Administration

Trump hits Democrats over private hearings with former officials, 'most of whom I do not know'

President Trump on Tuesday complained that Democrats are "allowing no transparency" by holding closed-door hearings with a cavalcade of administration officials as part of the House impeachment inquiry.

The president claimed he did not know most of the individuals giving potentially damaging testimony about his dealings with Ukraine as numerous administration officials defy the White House's refusal to comply with the investigation.

"Democrats are allowing no transparency at the Witch Hunt hearings. If Republicans ever did this they would be excoriated by the Fake News," Trump tweeted. "Let the facts come out from the charade of people, most of whom I do not know, they are interviewing for 9 hours each, not selective leaks."

 

Trump's tweets echoed calls from some Republican lawmakers who have called on Democrats to release the full transcripts of their private hearings with Trump administration officials.

Fiona Hill, a former special assistant to the president who specialized in Europe and Russia affairs, testified on Monday that Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland pursued a "shadow foreign policy" in Ukraine.

Her testimony followed an appearance by former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who testified that she was pushed out of her role because of "unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives."

The White House counsel last week sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and three committee leaders stating that the administration would not cooperate with any of their requests related to the impeachment inquiry and unsuccessfully sought to block parts or all of the testimony from Hill and Yovanovitch.

Sondland, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent and a former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are among those still scheduled to testify this week.

Democrats formally launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump late last month, alleging he abused his office by urging Ukraine's president to "look into" former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden during a July phone call.

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