President, lawyers should participate in impeachment hearing: Demings, McClintock

Reps. Val Demings, D-Fla., and Tom McClintock, R-Calif., said on ABC’s “This Week” that they think having President Donald Trump or his lawyers participate in Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing would be in the president’s best interests.

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“I can also understand how he is upset at the illegitimate process that we saw unfold in the Intelligence Committee,” McClintock said on Sunday. “The big question is going to be whether Jerry Nadler continues that into the Judiciary Committee’s hearings.”

Demings, a member of both the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, said that the Judiciary Committee had not made a decision on how many hearings it would have or if it will call fact witnesses.

“Our main focus right now is to have the president and his counsel — who you know are given the same privileges as President Nixon and President Clinton had — to participate and engage in this impeachment process,” she said in a separate interview with Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz.

“If he has not done anything wrong, we’re certainly anxious to hear his explanation of that,” she added.

On “This Week,” Demings also said that she believes all evidence on impeachment will be included in the Intelligence Committee’s report. Members will be able to review a draft report on the findings of its impeachment inquiry on Monday, a committee official told ABC News. The committee will consider adopting the report on Tuesday. If the report is adopted, it and any minority views will be forwarded to the Judiciary Committee.

Following a court ruling that former White House counsel Don McGahn must comply with a congressional subpoena, McClintock said that senior officials, such as former national security adviser John Bolton and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney should “absolutely” testify, but that he has to weigh that against the “enormous catastrophic damage” that it would do to the doctrine of executive privilege, which assures candid conversations between presidents and their advisers.

“So, he’s got to weigh those two elements,” McClintock said. “And I understand why he’s making the decision that he is, to defend that doctrine of executive privilege not only for his administration but for all administrations.”

“So you believe they should testify, but not say much?” Raddatz asked.

“No, I think it would be in his advantage to — to — to have them testify,” McClintock said. “But, again, that would shatter the doctrine of executive privilege. And that’s the — the question that he has to weigh in whether to invoke that privilege.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler sent a letter to President Donald Trump this past week reminding him that he and his lawyers have a right to attend the upcoming hearing.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that the White House was reviewing the letter, but added that “what is obvious to every American is that this letter comes at the end of an illegitimate sham partisan process. The President has done nothing wrong and the Democrats know it.”

Nadler followed the initial letter with another to both Ranking Member Doug Colins, R-Ga., and the White House asking how they planned to participate in the committee’s hearings.

The White House has until 6 p.m. on Sunday to respond to respond to the first letter, and until 5 p.m. on Friday to respond to the second.

ABC News’ Katherine Faulders contributed to this report.

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