U.S. President Donald Trump indicated Wednesday he would cooperate with the ongoing impeachment investigation being carried out in the House of Representatives, but described it as a “hoax.”
“I always cooperate. This is a hoax. This is the greatest hoax,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto. “This is a fraudulent crime on the American people, but we will work together with shifty Schiff and Pelosi, and all of them. And we’ll see what happens.”
Trump was referring to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Trump’s comments come on the heels of a warning from the chairmen of the House Oversight, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees warned they will subpoena the White House unless it hands over documents related to Ukraine they previously requested.
“Over the past several weeks, the Committees tried several times to obtain voluntary compliance with our requests for documents, but the White House has refused to engage with—or even respond to—the Committees,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings wrote in a memo notifying his committee of the intent to issue the subpoena.
The chairmen said in a corresponding statement that the White House has repeatedly refused to comply with their earlier requests, that began Sept. 9, to produce the documents.
The subpoena will be issued Friday if the White House fails to comply with the previous requests.
It would be the latest issued by the committees. Last Friday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, on Monday.
The House began its impeachment investigation into Trump last week. At issue is a July 25 phone conversation the president had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump repeatedly pressed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, over unsubstantiated claims of corruption.
The elder Biden is the leading Democratic candidate heading into next year’s presidential elections, making him a clear political rival to Trump.
Soliciting the assistance of a foreign leader to undermine Biden has raised questions of election interference that have been the foundation for the House’s impeachment investigation.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing, maintaining his call with Zelensky was “perfect” while seeking to undermine the whistleblower whose complaint brought the phone call and other related matters to the public’s attention.
But when asked repeatedly Wednesday what he requested of Zelensky regarding Joe and Hunter Biden, Trump refused to answer, becoming combative and demanding the reporter ask a question to Niinisto, the Finnish president.
“Are you talking to me?” Trump asked. “We have the president of Finland, ask him a question.”
“Did you hear me? Ask him a question,” Trump continued as the reporter pressed for a response.