If you’ve spent any amount of time on Donald Trump’s Twitter feed in the last few weeks you know that he has his own opinions on the veracity of the testimony being given in the hearings in the impeachment inquiry being conducted by the House of Representatives.
Trump has spent a good portion of each day denouncing the credibility of both witnesses and investigators, attacking their characters, denouncing the investigation as a “witch hunt,” and generally courting charges of witness intimidation with his belligerence, in tweets that many worry will inspire his followers to issue threats of physical harm — and even death —against those participating in the constitutional exercise of congressional oversight, as has happened in the past in similar circumstances.
Now — tired of the president’s bluster in his sideline commentary on the hearings exposing his malfeasance — top Democrats have decided to call Trump’s bluff.
After hearing the president’s false accusations that the witnesses are partisan liars and that Republicans on the committees conducting the hearings are being prevented from asking questions, both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) invited the president down to Capitol Hill to defend himself —under oath — before the committees.
Appearing on CBS’ Face The Nation this morning, Speaker Pelosi batted back allegations that the president has not been able to utilize due process in the impeachment hearings. She did this not as she could have rightfully replied — that the president’s opportunity for the due process would come during his impeachment trial before the Senate as the Constitution mandates — but by telling Trump that he was more than welcome to appear before the committee and testify himself to the truth in the Ukraine scandal as he sees it.
“The president could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants,” Pelosi said on Face The Nation. “He has every opportunity to present his case.”
Senator Schumer echoed Speaker Pelosi’s sentiments when he called on Trump to stop responding to the revelations being uncovered by the hearings though his acrimonious tweets and reply in person under oath along with those others in his administration whom he is preventing from appearing by making spurious claims of “unlimited immunity” for the executive branch, his own version of a get out of jail free card.
“I think the hearings have brought up many many troubling allegations. And this morning (House) Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi invited President Trump to come testify, and I think her invitation is correct. If Donald Trump doesn’t agree with what he’s hearing, doesn’t like what he’s hearing, he shouldn’t tweet. He should come to the committee and testify under oath and he should allow all those around him to come to the committee and testify under oath,” Senator Schumer told reporters at a New York City press conference today.
“When Donald Trump refuses to come to the committee, now that Speaker Pelosi has invited him, when he doesn’t let all the people around him come before the committee, you’ve got to ask the question: What is he hiding? What is he afraid to confront what these people have said?” Schumer continued.
Chuck Schumer: "If Donald Trump doesn't agree with what he's hearing, doesn't like what he's hearing, he shouldn't tweet. He should come to the committee and testify under oath." Via The Hill pic.twitter.com/RJxJ54KHVX
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 17, 2019
Now that the Democrats have called Trump’s bluff, it’s time for the president and his Republican enablers to put up or shut up. If everything the witnesses have presented to date is wrong or a part of a vast deep state conspiracy, then Trump and any relevant executive branch staff should testify before Congress under penalty of perjury charges as to their own versions of the events that took place.
If anyone thinks that Trump will take them up on their offer, remember that Trump’s own lawyers in the Mueller investigation wouldn’t allow him to testify except in writing for fear that he would immediately perjure himself with his uncontrollable pathological impulse to lie at every opportunity.
Your move, Donald. If you don’t take advantage of it then perhaps you and your GOP sycophants should keep your traps shut about how unfairly the Democrats are conducting the inquiry process in the meantime.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.