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White House Says It Won’t Participate In Next Round Of Impeachment Hearings

The White House has called the Democratic-led impeachment probe into U.S. President Donald Trump (pictured) "completely baseless."  (file photo)

The White House says it will not take part in the next impeachment hearing by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

In a letter to committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, White House counsel Pat Cipollone on December 6 called the Democratic-led impeachment probe into President Donald Trump "completely baseless."

A hearing is set for next week to consider what articles of impeachment to bring against the president.

The White House letter did not give a specific reason for refusing to participate.

But Cipollone in the letter accused House Democrats of wasting America's time "with this charade" and that adopting articles of impeachment against Trump would amount to a "reckless abuse of power."

"Whatever course you choose, as the President has recently stated: ‘if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our country can get back to business,'" Cipollone wrote, citing a tweet from Trump this week.

The Democrat-led House has for two months probed whether the president committed impeachable offenses that constitute "high crimes and misdemeanors," a vaguely defined term in the Constitution.

At the center of the investigation is a July 25 phone call Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during which Kyiv was prodded to open investigations into Trump's political rivals.

The White House had frozen $391 million of military aid to Ukraine leading up to the phone call, but eventually released it in September.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters