U.S president, Donald Trump has declined the invitation to attend this week’s impeachment hearing.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, last wednesday, invited Trump to attend the hearing “directly or through a counsel”, saying it would be an opportunity to discuss the historical and constitutional basis for impeachment.
But in a letter to the committee, White House counsel Pat Cipollone accused the committee of a “complete lack of due process and fundamental fairness” , saying the invitation would fail to give the White House adequate time to prepare and did not give information about the witnesses.
Reports suggested witnesses were “apparently all academics” and would include “no fact witnesses”, Mr Cipollone said. A fact witness testifies their personal knowledge of events while an expert witness assists the judge by offering an opinion.
Mr Cipollone also said the committee had called three witnesses but allowed Republicans to call just one, and lambasted Mr Nadler’s claim that the process was “consistent” with historical impeachment inquiries, arguing that President Bill Clinton had a fairer hearing in 1998.
In order for Mr Trump to be represented in further hearings, the president’s counsel said, Mr Nadler would need to ensure “that due process rights are protected” and that the process was “fair and just”.