Donald Trump chooses clash with Congress

The White House has announced that it refuses to cooperate with the ongoing congressional investigation into a possible impeachment proceeding, plunging the United States into a constitutional crisis.

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Donald Trump at the White House in Washington on October 8th. LEAH MILLIS / REUTERS

After several days of procrastination, Donald Trump chose, Tuesday, October 8, the open war with Congress. The US president refuses to cooperate with the ongoing investigation into possible impeachment proceedings against him.

Central argument of the US executive: the investigation by the elected Democrats of the House of Representatives on the Ukrainian case is neither legitimate nor impartial.

"Since your application does not have a legitimate constitutional foundation or the slightest semblance of impartiality … the executive power can not be required to participate"said Pat Cipollone, presidential attorney, in a letter sent to Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives. "To put it simply, you are trying to cancel the results of the 2016 election and deprive the Americans of the president they freely chose", is it also written in this eight-page letter.

Among the executive's grievances, Mr. Cipollone highlights the lack of a formal vote in the House to trigger this process. "Under these circumstances, President Trump and his administration can not participate in your partisan and unconstitutional investigation", can we also read.

"Bogus court"

This missive was sent to Congress a few hours after it prevented the US ambassador to the European Union from testifying before elected officials. Mr Trump justified this decision by calling the hearings organized on the Ukrainian case "Bogus court".

" Abuse of power ", denounced Mme Pelosi who made the shock announcement at the end of September of the opening of the investigation for an indictment ("Impeachment") of Donald Trump. "President Trump must stop obstructing Congress", launched the Democratic candidate Joe Biden, the image tainted by fact by this Ukrainian business.

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By banning Ambassador Gordon Sondland, a "Key player" in the Ukrainian case, to testify, "The White House is once again trying to curb and hinder the investigation"were indignant at the democratic leaders of the commissions in charge of the investigations. They promised to send him injunctions shortly so that he would now be compelled to testify and present documents that the State Department refuses to deliver.

Coming from Brussels to voluntarily participate in this hearing, Mr Sondland was informed in the middle of the night by the State Department that he was not expected to attend. He hopes to be able to do it quickly, according to his lawyer. A businessman who made his fortune in the hotel sector, he helped finance the campaign and the inauguration ceremony of Donald Trump, whom he became close to.

He participated this year in SMS exchanges between diplomats who are now at the heart of the Ukrainian business. Returned to Congress last week, these messages have confirmed the Democrats in their suspicions: the US president this summer called his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky to seek compromising information on his rival Joe Biden. The Democrats suspect Donald Trump of abusing his power for personal electoral purposes and then trying to quash the affair. The President considers that this appeal was " perfect ".

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Rudy Giuliani invited to testify in the Senate

It is by a mysterious whistleblower that the whole affair has gone back to Congress. As a member of the intelligence services, he had felt that with this appeal, Mr. Trump had "Solicited the interference" of Ukraine in the campaign for his reelection. Not having attended the call, he relied on the testimonies of people present, including a White House official "Visibly shocked"who had described an exchange "Crazy" and "Scary", according to excerpts from the first notes of the whistleblower, published by US media Tuesday.

"We know that Ambassador Sondland has been a key player in efforts to get Ukraine's commitment to investigate a fallacious conspiracy theory regarding the 2016 (presidential) election and Joe Biden and his son" Hunter, said Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee in the House.

Democrats now hope to hear Friday the former ambassador of the United States in Kiev, Marie Yovanovitch, that Donald Trump had criticized during the call.

Sign of the Republican counterattack, Lindsey Graham, a great ally of the Senate Speaker, announced Tuesday that he intended to invite Donald Trump's personal lawyer, the eccentric Rudy Giuliani, to testify on alleged cases of " corruption " in Ukraine. Understand: The Republicans now plan to give a solemn platform to the suspicions that the lawyer spreads for months on the Biden.


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