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Speaker Pelosi Accuses Trump of Trying to ‘Normalize Lawlessness’

October 9, 2019 by Dan McCue
Storm clouds gather over the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has responded to President Donald Trump’s refusal to cooperate with a House impeachment investigation, accusing him of trying to “normalize lawlessness” and vowing he will be held accountable.

On Tuesday afternoon, White House counsel Pat Cipollone sent an eight-page letter to Pelosi and the chairs of three House committees, informing them the White House would not cooperate with the ongoing impeachment inquiry, dismissing it as an effort to “overturn the results of the 2016 election.”

“Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it,” Cipollone wrote.

On Tuesday night, Pelosi responded.

“For a while, the President has tried to normalize lawlessness. Now, he is trying to make lawlessness a virtue,” she said. 

“The American people have already heard the President’s own words – ‘do us a favor, though,’” Pelosi continued.  “The President’s actions threaten our national security, violate our Constitution and undermine the integrity of our elections.  The White House letter is only the latest attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy, and to insist that the President is above the law.

The speaker went on to say the House sees a growing body of evidence that the president abused his office through his ” brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections.”

She said these acts and the White House’s continued “stonewalling” are evidence Trump has “violated his oath to ‘protect, preserve and defend the Constitution.’”

That is one of the clearest signals yet that the house is likely to move forward with articles of impeachment, and, as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has said, the refusal of the White House to cooperate with the investigation could be one of the articles against the president.

In a statement released Wednesday morning, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also criticized the administration’s stance on cooperating with House investigators, reminding it, “no one is above is the law, not even President Trump.”

“The letter sent by the White House yesterday is the latest example of this Administration’s efforts to stonewall an investigation into the President’s abuse of power and obstruct justice,” Hoyer said.

“The American people deserve the facts, and the House will not be deterred in our effort to get to the bottom of the President’s conduct,” he continued. “I stand with the committee chairs and their staff as they work to do so. I continue to urge Congressional Republicans to honor their oath of office and work with us to defend our democracy.

“This is not an issue of party or politics – it is about our Constitution, the rule of law, and the security of our nation. House Democrats will continue to pursue this inquiry with the seriousness and solemnity it deserves,” Hoyer said.

Congress is currently on recess, with lawmakers scheduled to return to Washington next week.

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