Heading for NATO summit, Trump slams impeachment effort

With Democrats in Congress returning from a Thanksgiving break ready to continue their push on a historic impeachment investigation, President Donald Trump on Monday once more blasted the work of House Democrats, saying impeachment undermines him during his foreign travel.

"For them to be doing this, and saying this, and putting an impeachment on the table," the President told reporters as he left the White House for a NATO summit in England, "it's an absolute disgrace what they're doing to our country."

The President's criticism of Democrats for scheduling an impeachment hearing on Wednesday - which White House lawyers refused to attend - was echoed by other Republicans and top Administration officials, part of a broader effort to push back against Democrats in the House.

"I regret that they've chosen to hold these hearings at the same time as the President and our entire national security team will be traveling to Europe," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told "Fox and Friends," as Pompeo accused Democrats of trying to 'distract' the President at the NATO Summit in London.

The criticism from the President came a day after the White House Counsel sent a scorching letter to House Democrats, refusing their invitation to send legal representatives to a Wednesday impeachment hearing, where constitutional scholars will testify about impeachment.

It's thought that hearing is just a prelude to work by the House Judiciary Committee to draft, debate, and vote on actual articles of impeachment against President Trump.

The House Judiciary Committee has also set a deadline for this Friday for the White House to determine if it will send lawyers to participate in that process.

Democrats say they're convinced the answer will be 'no.'

"The President and GOP allies demanded testimony, then refused to read it," said Rep. Don Beyer. "They said Trump lawyers must be at hearings, then refused to send them."

"The only constant is that they can’t defend Trump’s abuses of power," Beyer added on Twitter.

During a visit to a climate change gathering in Madrid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked about the impeachment proceedings against the President - but at a news conference, she refused to comment.

Impeachment proceedings will resume on Tuesday evening, when the House Intelligence Committee is expected to vote to approve a report on the Ukraine investigation, sending that to the House Judiciary Committee.

That panel will then begin its impeachment work on Wednesday morning.

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