Trump: ‘No Reason to Call Witnesses’ in Impeachment Inquiry

November 4, 2019 Updated: November 4, 2019

President Donald Trump said there is “no reason” to call witnesses in the impeachment inquiry, asserting his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “perfect.”

House Democrats launched the inquiry against Trump, a Republican, after a person filed a complaint against Trump, alleging based on secondhand information that the president abused his office during the call.

Trump has said his requests to look into 2016 election interference by Ukraine, and possible corruption by former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, are not improper.

“What I said on the phone call with the Ukrainian President is ‘perfectly’ stated,” the president said on Twitter on Nov. 4.

“There is no reason to call witnesses to analyze my words and meaning. This is just another Democrat Hoax that I have had to live with from the day I got elected (and before!). Disgraceful!”

Some witnesses have argued that Trump’s statements during the call were wrong but have admittedly relied on personal feelings.

“I was concerned by the call. I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine,” Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council director for European affairs, said last week. Others have said Trump did nothing illegal during the call.

Trump in an earlier tweet on Monday morning quoted Mark Levin, a conservative television host.

“Mark Levin, a great lawyer and scholar, said last night on his @marklevinshow, that all you have to do is read the transcript of the call, you do not need Never Trumpers or other witnesses to say what it means or says. It is plainly and very well stated for all to see. Witch Hunt,” Trump wrote.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, the president was asked if he wants his former national security adviser, John Bolton, to testify to House Democrats.

“That’s up to him and the lawyers,” he said. “I like John Bolton, I always got along with him, but that’s going to be up to the lawyers.”

At least two White House aides have declined to testify to House Democrats, as well as a former aide, citing the White House’s direction not to comply with congressional requests because of executive privilege.

Robert Blair, assistant to President Trump and senior adviser to Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and Brian McCormack, associate director for natural resources energy and science at the Office of Management and Budget, declined to appear on Monday to answer questions in a closed-door hearing.

According to reports, two aides slated to testify—John Eisenberg, deputy counsel to the president for National Security Affairs, and Michael Ellis, senior associate counsel to the president—also weren’t going to appear.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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