US President Donald Trump on Wednesday described the impeachment probe against him as “witch hunt”, saying he was “too busy” to watch it.
During a joint media press briefing, Trump said, “It’s a witch hunt. It’s a hoax. I’m too busy to watch it. So, I’m sure I’ll get a report”.
Controlled by Opposition Democratic party, the House of Representatives launched the first public hearing of Trump’s impeachment investigation with two State Department officials testifying before a key committee over allegations that the US President used his office to pressure Ukraine officials for personal political gain.
Trump said while responding to the questions that he did not watch the impeachment proceedings against him and accused House Democrats of using “television lawyers” to conduct their questioning.
“I have not been briefed, no. There’s nothing there. I see they”re using lawyers that are television lawyers. They took some guys off the television. I’ ‘m not surprised to see it because Schiff can’t do his own questions,” Trump said in response to a question.
However, the Republican-proposed witnesses, have to be signed off by Democrats, according to the rules set in the resolution.
Earlier in the month, President Trump opposed impeachment enquiry, saying that there should be no public hearings during the House of Representatives’ impeachment enquiry against him, and directed White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney not to appear before the committees investigating Trump’s phone call to Ukraine.
Trump administration had ordered officials not to participate in the House enquiry. But lawmakers have spent weeks hearing from current and former government witnesses, largely from the State Department, as one official after another has relayed his or her understanding of events.
After almost a month of calling for greater transparency in the enquiry, the White House changed its strategy this week by prohibiting several of its officials from even testifying behind closed doors before the lower house committees.
Late September, the impeachment inquiry, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi initiated over a complaint by an anonymous whistleblower, is looking into White House’s alleged efforts to withhold military aid to have Ukraine investigate a Trump’s political rival, Joe Biden.