed concern over Trump's call with Ukraine, telling reporters on a call Friday that the House should "put it through the process and see what happens," according to the audio of the call released by The Nevada Independent.

The Trump White House is refusing to participate in the House ’s impeachment inquiry , the administration announced in a strongly worded letter to The letter came the same day as House Democrats ’ announcement they plan to subpoena US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon

In a letter to House Democratic leaders, the White House counsel called the House ’s impeachment inquiry illegitimate. Your inquiry is constitutionally invalid and a violation of due process. In the history of our Nation, the House of Representatives has never attempted to launch an impeachment

The latest standoff between House Democrats and the Trump administration over the testimony of State Department officials has the White House questioning in a new letter sent Tuesday why the House is not voting to authorize a formal impeachment inquiry.

Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi are posing for a picture© Getty Images

The White House and its Republican congressional allies have argued that such a vote is necessary, and President Donald Trump's lawyers told House Democrats in the letter that the President and his administration won't cooperate in the ongoing impeachment inquiry, arguing the proceedings amount to an illegitimate effort to overturn the 2016 election results. The lengthy letter all but dares House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hold a formal vote opening an impeachment inquiry into Trump, though it does not explicitly call on her to do so.

Pelosi to GOP: We are not dropping impeachment probe

  Pelosi to GOP: We are not dropping impeachment probe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fired back at Kevin McCarthy, who earlier in the day asked his fellow Californian to drop the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.“I received your letter this morning shortly after the world witnessed President Trump on national television asking yet another foreign power to interfere in the upcoming 2020 elections,” Pelosi said Thursday, referring to Trump’s South Lawn comments in which he called on China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

Democrats say Trump’s impeachment inquiry obstruction works for them. Why Democrats say Trump stonewalling them helps impeachment . “As if often the case with the executive, the In response, they plan to subpoena Sondland in an effort to get him to testify and hand over the relevant

Democrats see an upside to Trump stonewalling their impeachment inquiry . Why Democrats say Trump stonewalling them helps impeachment . “As if often the case with the executive, the In response, they plan to subpoena Sondland in an effort to get him to testify and hand over the relevant

But Pelosi has said that Democrats don't need to take a vote and has shown little interest in doing so after she announced last month the House would open an impeachment inquiry, accusing the White House of trying to play politics and arguing that House rules don't require a vote.

The reasons Pelosi is not planning a vote are both practical and political: Taking the step of passing a formal impeachment inquiry resolution is a complicated and time-consuming endeavor that has political downsides, from drafting the exact language of the resolution, to holding a complicated floor debate and to putting some members in a tough spot.

Giuliani outlines conditions for possible cooperation on impeachment inquiry

  Giuliani outlines conditions for possible cooperation on impeachment inquiry President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday outlined his potential conditions for cooperating with House Democrats in their impeachment inquiry into Trump.Giuliani said in an interview with Hill.TV that he may try to invoke attorney-client privilege if the House moves forward on impeachment."I would sit down with my client and with the other lawyers and we'd discuss attorney-client privilege," Giuliani said on Hill.TV'sGiuliani said in an interview with Hill.TV that he may try to invoke attorney-client privilege if the House moves forward on impeachment.

White House reportedly planning to step up pushback against Democrats ' impeachment inquiry . The State Department blocks Amb. Substantively, the White House first noted in the letter that there has not been a formal vote in the House to open an impeachment inquiry -- and that the news

The White House is preparing to send a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi refusing to cooperate with document requests until she holds a House vote on the impeachment inquiry .

Moreover, having a vote on an impeachment inquiry resolution would give Republicans an opening to argue they should have subpoena power like in past impeachment proceedings, something that Democrats would almost certainly never allow.

Pelosi has dismissed the calls for an impeachment vote from Trump and congressional Republicans as nothing more than a "Republican talking point."

"If we want to do it, we'll do it. If we don't, we don't," Pelosi told the Atlanta Journal Constitution's editorial board Friday. "But we're certainly not going to do it because of the President."

The showdown between the Trump administration and Democrats escalated on Tuesday when the State Department blocked US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland from appearing before the committees leading the impeachment inquiry. The State Department's stance also jeopardizes the testimony of other State witnesses the committees intend to hear from.

Democrats request testimony from Trump's former Russia adviser

  Democrats request testimony from Trump's former Russia adviser The House Democrats are requesting testimony from President Trump's former Russia adviser.Democratic committee chairmen Adam Schiff (Calif.), Eliot Engel (N.Y.) and Elijah Cummings (Md.) sent a letter to Fiona Hill asking her to testify on Oct. 14. She would testify in front of the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform committees, a letter released by Axios said. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

The White House on Tuesday sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi denouncing the impeachment inquiry begun in the House of Representatives as “illegitimate.” “President Trump and his administration reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process

The White House on Tuesday sent a defiant eight-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top Democrats declaring why it would not cooperate with Pelosi said last week that Republicans would be wary of voting on an impeachment inquiry because it could lock them into a position that makes

In the letter to the House, the White House claims Trump's due process rights have been circumvented without a vote, and that Trump has no choice but to not cooperate. The letter also makes clear the administration will continue to reject requests from Democrats if the proceedings continue in their current fashion.

Still, officials declined to say ahead of the letter's release how much Trump would be willing to provide if a successful vote was held.

In the White House's letter to congressional Democrats, Trump's lawyers take direct aim at House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff for saying his committee hadn't had direct contact with the whistleblower and for reading a dramatized version of Trump's call with Ukraine's President.

The letter also addresses what White House lawyers contend are irregularities in the way Democrats have moved forward with the impeachment inquiry. It identifies the current inability of House Republicans to call witnesses or issue subpoenas, or for the President's lawyers to cross-examine witnesses.

Trump labels Tlaib a 'despicable human being'

  Trump labels Tlaib a 'despicable human being' President Trump attacked Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) on Twitter Sunday after she said in an interview that House Democrats have discussed jailing allies of the president who refused to comply with congressional subpoenas."A despicable human being!" Trump tweeted in a post that also retweeted commentary on the matter by White House social media director Dan Scavino, who accused Democrats of planning a "coup."A despicable human being!

Catch up on impeachment : What you need to know about the inquiry . “The enclosed subpoena demands documents that are necessary for the committees to examine this sequence of these events and the reasons behind the White House ’s decision to withhold critical military assistance to Ukraine

White House vowed to send her a letter arguing the president can ignore Democrats ' demands in impeachment inquiry until House votes on the matter. Former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake claimed 'at least 35' Republican senators would vote to impeach Trump - if they could do it on a secret ballot.

Separately, the White House has reached out to outside lawyers for impeachment counsel, according to a person familiar. One of the lawyers they reached out to is Trey Gowdy, a former Republican congressman and federal prosecutor from South Carolina. While in Congress, Gowdy led the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Pelosi last week fought with the top House Republican, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, over a formal vote. McCarthy wrote to Pelosi last week calling on her to suspend the impeachment inquiry until "equitable rules and procedures are established." He argued the House should vote on authorizing an impeachment inquiry just as it did when Congress opened inquiries with Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, and that the House minority should have subpoena power as it had in previous inquiries, too.

Pelosi dismissed McCarthy's letter, responding there was "no requirement under the Constitution, under House Rules, or House precedent that the whole House vote before proceeding with an impeachment inquiry."

For Democrats, there isn't an incentive to put an impeachment inquiry to a vote when the House is already conducting one.

Politically, avoiding a vote on an impeachment inquiry spares Pelosi's most vulnerable members from taking a difficult vote, when a vote on articles of impeachment could be looming anyway. All but eight House Democrats, however, are publicly supporting an impeachment inquiry.

McConnell tees off on Democrats over impeachment

  McConnell tees off on Democrats over impeachment Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) teed off against the House impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, marking his first comments since Congress returned from its two-week break. "House Democrats are finally indulging in their impeachment obsession. Full steam ahead," McConnell said during a speech from the Senate floor, adding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had "crumbled" to the "left-wing impeachment caucus." "I don't"House Democrats are finally indulging in their impeachment obsession. Full steam ahead," McConnell said during a speech from the Senate floor, adding that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had "crumbled" to the "left-wing impeachment caucus.

House Democrats subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Mike Pence, asking for documents relating to In the letter to Mulvaney, the committees also slammed the White House 's claim that the House must vote in full to approve an impeachment inquiry , saying that there is "no

House Democrats investigating the role of White House officials in pressuring their Ukrainian In both cases, the Trump White House did not even acknowledge receiving the letters from Congress. “A vote of the full House is not required to launch an impeachment inquiry , and there is no authority

In addition, Pelosi doesn't need the House vote authorizing an inquiry because her caucus already has extra legal authority compared to past inquiries.

During the Clinton and Nixon impeachment inquiries, the House passed their inquiry resolutions so they could gain tools like more subpoena power and depositions, and included in those resolutions were nods to bipartisanship that gave the minority party subpoena power, too.

But the House rules have changed since the last impeachment of a president more than two decades ago. In this Congress, the House majority already has unilateral subpoena power, a rule change that was made when Republicans last controlled the House, so Democrats don't need to pass any resolution to grant those powers.

Legally, the Democrats' hand in court could be strengthened by voting on an impeachment inquiry as they attempt to force the Trump administration to turn over documents and share other information related to several ongoing investigations. So far, however, a formal impeachment inquiry hasn't been necessary for federal judges to decide Congress can issue significant subpoenas related to Trump, including for his tax returns.

Questions about the strength of Congress' subpoenas are also on the table at a federal court hearing in Washington Tuesday morning. In that case, Chief Judge Beryl Howell is considering whether to release secret grand jury information from the Mueller report to the House, which claims it's needed for the impeachment probe.

While other cases the Democrats are currently fighting in court relate to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and possible obstruction of justice, Democrats are sharpening their focus just on Ukraine with their impeachment inquiry.

And they're moving the investigation along a timeline that doesn't have enough leeway to try to use the courts to enforce subpoenas. Instead, the courts come into play in impeachment as attempts by Trump or the White House to slow down the House proceedings — Democrats are likely to cite defied subpoenas in potential articles of impeachment as obstruction of Congress, as House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff did on Tuesday.

This story has been updated with additional developments Tuesday.

Survey: 54 percent Americans support Trump impeachment inquiry .
A majority of Americans endorse House Democrats' decision to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Trump and his administration's dealings with Ukraine, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center. The survey, which was released on Thursday, found that 54 percent of Americans support the impeachment inquiry, while 44 percent oppose it. The figure represents a four-point increase in support from a similar survey in September. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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