US President Donald Trump has said that he would participate in an ongoing impeachment inquiry against him led by the 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 on Wednesday, “Yes, that sounds ok. We would if they give us our rights,” Xinhua news agency reported.
“Yes, 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 launched the impeachment inquiry on September 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 his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate rival Joe Biden, Democratic presidential candidate whom the President 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 on 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”.