WASHINGTON — House Republicans requested on Monday that a Republican senator who has repeatedly found himself drawn into the impeachment inquiry tell them what he knows about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
The top Republicans on the Oversight and Intelligence Committees wrote to Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, that they were “reluctantly” requesting “any firsthand information you have about President Trump’s actions toward Ukraine,” according to their letter released Monday.
Also on Monday, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter that he would “strongly consider” testifying in the impeachment inquiry, after Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised the idea during a weekend television interview.
“Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!” Mr. Trump wrote.
Mr. Johnson, a member of the bipartisan Senate Ukraine Caucus, traveled to Ukraine as part of a delegation attending President Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration in 2019, and joined phone calls between Mr. Trump and the American ambassador to the European Union and a witness in the inquiry, Gordon D. Sondland.
Typically a staunch defender of the president, Mr. Johnson has said that he confronted Mr. Trump in a phone call in late August about allegations that the president was engaging in a quid pro quo with Ukraine tying a nearly $400 million package of security assistance for the country to a public commitment for investigations that Mr. Trump wanted. The president, Mr. Johnson has said, flatly denied it.
But the senator has also revealed information that could be damaging to Mr. Trump: that Mr. Sondland told him that the aid to Ukraine was, in fact, tied to Mr. Trump’s request to have Kiev investigate Democrats. He told reporters at an event in Wisconsin that he had tried to get permission from Mr. Trump to tell Ukraine’s president that American aid was on its way in the wake of those allegations, but the president refused.
Mr. Johnson was one of several senators in both parties who were deeply concerned about the hold that had been placed on the military aid for Ukraine, which had been allocated by Congress to help the former Soviet republic defend itself from attacks by Russia, and who pressed privately and publicly for it to be released.
Mr. Johnson said on “Meet The Press” on Sunday that he would not be called to testify before the House, “because certainly Adam Schiff wouldn’t want to be called by the Senate.” But he added: “I’ll supply my telling of events.”