Pelosi Says Trump Has Chance to Testify to Impeachment Panel

November 18, 2019by Steve Geimann
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on September 17, 2019. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Donald Trump can make his case directly to the Intelligence Committee, but she vowed to protect the whistleblower whose complaint triggered the impeachment inquiry of the president’s actions with Ukraine.

“The president could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants — if he wants to take the oath of office or he could do it in writing,” Pelosi said in a interview for CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “He has every opportunity to present his case.”

Trump and Republicans in Congress have demanded that the whistleblower be compelled to testify so that the president knows who made the accusations. Pelosi, in the interview recorded Friday, ruled out any steps that would expose the person who filed the complaint.

“I will make sure he does not intimidate the whistleblower,” the California Democrat said. “This is really important, especially when it comes to intelligence, that someone who would be courageous enough to point out truth to power and then through the filter of a Trump-appointed inspector general who found it of urgent concern … and then took it to the next steps.”

Pelosi said the public phase of the House Intelligence Committee hearing would continue for another week, while additional depositions are taken from other witnesses. But she said she didn’t know how long the hearings would continue.

“I guess it depends on how many more witnesses they have,” she said. “That’s up to the committee. I don’t guide that.”

Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Pelosi invoked the name of Richard Nixon, the Republican president who resigned in 1974 after a House committee approved articles of impeachment for obstruction of justice, abuse of power and contempt of Congress tied to the Watergate burglary two years earlier — during his re-election campaign. He resigned before the House voted.

“It’s really a sad thing,” Pelosi said. “I mean, what the president did was so much worse than even what Richard Nixon did, that at some point Richard Nixon cared about the country enough to recognize that this could not continue.”

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©2019 Bloomberg News

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