Pelosi hits back at Trump over letter: 'Only the latest attempt to cover up his betrayal of our democracy'

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSekulow indicates White House not interested in motion to dismiss impeachment articles Overnight Health Care: Trump restores funding for Texas program that bars Planned Parenthood | Trump to attend March for Life | PhRMA spent record on 2019 lobbying Key House committee chairman to meet with Mnuchin on infrastructure next week MORE (D-Calif.) fired back at President TrumpDonald John TrumpMnuchin knocks Greta Thunberg's activism: Study economics and then 'come back' to us The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial MORE on Tuesday evening and accused him of trying to “cover up” his dealings with Ukraine after the White House sent a letter saying it would not cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry.

“For a while, the President has tried to normalize lawlessness. Now, he is trying to make lawlessness a virtue,” she said in a statement. “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.”

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The statement came in response to a letter from the White House accusing House Democrats of working to “overturn the results of the 2016 election” and violating the Constitution with “legally unsupported demands” for testimony and documents from several administration officials and Trump affiliates.

“Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote.

“Because participating in this inquiry under the current unconstitutional posture would inflict lasting institutional harm on the Executive Branch and lasting damage to the separation of powers, you have left the President no choice,” he added.

Pelosi announced late last month that the House would launch a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump following allegations that he abused his power by pushing the Ukrainian president to “look into” Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial Sanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden MORE, a chief political rival. 

House Democratic committee leaders have issued a slate of subpoenas demanding records and testimony from the White House, Vice President Pence, the Office of Management and Budget, the Pentagon, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiThe Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' What to watch for on Day 3 of Senate impeachment trial 'Emotion' from Trump's legal team wins presidential plaudits MORE, and more as part of the chamber's investigation.

“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.  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,’” said Pelosi.

House Democrats have claimed that obstruction of justice over the White House’s refusal to comply with the subpoenas could be incorporated into the impeachment investigation, though a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday that “asserting rights under the Constitution cannot ever properly be framed as obstruction of justice.”