By Ian Krietzberg
White House lawyer Pat Cipollone expressed on Oct. 8 that President Donald Trump’s administration would not cooperate with the ongoing impeachment inquiry, which officially began on Sept. 24, according to a letter published by The New York Times.
The letter, which was sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Chairmen Elijah Cummings, Adam Schiff and Eliot Engel, cites the memorandum of a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The New York Times also reported that the letter alleged contact between the first whistleblower and Schiff as reasons that “‘President Trump and his administration reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process.’”
“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,” Cipollone stated in the letter, according to The New York Times.
The letter was sent to Congress after the State Department blocked Gordon Schonland — the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, who is said to be a key witness in the investigation — from testifying before the House of Representatives, according to NBC News.
“‘This letter is manifestly wrong, and is simply another unlawful attempt to hide the facts of the Trump Administration’s brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections,’” Pelosi said in a statement on Oct. 8. “‘Despite the White House’s stonewalling, we see a growing body of evidence that shows that President Trump abused his office and violated his oath to “protect, preserve and defend the Constitution.”’”
Pelosi further warned the White House, in the same statement, that continued attempts to avoid Congressional subpoenas and hinder the investigation would be considered an interference.
A second anonymous whistleblower, who claims to have direct knowledge of the incident between Trump and Ukraine, stepped forward, according to NPR. The whistleblower has not yet filed an official legal complaint, and will therefore likely serve as a corroborative witness to the reports documented in the initial whistleblower complaint.
In the days since Pelosi’s response to the letter, the president has taken to social media, with 19 of his 35 tweets pertaining to the inquiry.
“Only 25 percent want the President Impeached, which is pretty low considering the volume of Fake News coverage, but pretty high considering the fact that I did NOTHING wrong,” he tweeted on Oct. 9. “It is all just a continuation of the greatest Scam and Witch Hunt in the history of our Country!”
According to the most recent averaged polls by FiveThirtyEight, which were last updated on Oct. 9, 48.8 percent of people support impeachment, while 43.6 percent are against it. In comparison, according to FiveThirtyEight, in the days before Congress voted to open an official investigation, on former President Richard Nixon, only 38 percent of people supported impeachment.