President Donald Trump's White House announced Sunday that neither the president nor his lawyers would be attending the House Judiciary impeachment inquiry hearings, despite his attacks on the House for not allowing him to attend. It was remarkably similar to the lies Trump told during special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian hacking, a CNN analyst recalled.
In a telephone interview, Paul Callan explained that Trump has long promised "enormous levels of cooperation," but then he backs out at the last minute.
He said that the White House has been signaling that they wouldn't participate by claiming that the hearings are not fair. Oddly, if they don't believe the hearings are fair, having Trump representatives at the hearing would surely rectify their problem. Presumably, if they were unwilling to do something about the alleged lack of fairness, it must not be that important.
"It's always possible that they'll change their approach, but I really doubt it," said Callan. "When you look at the situation, you have Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, many of them are lawyers, and they can communicate back to the White House what's happening. They can also confer with White House lawyers and use those questions on witnesses who may be called at the hearing. So, the president gets to participate through his Republican allies on the committee. I think if he sent his own lawyers in and they become more active, he'll forfeit the argument that it's an illegitimate procedure. Remember, that's what he's been saying all along, that this is all political, it's just a witch hunt, it's the Democrats out to get him."
He went on to say that Trump will likely continue to complain about the proceedings by pretending he wants to participate and pulling back at the last minute.
Watch his commentary below: