GOP congressman says having attorneys at impeachment hearing would be to the 'President's advantage'
Posted December 1, 2019 2:22 p.m. EST
CNN — A Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee argued Sunday that it would benefit President Donald Trump to have his counsel participate in the committee's upcoming impeachment hearings.
"I think it would be to the President's advantage to have his attorneys there. That's his right," California Rep. Tom McClintock said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "But I can also understand how he is upset at the illegitimate process that we saw unfolding in the Intelligence Committee."
The House Judiciary Committee announced that it would hold its first impeachment hearing on December 4 and invited Trump or his counsel to participate, including asking questions of the witnesses. Democrats set a December 6 deadline for the White House to say whether it will participate in impeachment proceedings.
CNN previously reported that while a final decision hasn't been made, the latest thinking inside the White House is that it likely won't send an attorney to the first judiciary hearing on December 4, according to two officials.
McClintock also told ABC News that it would be to the "President's advantage" to have former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney testify. Bolton's attorney has said his client will not testify unless subpoenaed and Mulvaney defied a subpoena to appear for a closed door deposition last month.
McClintock added that the testimonies of Bolton and Mulvaney must be weighed against "enormous catastrophic damage" to executive privilege.
Asked if he thought the President's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani should testify, McClintock said that he thinks "more information is better than less," before attacking Democrats for a "sham" process.
After a two-month investigation capped by two weeks of public hearings, the House Intelligence Committee is preparing a report to submit to the Judiciary Committee, which will detail allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rivals while withholding a White House meeting and $400 million in security aid.
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.
Asked whether the deadline for the White House to decide whether it wished to participate in the impeachment proceedings was fair, New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a member of the House Judiciary Committee and Democratic party leadership, told Fox News Sunday that "no timeline has been set."
But Jeffries argued that it's a "matter of urgent concern" and pointed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comments that the process would be done "expeditiously."
"At the same time, we want to give the President every opportunity to present exculpatory information," Jeffries said.