Judiciary Dem asks GOP chairman to invite Trump to testify in public

Judiciary Dem asks GOP chairman to invite Trump to testify in public
© Greg Nash

After President Trump said Friday he is “100 percent” willing to testify under oath about the events that led to firing James Comey as FBI director, a House Democrat wants to take him up on it.

Within hours of Trump’s statement at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden, Rep. Luis GutierrezLuis GutierrezJudiciary Dem asks GOP chairman to invite Trump to testify in public The Hill's 12:30 Report Dems plan to sue Trump over conflicts of interest: report MORE (D-Ill.) called on House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteThis week: Senate races toward ObamaCare repeal vote Warning: Lawsuit ads may be harmful to the health of Americans Black Dem accuses Steve King of 'white privilege' in heated exchange MORE (R-Va.) to invite the president before their panel.

“It is the House Judiciary Committee that should be the venue for the President to defend himself against the serious allegations of official misconduct, including but not limited to apparent attempts at obstruction of justice in the removal of Mr. Comey in order to relieve the ‘pressure’ the President was feeling from investigations related to his campaign’s ties to Russian meddling in America’s most recent presidential election,” Gutierrez, a member of the committee, wrote in a letter to Goodlatte

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“Therefore, I believe it is incumbent on you as Chairman to immediately invite the President to testify.” 

The House Judiciary Committee has, to date, stayed out of probing alleged improprieties by Trump and his administration, to the dismay of Democrats on the panel.

The committee has played key roles in the past, such as in 1974 and 1998 when it debated and passed articles of impeachment against former Presidents Nixon and Clinton while investigating presidential misconduct.

When asked Friday if he would give a sworn statement to Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Trump replied: “One hundred percent.”

"I would be glad to tell him exactly what I told you,” Trump said. 

Trump had tweeted earlier in the day — nearly 24 hours after Comey’s dramatic appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee — that the testimony offered “total and complete vindication.” 

Comey had accused Trump of lying and pressuring him to drop the FBI’s investigation into ousted White House national security adviser Michael Flynn. 

Comey also said he believed Trump abruptly fired him last month over the FBI’s investigation into Russian election interference. He testified that Trump asked him for his loyalty over a private dinner at the White House earlier this year.

Trump and his allies claimed “vindication” from Comey’s testimony that he told the president on multiple occasions that he was not personally under investigation at the time he was FBI director. 

As for the rest of the testimony, Trump accused Comey of otherwise making false statements about their conversations.

“Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction,” Trump said. “But we were very, very happy and, frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said. And some of the things that he said just weren't true.”