Senate Minority Chuck Schumer (D-NY) walks after speaking during a media briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 25, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer extended President Donald Trump an invitation to testify under oath before Congress while on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday.
“I would like to invite the President to testify before the Senate. I think we could work out a way it could be dignified, public, with questions, with Leader McConnell. Of course, we would have to consult with Prosecutor Mueller before doing it,” Schumer said.
He went on to say, “I would like to make a broader point here that relates to that: this is such serious stuff, John. Seventeen 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.”
Schumer also added that if Trump wants to clear up the cloud hanging over his administration, the president should release any tapes that may exist that document his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.
“If there aren’t tapes he should let that be known. No more game playing. And of course, he said he would testify, so I am inviting him to come testify, and we could work that out,” the New York Democrat said, noting that Trump appears to be taking the Russia investigation as lightly as his refusal to release his tax returns.
Schumer went on to say, “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. 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 them up on each case.”
President Trump told reporters last Friday he was “100 percent” willing to testify under oath.
“I would be glad to tell him exactly what I told you,” the president said during a press conference at the White House Rose Garden.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday, but it is unclear if Sessions will testify in public or private.
Sessions was previously set to testify Tuesday before the House and Senate subcommittees that oversee his Justice Department’s budget. However, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will go before those committees instead.
In letters to the chairmen of the subcommittee, Sessions wrote: “Some members have publicly stated their intention to focus their questions on issues related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, from which I have recused, and for which the deputy attorney general appointed a special counsel.”
He added, “The Senate intelligence committee is the most appropriate forum for such matters, as it has been conducting an investigation and has access to relevant, classified information.”