US President Donald Trump on Friday asserted that he has the right to speak and the freedom of speech amid the ongoing impeachment hearings against him by a Democrats-dominated Congressional panel. Trump accused Democratic party of denying the Republicans the due process in the House. Trump is under threat of becoming only the third president in US history to be impeached -- formally charged with violating his duties as president or committing crimes, and placed on trial in the Senate.
“In the history of our country, there has never been a disgrace like what's going on right now. So, you know what, I have the right to speak. I have the freedom of speech just as other people do have. But they (Democrats) have taken away the Republicans rights (to ask questions),” Trump said.
Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry over claims that Trump pressured Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July 25 phone call to look into what the US leader said were corrupt business deals involving Biden.
The US president said he watched the second-day public hearing on impeachment against him by the Congressional Committee.
I watched today as certain very talented (Republican) people wanted to ask questions. They weren't even allowed to ask questions. Republicans weren't allowed to ask questions, it's a very sad thing, said the US President.
Trump was referring to the ongoing deposition by former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which on Thursday held its second public impeachment hearing against him.
“I just want to have a total... I want freedom of speech. That's a political process. The Republicans have been treated very badly. I watched a little bit of it today. I wasn't able to yesterday because we had the President of Turkey here and I wasn't able to watch much. I watched some of it this morning,” he said.
“I thought it was a disgrace. When, we have great Republican representatives elected by the people. They are not allowed to even ask a question. They're not allowed to make a statement. We're not allowed to have witnesses. We're not allowed to have legal counsel White House Counsel. It's a disgrace, an embarrassment to our nation,” Trump said.