Donald Trump refuses to co-operate with impeachment inquiry
"The greatest witch hunt in the history of the USA."
Donald Trump will not co-operate with US Congress' impeachment inquiry, according to an eight-page letter sent to Democratic leaders.
The letter describes the impeachment probe as "baseless" and "constitutionally invalid" as the US President goes on the defensive.
The inquiry, which Trump has labelled "the greatest witch hunt in the history of the USA", is attempting to discover if the president held back aid to Ukraine to push it to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Officially issued on Tuesday night (8 October), the White House letter accuses its opposition of seeking "to overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the President they have freely chosen."
In addition, the document, delivered in the House of Representatives by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, confirms that Trump and his administration will not assist the investigation in any way.
"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," it says.
In response, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi dismissed the letter as "manifestly wrong", stating that Trump is "not above the law".
“This letter is manifestly wrong, and is simply another unlawful attempt to hide the facts of the Trump Administration’s brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections," Pelosi's statement noted.
"The White House should be warned that continued efforts to hide the truth of the President’s abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction," she added.
"Mr. President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable."
Political commentators have referred to current developments as a "constitutional crisis", arguing that the US presidency is not the only thing at stake, but the rule of law, also.
You can read the full eight-page White House letter here.
In slightly less depressing Trump-related news, he'll soon be brought to life on the small screen by none other than Brendan Gleeson, as part of a new mini-series.