Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) invited President Trump to come testify before the Senate in the ongoing probe into Russia’s intel operation during the 2016 presidential campaign.
At a Friday press conference, Trump pledged “100 percent” to testify under oath when asked the question in the context of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
Schumer told CBS on Sunday that he’s “not going to speculate” about whether Trump committed obstruction — “that is in prosecutor Mueller’s hands” — but he “would like to invite the president to testify before the Senate.”
“I think we could work out a way that it could be dignified, public, with questions, with Leader [Mitch] McConnell. Of course, we would have to consult with prosecutor Mueller before doing it,” he said.
“But I want to make a broader point here that relates to that. This is such serious stuff… 17 intelligence agencies said the Russians did interfere in the past election, but if people think it is past us, they are preparing to interfere in all of our elections. That goes to the wellspring of the democracy. And this is serious stuff. We have the former director of the FBI under oath saying one thing, President Trump saying another. There is a cloud over the presidency, the president said, and that is rightly so.”
That was a reference to former FBI Director James Comey testifying that Trump asked him to “lift the cloud” of the Russia investigation.
“There are two ways to clear up that cloud. One, if there are tapes — he alluded to the fact that there are tapes, maybe as a threat or taunting Comey — he should make them public right away. If there aren’t tapes, he should let that be known. No more game-playing,” Schumer said. “And, of course, he said he would testify. So I am inviting him to come testify and we could work that out.”
“And one final point here. This is serious stuff. And the president seems to be taking it almost a little bit lightly. It is sort of like the tax returns. You know, in the middle of the summer last year, he said he would release them before the election. Then he said there is an audit. Then he said he is never going to release them,” he added. “Well, when it comes to the tapes and it comes to testifying, he ought to say what he means. And, if he does, we will take him — we will take him up on each case.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on CBS that he thinks it’s “inappropriate for the president to testify publicly.”
“Mr. President, let’s don’t make a circus out of your presidency. If you want to come to the Judiciary Committee and testify under oath, we will put Comey right by you. It would be the highest rated TV show in the history of the world, but it’s not good for our democracy,” Graham said.
Graham said he doesn’t “believe the president colluded with the Russians, just because of the way he behaves.”
“So to any Republican who believes Russia didn’t do it, you are wrong. To any Democrat who wants to impeach President Trump because of Russia, you are wrong. All I can say is, there a is a lynch mob mentality about the Trump administration in the press. They are about as fair as a lynch mob,” the senator charged. “But these tweets that he does feeds that lynch mob. You are your own worst enemy, Mr. President. Knock it off.”