President Trump is demanding the whistleblower who alerted investigators to his call with Ukraine’s president testify in person, which Trump refused to do during the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
The lawyer for the anonymous whistleblower, whose identity is supposed to be protected by federal law, said Sunday his client was willing to give written answers to questions from Republican lawmakers involved in the impeachment inquiry. Trump said that wasn’t good enough.
“The Whistleblower gave false information & dealt with corrupt politician Schiff,” wrote Trump in a Monday morning tweet. “He must be brought forward to testify. Written answers not acceptable! Where is the 2nd Whistleblower? He disappeared after I released the transcript. Does he even exist? Where is the informant? Con!”
Democrats on the committees handling impeachment proceedings have implied that the investigation has gathered enough evidence to make the original whistleblower’s testimony redundant at this point. The accusation that Trump attempted a quid pro quo arrangement with Ukraine has been confirmed by an edited White House memo that Trump erroneously refers to as a transcript, by acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and by Trump himself on the White House lawn. The lawyers representing the whistleblower have said they have other clients making similar claims, but they have not been publicly identified either.
Trump declined to be interviewed by Mueller as part of the investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, saying he feared a “perjury trap.” In his written testimony, the president declined to answer questions due to lack of memory over two dozen times, repeatedly responding “I can’t remember” and “I do not recall.”
During his July testimony at a House Intelligence Committee hearing, Mueller said he had found Trump’s answers to be “generally” untruthful.
“Isn’t it fair to say that the president’s written answers were not only inadequate and incomplete because he didn’t answer many of your questions, but where he did, his answers showed that he wasn’t always being truthful?” asked Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla.
“Generally,” Mueller said.
During a July 25 phone call that was flagged by the whistleblower, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter and a debunked conspiracy theory about the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee in exchange for military aid. U.S. intelligence agencies, private security investigators, the Senate Intelligence Committee and Mueller have unanimously said the hacking was done by Russia.
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