The impeachment torch is about to be passed from Adam Schiff (House Intelligence Committee) to Jerry Nadler (House Judiciary Committee).

Nadler scheduled a “hearing” for Wednesday, but it’s not an evidentiary hearing and the witnesses (as of this writing) are unknown.

What is known it that there will be three pro-impeachment law professors called by Democrats to opine on what constitutes an impeachable offense. (Spoiler — if Democrats are calling the law professors, they will opine that anything and everything Trump did is an impeachable offense). Republicans will be allowed one legal expert to say the opposite.

In other words, it’s a show hearing, meant to give the pro-impeachment mainstream media a news cycle dominated (by numbers) by pro-impeachment opinions.

Trump’s lawyers sent a letter tonight to Nadler rejecting the premise and procedure of the hearing, and refusing to participate. Politico reports:

The White House informed House Democrats on Sunday that it will not participate in the Judiciary Committee’s first impeachment hearing, excoriating Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as a “baseless” and “partisan” exercise in scathing five-page letter to the panel’s chairman.

“Under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing,” White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), adding that “an invitation to an academic discussion with law professors does not begin to provide the president with any semblance of a fair process.” …

Nadler has yet to identify any witnesses, but Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the committee, has requested that the witness panel include an equal number of Democratic- and GOP-selected scholars.

This is a failure of the Judiciary Committee to be able to talk to fact witnesses, to be able to talk to the people that have actually been a part of this, and actually have the president viably participate in his own defense — which he’s not had the opportunity to do now,” the Georgia Republican said on “Fox News Sunday.“ …

“It is too late to cure the profound procedural deficiencies that have tainted this entire inquiry,” Cipollone wrote Sunday, adding: “We cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the president a fair process through additional hearings.”

Here’s Doug Collins previewing Republican objections that will raised at the hearing, including the demand that Adam Schiff testify:

More from the Trump lawyer letter:

The Committee’s unfair process regarding this hearing follows numerous other violations of due process by the House-both before and since the adoption of House Resolution (“H. Res.”) 60-including the outright prohibition on participation by the President at any stage in the proceedings before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (“HPSCI”). There, Chairman Schiff attempted to concoct a false narrative through selective citation of the testimony of witnesses of his choosing, after vetting them during closed-door depositions hidden from both the President and the American public. The President was not allowed to present evidence, to call witnesses, to cross examine witnesses, or even to see transcripts until weeks after testimony had been taken, and he was allowed absolutely no participation in the public hearings that followed. Further, witness requests made by Republicans were denied. In addition, certain questioning of the witnesses who did testify was censored by Democrats….

It is too late to cure the profound procedural deficiencies that have tainted this entire inquiry. Nevertheless, if you are serious about conducting a fair process going forward, and in order to protect the rights and privileges of the President, we may consider participating in future Judiciary Committee proceedings if you afford the Administration the ability to do so meaningfully….

As for the hearing scheduled for December 4, we cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the President a fair process through additional hearings. More importantly, an invitation to an academic discussion with law professors does not begin to provide the President with any semblance of a fair process. Accordingly, under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing.

The impeachment inquisition is being conducted in a dishonest, deceptive and manipulative manner, engineered by Adam Schiff. House Republicans appear ready to put Schiff on trial, or at least to try to do that. Should make for good TV.

 
 
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