President Donald Trump has made the "right judgment" with the decision not to send representation to Wednesday's impeachment proceedings before the House Judiciary Committee, former Whitewater independent counsel Robert Ray said Monday.
"I think the American people are going to see this for what it is," Ray told Fox News' "Mornings with Maria," leading to a pair of tweets from Trump quoting the comments he and show host Maria Bartiromo had made. " I think they do understand at bottom that this is a political effort."
Democrats, he added, "have made a calculation that this is their best way forward in order to maximize (their) chances in the 2020 election. They may be right or they may be wrong about that. The president certainly doesn't have to aid in the impeachment effort. He's made a judgment now and I think that's probably the right judgment."
Sunday, the White House said in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler that Trump's team "cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the president a fair process through additional hearings."
Ray said he doesn't believe Democrats' allegations of abuse of power, particularly the ones relating to noncompliance of subpoenas, would be "well-founded" articles of impeachment, considering there are still executive privilege claims pending in the courts, but he does believe articles on obstruction of justice and bribery will be included.
Bartiromo, in a commenting prompting Trump's tweet, asserted that the impeachment process has been "unfair" as "Republicans cannot get their own witnesses down there." Ray responded that he doesn't believe efforts to push House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff will be successful.
He also estimated that the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees will move the process out to refer the matter to the full House for a vote before Christmas.
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