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President Donald Trump said Monday he may be open to testifying publicly or providing written answers to congressional questioners running the impeachment inquiry against him.
Trump’s apparent interest in taking the witness stand follows a CBS interview by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in which she floated the idea that Trump could testify. Trump responded to the apparent invitation that aired Sunday, suggesting he would consider the option, even at the risk of adding legitimacy to the impeachment process against him, CNBC reported.
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2019
“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.
The impeachment probe has centered around allegations Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to initiate an investigation of former-Vice President Joe Biden during a July 25 phone call. Biden is also running for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential race.
Last week three witnesses arrived before the Democrat controlled House Intelligence Committee to provide their insights on Trump’s interactions with the Ukraine. Eight more witnesses are scheduled to testify in public hearings this week.
Trump previously showed willingness to respond to questioning during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Despite that offer Trump and his legal team later raised the concern of an attempted “perjury trap” if he were to submit to an in-person interview with Mueller’s team. Trump did eventually provide written answers to a series of questions raised by the Mueller team.
The Trump White House released the transcript of the controversial July 25 phone call in September as calls for the impeachment inquiry first began. Trump and Zelensky did discuss Burisma, a gas company where Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden worked.
Trump asked Zelensky to “look into” the Biden’s interactions with Burisma, following concerns Biden pressured the firing of a prosecutor looking into the gas company where the younger Biden sat on the board of directors. Trump also discussed the Crowdstrike cybersecurity firm, an alleged source for claims of Russian hacking interference in the 2016 election.
On Friday, Trump also released the details of an earlier phone conversation between Trump and Zelensky from the day Zelensky won the Ukrainian presidential election. The first phone call largely showed a congratulatory exchange and Trump did not appear to link promises of aid to the Ukraine or invitations for diplomatic visits to an investigation of his political rival in Biden.