NEW YORK, Nov 18 (APP):US President Donald Trump on Monday said he will “strongly consider” giving written or in-person testimony in the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry, “even though I did nothing wrong.”
Trump responded in a tweet to the Democratic House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi’s suggestion in a television appearance a day earlier in which she said the president could “come right before the committee and talk … or he 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!” Trump tweeted.
Democrats leading the impeachment process in the House have not formally called Trump as a witness in the inquiry into whether he used foreign policy to try to get Ukraine to investigate domestic political opponent Joe Biden, a former US vice president.
During former U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, Trump said he was willing to testify in person but ultimately did not speak to Mueller.
Instead, after extensive negotiations, Trump provided written answers to questions from Mueller’s office.
Meanwhile, the White House has directed officials not to comply with the impeachment inquiry, and it’s unclear whether Trump would follow through on testifying himself, particularly under oath.
The House Intelligence Committee last week held its first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry, which are focused on allegations that Trump abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his domestic political rivals, specifically Biden, a top 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and Biden’s son Hunter.
Three current and former State Department officials testified publicly about their concerns that Trump’s policy toward and conversations about Ukraine had become inappropriate in recent months and detailed efforts by the president’s allies to oust the now-former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
Eight more officials are scheduled to testify publicly this week. Among the witnesses are U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who allegedly spoke over the phone with Trump about the desired investigations into Biden and 2016 election interference.
Trump has repeatedly attacked the impeachment inquiry and some of the witnesses who have made damaging allegations in the process.
He ripped a State Department employee detailed to Vice President Pence’s office on Sunday as a “Never Trumper” after she called his July 25 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “inappropriate” during a private deposition.
The president has insisted that a rough transcript of the July 25 call shows it was “perfect” and serves as exonerating evidence. But Democrats have pointed to passages where Trump urges Zelensky to “look into” the Bidens and “do us a favour though” as evidence of wrongdoing.
Trump has also ridiculed the impeachment proceedings as “rigged” and a “hoax” and complained that the White House has not received proper due process.
Asked about the latter assertion, Pelosi said Sunday on CBS news programme “Face the Nation:” that Trump would be welcome to make his case under oath.
“The president could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants to … take the oath of office or he could do it in writing,” Pelosi said. “He has every opportunity to present his case.”