The White House continues to stonewall Congress, refusing to comply with subpoenas. On Tuesday, the president's legal counsel wrote a letter to Democratic lawmakers claiming that the president's due process was being violated and that the effort was designed to overturn the results of the 2016 election.
“Your unprecedented actions have left the president with no choice,” said the letter, signed by Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel. “In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the executive branch and all future occupants of the office of the presidency, President Trump and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.”
On Wednesday, CNN played a clip of Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) holding forth during the Clinton impeachment proceedings. Julian Epstein, the chief Democratic counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, then explained why the legal basis for Trump's refusal to co-operate is bonkers.
"This is Alice in Wonderland upside down reality," Epstein joked. He then explained why there's no Constitutional basis for Trump's legal argument. "The White House is arguing, I think the text of what they're arguing is that they have a right as a matter of fairness to negotiate with the House on the procedures and rules of engagement for impeachment. And that's just wrong as a constitutional matter," he said. "That's Constitutional law 101.
"The House has the sole authority to determine its procedures. In 1998 the White House had no rights and procedural protections whatsoever during the impeachment process. We voted on September 11th an impeachment inquiry. There was nothing in the impeachment inquiry about the rights of the White House."