Trump says to participate in impeachment inquiry if "rules are fair"

2019-10-10 02:44:32 GMT2019-10-10 10:44:32(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would participate in an ongoing impeachment inquiry led by House Democrats "if the rules are fair."

Asked if he would cooperate with the Democrats running the proceedings if they held a full House vote on the impeachment, Trump told reporters at the White House, "Yeah, that sounds OK. We would if they give us our rights."

The president was speaking to reporters after signing an executive order. "Yeah, if the rules are fair... if Republicans get a fair shake," he said when asked to clarify whether he would cooperate if the House passed the impeachment vote.

Trump's response followed a White House letter Tuesday notifying the Democrats of an uncooperative stance of the administration in relation to their efforts to remove the president from office.

"You have designed and implemented your inquiry in a manner that violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process," White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in the letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel.

Trump echoed the letter's claims by saying the Democrats "have eviscerated the rules."

He went on to say that Democratic investigators deprived the Republican Party of the right to have lawyers. "They don't give us any fair play, it is the most unfair situation people have seen, no lawyers."

Pelosi announced the initiation of the impeachment inquiry on Sept. 24 following an anonymous whistleblower complaint about Trump's alleged inappropriate interactions with Ukraine.

The whistleblower -- and the Democrats pushing for the impeachment -- believed Trump sought help from Ukraine's president to win his re-election campaign.

Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate Joe Biden, Democratic presidential candidate whom Trump accused of involvement in a corruption case in Ukraine, according to the transcript of a July 25 phone call between the presidents released by the White House.

The president has denied any wrongdoing, insisting that no pressure was put on Zelensky.

Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday that the White House's letter in defiance of the impeachment inquiry is "another unlawful attempt to hide the facts of the Trump Administration's brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections."

In a direct attack on Pelosi, Trump said the congresswoman "is as guilty as she is."

 

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