President Trump accused Democrats on Monday of “purposely” scheduling an impeachment hearing for when he’s overseas, whining it wasn’t “nice” of them to do so.
“Heading to Europe to represent our Country and fight hard for the American People while the Do Nothing Democrats purposely scheduled an Impeachment Hoax hearing on the same date as NATO,” Trump tweeted shortly after taking off for London, where he’s set to meet with NATO allies Wednesday — the same day the House Judiciary Committee hosts its first impeachment hearing.
“Not nice!” Trump capped off the post.
Trump didn’t offer any evidence to back up his accusation.
The president also didn’t mention that he turned down an offer from Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) to either attend Wednesday’s hearing in person or have attorneys appear on his behalf.
In a letter Sunday night, White House counsel Pat Cipollone said no one from Trump’s side would participate in the public session because the impeachment inquiry is “irretrievably broken.” That means Trump-loyal Republicans like Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz are going to do the talking for Trump on Wednesday.
Trump’s refusal to attend contrasts his repeated complaints that the impeachment proceedings have been overly one-sided.
Before the tweet, Trump told reporters on the White House lawn that he’s confident impeachment will ultimately prove politically beneficial, as the GOP-controlled Senate is unlikely to vote to convict and remove him.
“I think it’s going to be a tremendous boon for the Republicans,” Trump said. “Republicans have never, ever been so committed as they are right now and so united. So it’s really a great thing in some ways, but in other ways it’s a disgrace.”
Trump’s latest anti-impeachment rants came as House Intelligence Committee staff went into overdrive to finish up a report summarizing the panel’s findings of his attempts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into launching investigations of Democrats while using U.S. military aid and a White House meeting as leverage.
Intelligence committee officials said members of the panel will be able to start reviewing the final report Monday evening.
The committee is then expected to vote on adopting the report Tuesday evening. Republican members are expected to be able to propose rebuttals before the vote.
Once it passes the intelligence committee, the report will be made public and turned over to the judiciary committee.
The judiciary committee will use the intelligence panel’s findings as it debates and potentially drafts articles of impeachment against Trump.
The Wednesday hearing will kick off that chapter of the impeachment inquiry. The open session will feature a panel of constitutional scholars who are going to provide a “historical and constitutional basis of impeachment,” according to Nadler.