US President Donald Trump dismissed the impeachment process against him on Friday as a hoax and said he would not mind a long trial in the US Senate, saying he wanted to see the whistleblower whose complaint led Democrats to launch the inquiry.
Speaking to reporters at the White House after the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against him, Trump decried the process as a “sham” and said Democrats were trivializing impeachment.
“It’s a very sad thing for our country, but it seems to be very good for me politically,” Trump said, arguing that his poll numbers had increased.
“Impeachment is a hoax. It’s a sham,” he said.
The president said he was open to a short or long process in the Senate, which is expected to hold a trial in January.
“I’ll do whatever I want. ... So I’ll do long or short,” Trump said. “I wouldn’t mind a long process, because I’d like to see the whistleblower, who’s a fraud.”
The president, who has repeatedly argued that he did nothing wrong during a July call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which he pressed Ukraine to investigate Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden, said that using the impeachment process against him was not good for the United States.
“There was nothing done wrong. To use the power of impeachment for this nonsense is an embarrassment to this country,” he said.
A deeply divided House Judiciary Committee voted 23-17 to approve articles of impeachment charging Trump with both abusing the power of his office over Ukraine and obstructing House Democrats’ attempts to investigate him for it.
If the full House votes next week to impeach Trump, as expected, the Republican will become the third US president to be impeached. But the chances of him being removed from office are close to zero because the Senate, which is dominated by Republicans, will have the final say.