President Donald Trump has until Dec. 6 to decide whether to have his counsel participate in the House’s impeachment hearings, according to a letter sent Friday by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.
“In particular, please provide the Committee with notice of whether your counsel intends to participate, specifying which of the privileges your counsel seeks to exercise, no later than 5:00 pm on December 6, 2019,” Nadler wrote in the letter, which was addressed to Trump. “I look forward to your prompt response.”
Trump and his Republican allies have repeatedly complained that the Democrat-led impeachment probe is being conducted unfairly, with several specifically saying that the president was not allowed to have his lawyers participate in the process.
“We had a great two weeks watching these crooked politicians, not giving us due process, not giving us lawyers, not giving us the right to speak,” Trump said during a campaign rally in Florida on Tuesday.
It’s not clear whether Trump will participate in the House’s probe, which is looking into allegations that the president abused his power in an attempt to get Ukraine to launch political investigations into Democrats.
The White House has called the process a “hoax,” and argued that Trump did nothing wrong when he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for a “favor” while holding back almost $400 million in military aid from Ukraine. Top aides to Trump have defied congressional subpoenas to testify, and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has deemed the House’s probe “illegitimate.”
The House Intelligence Committee, which held weeks of closed-door depositions and public hearings on the matter, is preparing a report on its findings, committee chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., wrote in a letter to colleagues this week.
The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled hearings to begin next week, a potential precursor to drafting and voting on articles of impeachment.
Nadler also wrote a letter to Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Douglas Collins, R-Ga., Friday, asking him to certify by Dec. 6 any requests for subpoenas.