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White House Rejects Participation in ‘Unconstitutional’ Inquiry

White House Rejects Participation in ‘Unconstitutional’ Inquiry

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday said President Trump is "obstructing Congress from getting the facts" it needs in the impeachment inquiry after his administration blocked a USA diplomat from testifying before three committees. While Sondland's attorney said his client was "profoundly disappointed" he could not testify, legal commentators promptly agreed that the White House's move amounted to obstructing the impeachment inquiry.

Sondland's appearance would have followed officials, including the former United States special envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, and Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the USA intelligence community.

"There is no valid basis to withhold documents from the committees by relying on instructions from Secretary Pompeo, who is a fact witness in this inquiry and who is now defying his own duly issued subpoena for documents - particularly if the Department's goal is to block the committees from gaining access to your documents prior to your testimony".

A characteristically sarcastic George Conway, husband to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, was unsurprised by the news that Sondland would not be testifying, tweeting: "But we were all so looking forward to his testimony about the world's most ideal presidential phone call".

Pelosi has said that an official vote is not necessary under House rules and the relevant House committees can continue their investigations under a banner of impeachment.

"Unlike Ambassador Volker, however, you have refused to produce to the committees these highly relevant documents from your non-official electronic messaging systems", they wrote. "He stands ready to testify on short notice, whenever he is permitted to appear". I have actually said that he has violated the terms of service of his Twitter account and therefore he should be relieved of his privileges.

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"You have denied the President the right to cross-examine witnesses to call witnesses, to receive transcripts of testimony, to have access to evidence, to have counsel present, and many other basic rights guaranteed to all Americans".

"The president has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind". The president is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign. "I suggest we stop the back and forth by text", Sondland wrote. House Democrats then subpoenaed Sondland, setting up another clash between the two branches of government.

"I think [Trump] really wants the deliverable", Sondland wrote.

Trump questioned why the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community failed to stop what was obviously a partisan inquiry.

The poll also showed 49 percent of Americans believe the House should call for the president to be removed from office, which would require conviction by the Senate.


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