White House gets deadline to decide to participate in impeachment hearings


The White House has until December 6 to decide whether to participate in the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment proceedings, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said in a letter to President Trump Friday.

The committee, which holds its first impeachment hearing on Wednesday, offered the president the option of sending someone to represent him, addressing a key grievance of the president and his allies that they have no say in the House proceedings. The White House has a Sunday deadline to determine whether to send representation on Wednesday. As CBS News has previously reported, however, it is unlikely that the White House will decide to send legal representation.

This December 6 deadline is for the White House to participate in future hearings by suggesting witnesses, accessing evidence or presenting evidence. The top Republican on the committee, Rep. Doug Collins, also received a letter from Nadler with a December 6 deadline for determining similar participation.

The first day of hearings in the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Trump is expected to be in London for the final day of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit. Thus far, House Democrats have kept their impeachment probe narrowly focused on the president's push for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, and the freeze on military aid to Ukraine.

"In anticipation of consideration of these matters, I am writing to determine if your counsel will seek to exercise the specific privileges set forth in the Judiciary Committee's impeachment procedures adopted pursuant to H. Res. 660 and participate in the upcoming impeachment proceedings," Nadler wrote in a brief letter to the president.

"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 p.m. on December 6, 2019," Nadler continued.

Mr. Trump himself floated the idea that he might submit testimony, an idea that was quickly shot down by White House aides as not part of their strategy.

After weeks of testimony behind closed doors and in public, the House Intelligence Committee is preparing a report to be released shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday. Congress returns on Tuesday.

It is the House Judiciary Committee that is tasked with drafting any articles of impeachment.

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