White House aides said Friday that they are prepared for President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE to be impeached by the House.
“We are prepared for an impeachment to happen,” White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamFormer aide sees Melania Trump as 'the doomed French queen': book Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham planning book: report Jill Biden appears on Vogue cover MORE said in an interview on Fox News. “[Speaker] Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden pushes back at Democrats on taxes Yarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed Of partisan fights and follies, or why Democrats should follow Manchin, not Sanders MORE [D-Calif.] has made it very, very clear that the House Democrats are going to vote.”
Grisham said she hoped Democrats would “come to their senses” but described them as intent on impeaching Trump despite him doing “nothing wrong.”
“As we’re preparing in the White House, this is what has been shown,” Grisham said. “They have made their intentions very clear.”
Grisham's remarks seemed to suggest that the White House views impeachment to be likely if not inevitable. However, when pressed, she pushed back on the notion that she believes impeachment to be a foregone conclusion but said the White House is “expecting” it.
Grisham also reiterated that Trump believes the impeachment inquiry to be a “sham,” pointing to criticisms he has voiced on his Twitter feed.
“I wouldn’t say it is a foregone conclusion, I would say it’s what we’re expecting it, yes,” Grisham said.
White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayPsaki defends move to oust Trump appointees from military academy boards Defense & National Security: The post-airlift evacuation struggle Conway and Spicer fire back at White House over board resignation requests MORE later told reporters that impeachment “certainly is possible” and that she is "prepared" for the result, while noting it could go the other way depending on what evidence was presented by Democrats.
“[Democrats] know the votes are not there in the Senate. So, if you’re going to impeach the president are you going to remove him? Unlikely. But I’m prepared for the president to be impeached and I’m prepared for the votes to not go that way depending on what the evidence says,” Conway told reporters at the White House.
“I would hope that we are going to have a process that we haven’t had so far,” she added, saying the White House would like to see open hearings and be able to cross-examine witnesses.
Their remarks came one day after the House voted along party lines to approve procedures for the impeachment inquiry, paving the way for the second phase in which Democrats expect to take hearings public and draft articles of impeachment that will later be voted on.
The inquiry is focused on Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president during which he asked Kiev to “look into” former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Senate parliamentarian nixes Democrats' immigration plan Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes MORE and his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings. Democrats are investigating in part whether Trump held up military aid to pressure Ukraine to open a politically motivated investigation.
Trump has insisted that he did nothing wrong on the call and that there was no quid pro quo involved in his dealings with Ukraine, a message Grisham reiterated Friday. She described the investigation as a “stupid impeachment sham from the Democrats.”
Grisham also said Trump was serious when he raised the prospect of performing a televised “fireside chat” reading of his call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky during an interview with the Washington Examiner.
“Anything he says is always a consideration,” Grisham said, though she declined to say when it could happen.
“He has got nothing to hide. I think that’s the point that is not getting across,” she continued. “That phone call was a normal phone call with a foreign leader.”
The White House has accused Democrats of an unfair process in the five weeks since Pelosi announced the inquiry, criticizing party leaders for holding closed-door depositions and not voting to formalize the inquiry.
Grisham would not say Friday whether the vote would change the White House’s unwillingness to cooperate. Thus far, the White House has refused to furnish documents pursuant to subpoenas and sought to block witnesses from testifying.
“If things are actually open and transparent as purported, I would believe that we would participate,” Grisham said on Fox.
—Updated at 3:48 p.m.