Nancy Pelosi says Trump is 'not above the law' after White House rejects subpoenas calling impeachment inquiry 'illegitimate'

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone's letter called the impeachment investigation an illegal attempt by House Democrats to overturn the 2016 election


                            Nancy Pelosi says Trump is 'not above the law' after White House rejects subpoenas calling impeachment inquiry 'illegitimate'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fired back at President Donald Trump after the White House sent her a scathing letter explaining why her impeachment inquiry was "illegitimate". 

"Mr. President, you are not above the law. You will be held accountable," Pelosi responded on Tuesday, October 8, to the letter from White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.

According to Cipollone's letter, the "illegitimate" impeachment investigation was an illegal attempt by House Democrats to overturn the 2016 election, and so the White House chose not to respond to congressional subpoenas pertaining to the inquiry.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone (R) watches the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor presentation ceremony from the hallway outside the East Room of the White House on May 22, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

"This letter is manifestly wrong, and is simply another unlawful attempt to hide the facts of the Trump administration's brazen efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections," Pelosi wrote in her response. 

"Despite the White House's stonewalling, we see a growing body of evidence that shows that President Trump abused his office and violated his oath to 'protect, preserve and defend the Constitution'," she continued. 

Trump's actions threaten national security, violate the Constitution and undermine the integrity of elections, Pelosi said, adding, "The White House letter is only the latest attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy, and to insist that the President is above the law."

Cipollone's eight-page missive was construed by many as a declaration of political war.

"Put simply, you seek to overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the President they have freely chosen," Cipollone wrote in the letter, addressing the speaker, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings and Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engle, who are overseeing the impeachment inquiry.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks with reporters before leaving the White House for the G20 summit on June 26, 2019, in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

The White House counsel declared in the letter the president and his administration reject the "baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process" and thereby wouldn't cooperate with the said subpoena requests.

"Your unprecedented actions have left the President with no choice," he wrote. "In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the Executive Branch, and all future occupants of the Office of the Presidency, President Trump and his Administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances."

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