The Democrats invite Trump to testify in the impeachment investigation, if he believes it is so unfair to him


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Speaks to journalists the morning after the first public hearing in President Donald Trump's impeachment probe about his effort to tie US aid to Ukraine to investigate his political opponents , on Capitol Hill in Washington on November 14, 2019.

The Associated Press

Democratic Chamber spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi invited US President Donald Trump to testify before investigators in the House's impeachment investigation for a week that will see several key witnesses appear publicly.

Rejecting the president's allegations that the trial was stacked against him, Ms Pelosi said that Mr. Trump is welcome to appear or answer questions in writing if he wishes.

"If he has information that is at his expense, this means that, for example, to blame, to blame, we don't see the time to see them," he said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS Face the Nation. Mr. Trump "could come right in front of the committee and talk, tell all the truth he wants, if he wants," he said.

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Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer echoed that suggestion.

"If Donald Trump does not agree with what he is listening to, he does not like what he is listening to, he should not tweet. He should come to the committee and testify under oath. And he should allow everyone around him to come to commission and testify under oath, "Schumer told reporters. He said the White House's insistence in blocking witnesses from cooperation poses the question: "What is he hiding?"

Comments come as the House intelligence committee prepares for a second week of public hearings in the scope of its investigation, even with the man who is probably the most important witness. Gordon Sondland, Ambassador of Mr. Trump at the EU, is among the only people interviewed so far who have had direct conversations with the president about the situation because the White House has prevented others from cooperating with what they reject as a false investigation. And the testimony suggests that he was intimately involved in discussions that are at the center of the investigation into the fact that Trump has withheld US military aid to Ukraine to try to put pressure on the country's president to announce a Democratic investigation, including ; former American vice president Joe Biden, leader candidate in 2020, and his son Hunter.

Multiple witnesses heard a phone call in which Mr. Trump and Mr. Sondland would discuss efforts to push for the investigation. In private testimony to impeachment investigators released on Saturday, Tim Morrison, a former US National Security Council aide and a long-standing Republican hawk, said Sondland had told him he was discussing the Ukraine issues directly with Trump.

Morrison said Sondland and Trump spoke about five times between July 15 and September 11, the weeks when 391 million dollars of US aid was withheld by Ukraine before it was released.

And he said that Mr. Sondland told a senior Ukrainian official at a meeting that US military assistance could be freed if the country's chief prosecutor "went to the microphone and announced he was opening the Burisma investigation". Burisma is the gas company that hired Hunter Biden.

Mr. Morrison's testimony contradicted much of what Mr. Sondland told Congress investigators during his closed-door deposition, which the Ambassador subsequently changed.

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Mr. Trump said he did not remember the recall and suggested that he hardly know Mr. Sondland, a wealthy donor for his 2016 campaign. But the Democrats hope he will shed light on the discussions.

"I will not try to prejudice his testimony," said Democratic representative Jim Himes Fox News Sunday. But he suggested: "It was not lost to Ambassador Sondland what happened to President Stark's close associate for lying to Congress, to Michael Cohen for lying to Congress. My hypothesis is that the Ambassador Sondland will do his best to tell the truth, because otherwise he could have a very unpleasant legal future ahead of him. "

The committee will also interview a long list of others. On Tuesday, they will hear Mr. Morrison along with Jennifer Williams, aide to US vice president Mike Pence, Alexander Vindman, director of European affairs at the National Security Council, and Kurt Volker, a former US special envoy to Ukraine.

On Wednesday the committee will hear from Mr. Sondland in addition to Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, and David Hale, a State Department official. And Thursday will appear Fiona Hill, a former senior NSC official for Europe and Russia.

Mr. Trump, meanwhile, continued to tweet and rewrite a steady stream of comments from supporters as he launched against "The Crazed, Do Nothing Democrats" for "turning the Impeachment into a partisan weapon routine ".

"This is very bad for our country, and not what the Founders had in mind !!!!", he wrote.

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He also tweeted a documented video exchange between representative Adam Schiff, the Democratic president of the House's secret service committee, and Republican representative Jim Jordan, in which Mr. Schiff said he did not know the whistle identity blower whose complaint triggered the investigation. The clip was modified to show Mr. Schiff wearing a referee's uniform and whistling loudly.

In her interview with CBS, Ms. Pelosi promised to protect the whistle-blower, which Mr. Trump said should be forced to step forward despite the whistle-blower's protections.

"I will make sure that he does not intimidate the whistle," Pelosi said.

Mr. Trump was indicted for the treatment of one of the witnesses, the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who Mr. Trump criticized with a tweet while he was testifying last week.

That attack sparked accusations of intimidation by the Democrats and even some criticism from the Republicans, who were largely united in defending Mr. Trump.

"I think, along with most people, I find the President's tweet generally unlucky," said Republican representative Mike Turner on CNN State of the union.

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However, he insisted that the tweets were "certainly not impractical and certainly not criminal. And he certainly did not witness intimidation", although Ms. Yovanovitch said she felt intimidated by the attacks.

Republican representative Chris Stewart said that Trump "communicates in ways I sometimes would not have liked" but rejected the meaning of the attacks.

"If your base for impeachment includes a tweet, it shows how weak the evidence of this impeachment is," he told ABC This week.

And the backlash didn't stop Mr. Trump from hurling himself at another witness, this time Pence the assistant Mrs. Williams. He directed it in a tweet on Sunday to "meet the other Never Trumpers, whom I don't know and have never even heard of, and come up with a better presidential attack!"

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