The White House:
David Jackson, USA TODAY
Published 9: 39 a.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019 | Updated 11: 30 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump “should not” provide testimony to the House impeachment inquiry because Democrats are conducting unfair hearings, a White House aide said Wednesday.
“No one would advise him to testify because this is a sham court,” said Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general brought in as a White House communications adviser.
On Monday, Trump tweeted that he would “strongly consider” testifying “even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax.” Trump was responding to suggestions by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats that he come before the committee conducting the impeachment inquiry.
House Democrats are investigating evidence Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate Democrats, including presidential candidate Joe Biden, and threatened to withhold aid if the Ukraine government did not follow through.
In her CBS interview, Bondi said she understands why Trump would want to testify – “he did nothing wrong” – but attorneys would advise against it.
“The president should not testify,” she said.
The new White House spokesperson also got off to a rough start in her interview by misstating the title of key impeachment witness Gordon Sondland.
Bondi said that Sondland is the ambassador to Ukraine – in fact, he is U.S. ambassador to the European Union.
The advice not to testify did not surprise legal analysts who said the president could not control the narrative within a House hearing room the way he can when speaking in public.
“In a hearing, on the other hand, skilled and experienced committee counsel will ask probing questions and pin him down on inconsistencies,” said Barb McQuade, a former federal prosecutor and now a law professor at the University of Michigan. “In that setting, lies are crimes or impeachable offenses.”
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