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Sunday, Dec 08, 2019

Donald Trump will ‘strongly consider’ testifying in impeachment probe

Donald Trump has tried, with limited success, to block officials from testifying before the House intelligence committee, which is conducting the first stage of the impeachment inquiry.

world Updated: Nov 18, 2019 22:14 IST

Hindustan Times, Washington
US president Donald Trump responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s remarks in a Sunday interview that he could “come right before the committee and talk ... or he could do it in writing”
US president Donald Trump responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s remarks in a Sunday interview that he could “come right before the committee and talk ... or he could do it in writing”(AP File Photo)
         

US President Donald Trump said Monday he will “strongly consider” testifying in writing to impeachment investigators, who are set to hear this week public testimonies from eight current and former officials.

Trump was responding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s remarks in a Sunday interview that he 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 wrote on Twitter on Monday, prefacing the post with Pelosi’s offer of testifying in writing.

Democrats had not reacted to Trump’s suggestion and it was not clear if they would indeed agree to it, knowing how unhappy they were with the president testifying only in writing to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Trump has tried, with limited success, to block officials from testifying before the House intelligence committee, which is conducting the first stage of the impeachment inquiry.

Senior White House and state department officials and current and former heads of the US mission in Ukraine have testified in both closed-door and public hearings so far.

Among the eight to testify publicly this week is the current US ambassador to EU, Gordon Sondland, who was among the key Trump aides at the heart of the effort to force Ukraine to launch an investigation against former Vice-President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden over latter’s association to a Ukrainian energy company, as a condition for releasing nearly $400 million in security aid and according a White House meeting to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Sondland led the effort with chief of White House staff Mick Mulvaney and Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. Mulvaney has refused to testify in defiance of a subpoena fro the committee, and Giuliani has not been asked yet.