17:14 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Chairman Adam Schiff (C), Democrat of California, gives an opening statement during the first public hearings held by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump

    Trump Says 'Considering' Testifying at Democrats' 'Phony Impeachment Witch Hunt'

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    The House began public hearings in the impeachment probe against the president last week, with Trump's opponents accusing him of illegally pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate potential corruption by the son of former Vice President Joe Biden during his employment with a Ukrainian energy company.

    President Donald Trump has suggested that he is "strongly" considering the idea of testifying at the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry, even though he "did nothing wrong" and doesn't "like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax."

    In his tweet, Trump referred to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Sunday interview on CBS's Face the Nation, in which she suggested that the president should testify in the ongoing impeachment hearings.

    Lawmakers began public hearings in the impeachment inquiry last week, with Acting US Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent and former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifying.

    House Democrats launched the impeachment probe into Trump in late September, following a complaint by a mystery CIA whistleblower accusing Trump of an abuse of power by allegedly pressuring Ukraine's president to restart an investigation into the possible illegal activities of Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President Joe Biden, during his work for Ukrainian energy company Burisma between 2014 and 2019. Trump's opponents accuse the president of threatening to withhold some $400 million in US military aid unless the investigation was restarted, and characterise the president's efforts as an attempt to 'get dirt' on his potential 2020 rival.

    Trump has denied claims of wrongdoing, and accused the Obama administration and Biden of engaging in illegal quid quo pro activity by demanding that former President Petro Poroshenko fire Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor investigating Hunter Biden, while threatening to withhold $1 billion in economic aid.

    The White House has released two transcripts of telephone conversations between Trump and Zelensky, showing no clear evidence of illegal activity by the president. Biden, meanwhile, has publicly bragged about having Ukraine's prosecutor fired after putting pressure on the Ukrainian president.

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