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White House will not participate in Judiciary Committee hearing

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 06: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) (3rd L) talks to reporters with (L-R) Del. Elenor Holmes Norton (D-DC), acting Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) during a break in closed-door proceedings at the U.S. Capitol November 06, 2019 in Washington, DC. Under Secretary of State for for Poetical Affairs David Hale is testifying before the Intelligence, Judiciary, Foreign Affairs and other House committees as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON D.C. (CNN) — Neither President Donald Trump nor his attorneys will participate in Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing, they said late Sunday.

In a letter to Chairman Jerrold Nadler, White House counsel to President Pat Cipollone said:

“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 a semblance of a fair process. Accordingly, under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing.”

Cipollone accused the New York Democrat in the letter of “no doubt purposely” scheduling the hearing while Trump will be at a NATO meeting in London.

Cipollone said they would respond separately to the Friday deadline about their participation in future hearings.

The Judiciary Committee’s first hearing on “Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment” is expected to kick off a frantic month of activity in the House.

The judiciary panel is expected to hold multiple public hearings and then consider articles of impeachment, which it would approve to set up a possible House floor vote before Christmas that could make Trump just the third president in US history to be impeached.

Under the House-passed rules, the President’s counsel is able to participate in the impeachment hearings in the Judiciary Committee, unlike the public hearings last month in the House Intelligence Committee.