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White House says Trump’s team will consider participating in impeachment hearing

Democratic Counsel Daniel Goldman questions Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, next to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) during a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/REUTERS/Pool/Abaca Press/TNS)

White House officials said Wednesday they will consider an offer from the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to participate in an impeachment hearing next week, even as they denounced the entire process as a “sham.”

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said attorneys are reviewing the offer from Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., but added that “what is obvious to every American is that this letter comes at the end of an illegitimate sham partisan process. The President has done nothing wrong and the Democrats know it.”

Nadler, in a statement announcing that the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Dec. 4, said Trump’s lawyers would be allowed to attend and question witnesses.

The hearing topic: How the Constitution applies to allegations of misconduct, including the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that are the standard for impeachment of federal officials.

“Our first task is to explore the framework put in place to respond to serious allegations of impeachable misconduct like those against President Trump,” Nadler said in a statement.

He gave the White House until Sunday evening to respond to his offer.

The White House refused to cooperate with the impeachment investigation conducted by the House Intelligence Committee, which held hearings on allegations that Trump improperly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate domestic political opponents.

Democrats say Trump abused power by asking the president of Ukraine to investigate congressional Democrats, including presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who had business dealings in the country.

They also said Trump sought to withhold military aid from Ukraine unless it followed through with the investigations.

Trump has denied wrongdoing, and accused congressional Democrats of conducting a political witch hunt.

“Radical left Democrats are trying to rip our nation apart,” Trump said during a political rally in Sunrise, Florida, on Tuesday


© 2019 USA Today