President Donald Trump wants an impeachment trial to go forward in the US Senate because he would receive due process there and he expects Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden would be among the witnesses, a White House spokesman said on Thursday.
President Trump wants to have a trial in the Senate because it’s clearly the only chamber where he can expect fairness and receive due process under the Constitution, spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement.
We would expect to finally hear from witnesses who actually witnessed, and possibly participated in corruption - like Adam Schiff, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and the so-called Whistleblower, to name a few, Gidley said, referring to House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff, who is leading an impeachment inquiry into Trump.
Meanwhile US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday there was clear evidence President Trump had used his office for personal gain and undermined national security, but that no final impeachment decision had been made as House Democrats continued their impeachment inquiry into the Republican president.
Pelosi, speaking at her weekly press conference, reiterated that it was up to the House Intelligence Committee to determine how to proceed with the investigation as lawmakers continued to gather facts and hear from witnesses.
The evidence is clear ... that the president has used his office for his own personal gain and in doing so undermined the national security, she told reporters. He has violated his oath of office.
The Democrat-led House Intelligence Committee on Thursday was conducting its fifth and final scheduled day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry centred on Trump's request in a Jul 25 phone call that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy conduct probes of Trump's political rivals.
The inquiry is also examining whether Trump's withholding of US$391 million in security aid to Ukraine was meant to pressure Zelenskiy to undertake the investigations.
Trump has denied wrongdoing.
The inquiry could lead the House to approve formal charges against Trump, known as articles of impeachment.
The Republican-controlled Senate would then hold a trial on whether to remove him from office, although few Republican senators have been critical of Trump so far.