A year ago, President Donald Trump submitted written answers to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s questions, and five months after that that Q&A was released to the public. Early Monday, Trump said he would “consider” doing so again, this time in an impeachment inquiry.
The president was responding to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) weekend interview on Face the Nation. During that interview, Pelosi said Trump’s actions were “much worse than even what Richard Nixon did,” but that at least “at some point Richard Nixon cared about the country enough to recognize that this could not continue.”
Pelosi also said that Trump “could come right before the committee and talk, speak all the truth that he wants if he wants,” saying, “He has every opportunity to present his case.”
It’s clear President Trump saw this because he addressed it directly. First, he accused Democrats of being do-nothings. Next, he mockingly called the CBS show “DEFACE THE NATION.” Finally, he got to the heart of the matter, saying he would “strongly consider” answer impeachment investigators’ question in written format.
….that I testify about the phony Impeachment Witch Hunt. She also said I could do it in writing. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2019
“Nervous Nancy Pelosi, who is petrified by her Radical Left knowing she will soon be gone (they & Fake News Media are her BOSS), suggested on Sunday’s DEFACE THE NATION that I testify about the phony Impeachment Witch Hunt. She also said I could do it in writing. 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!”
Reporters were quick to note that the last time the president answered written questions there were a lot of things he couldn’t recall.
Worth recalling… Trump said he could not recall, remember or recollect more than 30 times in his written answers to Mueller https://t.co/Bjx2Hut94r
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) November 18, 2019
Taylor, during his testimony, said that Holmes recalled the events of July 26, which was the day after Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke on the phone. During that call, the memo the White House released shows, Trump brought up investigations of the Bidens and the CrowdStrike conspiracy.
Taylor said that on July 26 his staffer was with Sondland at a meeting with Zelesnky’s aide, Andrey Yermak. Taylor said that after the meeting, the staffer and Sondland went to a restaurant. While at that restaurant, Sondland spoke to President Trump by phone. The staffer told Taylor that they heard Trump asking Sondland about the “investigations.”
“Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward,” Taylor said.
“Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine,” Taylor continued. “Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for.”
“At the time I gave my deposition on October 22, I was not aware of this information. I am including it here for completeness,” Taylor said.
Daniel Goldman, the attorney asking questions for House Democrats, asked Taylor if had “ever seen another example of foreign aid conditioned on the personal or political interests of the president of the United States?” Taylor said he had not.
Goldman also followed up on the new detail.
Taylor confirmed that his testimony was what he meant: that President Trump cared more about probes of the Bidens and Burisma than he did about a U.S. ally’s defense against Russian aggression.
If Trump were to answer questions (written or otherwise), this would not be without its perils.
[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]