White House Blasts Democrats Who Demand Trump’s Attorney Turn Over Privileged Documents
The White House on Tuesday ripped as a “political stunt” a demand by House Democrat impeachment managers that President Trump’s top lawyer Pat Cipollone turn over “protected documents.”
“The Democrats are an utter joke – they have no case, and this latest political stunt proves it,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said. “The idea that the Counsel to the President has to turn over protected documents and confidential information is ludicrous, and to imply he can’t represent the President of the United States in an impeachment proceeding is completely absurd.
“Further, the man Democrats appointed to lead these proceedings is Adam Schiff — who has been caught lying multiple times about Russia collusion evidence that didn’t exist, made up a totally phony phone conversation about Ukraine that never happened, and lied that his staff didn’t have contact with the whistleblower. If there’s anyone who should be disqualified from leading this proceeding it’s Mr. Schiff,” Gidley said.
As the Senate trial to remove Trump from office began, Democrats made a motion calling into question Cipollone’s actions as White House counsel. They said that because he had allegedly participated in some events that may be a part of their case for removal, he must be considered a “fact witness.”
Democrat impeachment managers claimed that the House inquiry found “evidence” that indicates Cipollone is a “fact witness to numerous critical events related to the president’s scheme, and remains deeply involved in actions implementing the president’s directive to obstruct the House’s impeachment inquiry.”
“In preparation for the trial of Donald J. Trump before the Senate, we write to notify you that evidence received by the House of Representatives during its impeachment inquiry indicates that you are a material witness to charges in both Articles of Impeachment for which President Trump now faces trial,” the managers – Reps. Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, Val Demings, Hakeem Jeffries, Sylvia Garcia, Zoe Lofgren and Jason Crow – wrote in a letter to Cipollone on Tuesday.
“You must disclose all facts and information as to which you have first-hand knowledge that will be at issue in connection with evidence you present or arguments you make in your role as the President’s legal advocate so that the Senate and Chief Justice can be apprised of any potential ethical issues, conflicts or biases,” they wrote.
“Evidence indicates that, at a minimum, you have detailed knowledge of the facts regarding the first Article and played an instrumental role in the conduct charged in the second Article,” they wrote, according to Fox News. “These issues are directly implicated by your involvement in the events underlying the Articles of Impeachment.”
The managers also went on to claim that the White House counsel’s office was “directly involved in potential efforts to conceal President Trump’s scheme from Congress and the public.”
“Furthermore, there is evidence that you were directly involved in briefing President Trump about the whistleblower complaint submitted to the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community and in the decision to withhold that complaint from Congress in violation of the law,” they wrote.
“In light of your extensive knowledge of these key events, your personal representation of President Trump threatens to undermine the integrity of the pending trial,” they wrote.