Donald Trump will ‘strongly consider’ testifying before Congress impeachment inquiry
Donald Trump said he will "strongly consider" testifying before Congress in writing as part of the impeachment inquiry into whether he pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rival.
The US president said on Monday that he might take up the suggestion by the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who said Mr Trump could even provide his testimony in writing.
"Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea and will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it," he said in a tweet.
It comes at the outset of the second week of public hearings in the inquiry, which is investigating whether Mr Trump abused power by pressuring his Ukrainian counterpart to launch probes into Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner in the 2020 presidential race, and his son Hunter Biden.
During the July 25 phone call Mr Trump also asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to look into a discredited theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
….that I testify about the phony Impeachment Witch Hunt. She also said I could do it in writing. Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!
Click Here: cheap INTERNATIONAL jersey— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2019
The House Intelligence Committee, which is leading the public hearings, will hear from eight more current and former administration officials who will be questioned on claims Mr Trump leveraged US military aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into the Bidens.
They include Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, whose direct interactions with Mr Trump have made him a key focus of the investigation.
Of particular interest is a phone conversation between Mr Sondland and Mr Trump on July 26, after which the ambassador is reported to have said the president only cared about "big stuff that benefits the president, like the Biden investigation." Mr Sondland is due to testify on Wednesday.
Democrats leading the impeachment investigation have not formally called Mr Trump as a witness but Mrs Pelosi argued during a TV interview on Sunday that Mr Trump has every opportunity to present his case, including appearing before committee hearings.
"The president could come right before the committee and speak all the truth that he wants if he wants to take the oath of office… or he can do it in writing. He has every opportunity to present his case," she told CBS News.
Mrs Pelosi said the investigation was still considering whether Mr Trump had committed "bribery" by threatening to hold back nearly $400 million in military aid that Congress had approved for Ukraine, while pursuing his own politically motivated agenda.
The US Constitution lists bribery as one of the crimes which constitutes an impeachable offence.
Mr Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, repeatedly insisting there was no "quid pro quo" in his dealings with Ukraine and dismissed the impeachment proceedings as a "witch hunt".
He characterised special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election in the same way.
During the 22-month investigation, Mr Trump said he was willing to be interviewed in person but ultimately chose not to speak to Mr Mueller and instead provided written answers to his questions.
Yesterday it also emerged that Democrats in the House of Representatives are looking at whether Mr Trump lied to Mr Mueller in his written responses.
The House’s general counsel told a federal court in Washington on Monday that lawmakers were examining whether Mr Trump’s written answers to federal investigators were untruthful, CNN reported.
Last week Rick Gates, the former deputy Trump campaign chairman, told a court that the president’s 2016 campaign was keen to keep abreast of a release of emails potentially damaging to his political rival, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
That appeared to conflict with sworn written statements that Mr Trump gave to Mr Mueller’s office.