U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said for the first time that he might be willing to testify in the impeachment inquiry over his dealings with Ukraine, even as Democrats questioned the truthfulness of his testimony in the Russia 2016 election interference probe.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted that he might be willing to testify in the impeachment inquiry over his dealings with Ukraine "even though I did nothing wrong." Trump was responding to an invitation made the day before by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in an interview with CBS.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NANCY PELOSI SAYING (SUNDAY): "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 [sic], or he could do it in writing.
He has every opportunity to present his case." Democrats leading the impeachment investigation in the House of Representatives have not formally called Trump as a witness in his own defense.
They accuse him of withholding military aid to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Trump has denied wrongdoing.
Pelosi isn't the first Democrat to suggest Trump take the stand.
Last week, Republicans at the impeachment hearings lamented that they had yet to hear from an intelligence agency whistleblower, who wrote a report that triggered the Congressional probe.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE FROM OHIO, JIM JORDAN, SAYING: "One witness that they won't bring in front of us, they won't bring in front of the American people - that's the guy who started it all, the whistleblower." Democratic Representative Peter Welch had a fast rejoinder.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) VERMONT CONGRESSMAN (DEMOCRAT), PETER WELCH, SAYING: "I say to my colleague - I'd be glad to have the person who started it all come in and testify.
President Trump is welcome to take a seat right there." Monday's tweet isn't the first time Trump has teased the notion of testifying before investigators.
(AUDIO ONLY) (SOUNDBITE) (English) AUDIO OF TRUMP ANSWERING REPORTER QUESTIONS.
QUESTION: Are you going to talk to Mueller?
TRUMP: I’m looking forward to forward to it actually." 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.
Ultimately, he never spoke to Mueller.
Instead, Trump provided written answers to questions from Mueller's office.
Those written answers could be a source of new trouble for the president.
According to media reports on Monday, a lawyer for lawmakers investigating the president told a court the House of Representatives is probing whether Trump lied to Mueller's office.
Democrats in Congress are seeking secret grand jury evidence from the Mueller report, which they say may be revenant to the impeachment proceedings.