Trump says he may testify in impeachment probe

Washington, Nov 19 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has said he may take up an offer by congressional Democrats to testify in the House of Representatives’ impeachment probe.
The US President made his remarks on Twitter after several current and former US officials have expressed their concern about Trump’s behavior in the Ukraine case in closed-door sessions or public hearings in the lower house of Congress, Efe news reported.
“Our Crazy, Do Nothing (where’s USMCA, infrastructure, lower drug pricing & much more?) Speaker of the House, Nervous Nancy Pelosi, who is petrified by her Radical Left knowing she will soon be gone (they & Fake News Media are her BOSS), suggested on Sunday’s (“Face the Nation” television news program) that I testify about the phony Impeachment Witch Hunt. She also said I could do it in writing,” Trump wrote on Monday.
“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!” he added.
It marks the first time that Trump has spoken about the possibility of testifying in the Democrat-led inquiry, which had been held behind closed doors for weeks before entering a new phase last week with public hearings.
The probe is aimed at determining whether Trump threatened to withhold military aid to Ukraine in a bid to pressure that country’s president to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and his son, Hunter.
The Democrats say Trump’s actions amounted to “bribery,” one of the offenses that the constitution mentions as a basis for the impeachment and removal of a US president.
A July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.
Trump had temporarily frozen nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine just ahead of the call, prompting suspicion that the request to investigate the Bidens was linked to the release of the funds.
The White House in September released the transcript of that phone call, a document that shows that Trump urged Kiev to look into Joe Biden’s alleged interference in a probe of his son’s business dealings in Ukraine.
Trump, who vehemently denies that any quid pro quo was at work and says he withheld the aid over frustration with what he considered to be an insufficient amount of monetary assistance provided to Ukraine by other countries, says the transcript shows he did nothing wrong.
The aid was eventually released on September 11.
Ukraine has forged closer ties to the US since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula following the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected, pro-Russian president. Since that year, the US Congress has authorized $1.6 billion in military assistance to Kiev.
At least eight other current and former Trump administration officials are scheduled to testify publicly this week in the House inquiry.
If the House votes to impeach Trump, the Senate would hold a trial to decide whether to remove him from office.
It is considered highly unlikely that Trump would be forced out since a two-thirds vote would be needed and his Republican party has a majority in the upper chamber.

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