“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 Monday morning.
Referring to Pelosi as the “Crazy, Do Nothing Speaker of the House” and “nervous,” Trump suggested the ongoing inquiry into his dealings with Ukraine was a distraction from other big-ticket items for Congress, like CUSMA, infrastructure and drug prices.
Pelosi welcomed Trump to testify — either in person or by answering questions in writing — during an interview with CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday.
“If he has information that is exculpatory — that means ex, taking away, culpable, blame — then we look forward to seeing it,” she said.
Trump “could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants,” she said.
The invitation comes as the House intelligence committee is set to hear more testimonies in the second week of the inquiry’s public hearings.
The committee will be interviewing a long list of witnesses over three days, including Gordon Sondland, Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, who is considered to be a critical part of the inquiry.
On Tuesday, it will also hear from Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council (NSC) aide; Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice-President Mike Pence; Alexander Vindman, director for European affairs at the NSC; and Kurt Volker, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine.
On Wednesday, the committee will hear from Sondland as well as Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defence, and David Hale, a State Department official.
And on Thursday, Fiona Hill, a former top NSC staffer for Europe and Russia, will appear.
The inquiry is centred on allegations that Trump tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to dig up dirt on his political rival, Democratic presidential candidate and former vice-president Joe Biden, while holding up military aid as leverage.
Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and dismissed the impeachment proceedings as a “joke” and a “hoax” that denies him due process.
During the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the president provided written answers to questions from special counsel Robert Mueller. The format was later criticized by Mueller, noting that it prevented any followup questions. The special counsel’s office requested an in-person interview with Trump multiple times, which he declined.
— With files from the Associated Press